The final stages of the next European Football Championship, more commonly known as the Euros, will run from June 12th to July 12th 2020, and for the first time the competition will be held across different European countries. This is to mark sixty years since the first European Championship finals were held. There will be games played in Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Russia and Romania to name but a few. All of which means that both players and fans will be clocking up the air miles as the tournament progresses.
That's not the case for the semi-finals and final however as they will all be held at Wembley Stadium in London, England. That may well give an advantage to the English side if they can manage to make it that far in the competition. Portugal will be attempting to retain the trophy that they won in 2016 and join Spain as the only country to win this competition in successive tournaments. We will be covering all the games in this tournament and our team of betting experts will do their best to provide you with as much assistance and winning bets as possible.
Before the tournament begins, there is a little bit of unfinished business to take care of. Strangely, the draw for the finals was made before all 24 finalists were confirmed. We have to wait until the end of March before the final four countries taking part in the Euro 2020 finals will be confirmed. There are still 16 countries that could be playing in the finals and these have been determined by performances in both the Euro 2020 qualifiers and the UEFA Nations League. Rather than the usual case of there being two-legged play-off games, we now have four sets of four with semi-finals and finals, the winner of which will be off to the finals. Here's the all-important draw for the play-offs.
Path A: Bulgaria v Hungary and Iceland v Romania
Path B: Bosnia and Herzegovina v Northern Ireland and Slovakia v Ireland
Path C: Norway v Serbia and Scotland v Israel
Path D: Georgia v Belarus and North Macedonia v Kosovo
The semi-finals take place on March 26 and the finals will be played on the 31st. It's not that straightforward over which teams go into which group in the finals. If Path A sees Romania victorious, then they'll go into Group C in the finals. Any other result will see them the winners go into Group F. If Romania are the winners of Path A, then the winners of Path D go into Group F, any other winner sends them into Group C.
Once that is all sorted out, the countdown to the finals begins in earnest. There are six groups of four who each play each other once. The top two in each group go straight into the knock-out stages, where they will be joined by the four best third-placed sides. From the last sixteen, it's a knock-out tournament and anything could happen in that format.
There are several ways in which you can boost your chances of placing successful bets on Euro 2020. Research is the key word here, you can't just place a bet on a game without having done some. That applies whether it's a top match or a youth game, the more you know, the better armed you are. Here are five areas that you can look at.
A look at the qualifying rounds for this tournament can help you in your decisions over who might win the Euro 2020 finals. The groups were full of fascinating matches as countries did their best to book their places in the finals. The group stages saw some of the top teams in dominating form and the return to form of some that have been sleeping giants over the past few years.
The qualifying groups for the Euro 2020 Championships provided a few surprises but there are no major omissions in terms of the sides that have reached the finals. There were ten qualifying groups with the winners being: England, Ukraine, Germany, Switzerland, Croatia, Spain, Poland, France, Belgium and Italy. Perhaps the most surprising group winners were Ukraine who finished three points clear in Group B of the defending European champions and Nation League winners, Portugal.
Ukraine were one of only four teams that went through qualifying without losing a game. The other three being Spain, Belgium and Italy. Belgium were the top scorers in qualifying with 40 goals in their ten matches, scoring at least twice in each of their games. Italy were the next highest scorers with 37 goals managing to score at least two goals in each of their ten qualifiers.
A good defence is needed to win a tournament such as this. Belgium aren't just all about scoring goals, they only let in three goals in their ten qualifiers and just one on their travels. Italy had the next best defensive record with just four goals conceded, also playing ten games compared to the eight played by five of the groups. Having missed the last World Cup and Nations League finals, it'll be interesting to see just how the Italians get on in the finals.
The groups draw was made in December 2019 and have produced six groups that should see some great games being played. There will be some familiar games with several sides who met in the qualifying rounds also meeting in the finals. Here are the six groups, remember there are still four teams that have to clinch qualification.
The group matches will dominate the footballing world, so let's take a look now at each of the groups and who are likely to be qualifying for the knock-out stages of the tournament. Our team of betting experts will cover all the matches being played and doing their best to give you some great tips.
Italy are back in the finals of a major tournament for the first time since Euro 2016. They certainly made no mistakes in their qualifying group winning all of their ten games. They ended with a goal difference of +33 and had an incredible 19 different players score for them. They don't have a prolific goalscorer though with Andrea Belotti scoring most in their group with four goals. Four other players scored three each, so this is a team where goals can come from plenty of their squad. Only once in the last five Euro finals have Italy failed to make it out of their group. Up against Switzerland, Wales and Turkey, they should have few problems qualifying for the knock-out stages.
This could be a tight group though with Switzerland likely to finish in second place. They were semi-finalists in the UEFA Nations League and have plenty of experience of playing in finals. They had a tough qualifying group but eventually finished top ahead of Denmark. It will be a surprise if they don't get out of this group. Turkey beat France in the group stages but rarely do well in major finals (when they actually qualify) and only one of their squad has scored ten international goals. Wales have failed to build on their Euro 2016 semi-final and rely too much on Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey.
Tip: Italy - 4/7
Belgium are one of the favourites to win Euro 2020 after finishing third in the 2018 World Cup. All ten of their qualifying games were won with 40 goals scored and they have plenty of players who can get on the scoresheet. They should win Group B and will again be playing Russia who they finished ahead of in the qualifiers, beating them on both occasions. Russia won all their other eight group games though and another Belgium-Russia one-two looks likely here. Denmark are a capable side on their day and the group is completed by Finland. The latter are making their debut in a major finals and would love to wrap up Teemu Pukki in cotton wool until June.
Tip - Belgium - 4/6
The Netherlands had a rough time in the second half of the last decade. They have shown great improvement under Ronald Koeman and reached the UEFA Nations League final losing to Portugal. They finished second behind Germany in their qualifying group but did get a win over them. Their main opponents in this group are Ukraine who finished their group three points clear of Portugal but don't have a great record in finals. Austria lost three group games in qualifying and may struggle in this company. The final team is yet to be decided and will be the winners of either Path A or Path D.
Tip - The Netherlands - 1/2
England are one of the leading favourites to win Euro 2020. They did well in a relatively easy qualifying group and look very strong in attack, not so when defending. They will again be facing the Czech Republic, who they lost to away from home last year. Croatia are also familiar to England having beaten them in the 2018 World Cup semi-final but losing in the UEFA Nations League. The final place in this group goes to the winner of Path C, that could be Scotland but more likely Serbia. There are some potential banana skins here but England should win the group.
Tip - England - 2/5
Spain comfortably won their qualifying group scoring 31 goals but the most any of their players scored was four goals. Morata, Rodrigo and Ramos all scored that total and they are worthy favourites to win Group E. They renew rivalry with Sweden who were in their group (couldn't they have made it so that couldn't happen to give us some fresh games?) and the other confirmed side is Poland who won their qualifying group. The winners of Path B will join them, that could be Slovakia or Bosnia-Herzegovina or one of the Irish nations.
Tip - Spain - 1/3
The best has been saved for last with a real group of death. France are bidding to add the European title to their world crown but have to take on Germany and Portugal. France eventually got the better of Turkey in their qualifying group but will need to be at the top of their game in this group. Portugal are the defending champions and also won the UEFA Nations League and Cristiano Ronaldo will always be a threat. Germany had a nightmare time in the World Cup and Nations League but recovered to win a qualifying group that included the Netherlands. You feel sorry for the play-offs qualifier that has to play in this group!
Tip - France - 11/8
This is an open tournament and whoever strikes top form at precisely the right time can lift the trophy. Here's our three top tips for the tournament:
Not since 1966 have England won a major finals, could those years of hurt end in 2020? They impress with their attacking powers and if players such as Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford can stay fit, this is a team that willl score goals against any opponent. They aren't so hot defensively though but if Gareth Southgate can sort that problem out, then the home advantage they'd have in the final stages could pay dividends.
The world champions have a tough group to get out of that is for sure. However, that could be good for them having a hard start rather than some easy games. They won their qualifying group and of course know how to win major titles. With Giroud, Griezmann and Mbappe up front, plus the creative abilities of Pogba and Kante, they will again be a force to be reckoned with in this tournament and could win another title.
This is a squad that has talent running all the way through it. They finished third in the 2018 World Cup and have been knocking at the door for the past few years, will a title finally be won this summer. Romelu Lukaku has rediscovered his scoring touch since moving to Inter and he could score some valuable goals in the finals. Belgium have six players who have scored at least ten international goals. They have an experienced squad and this could be the time they finally deliver.