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UEFA Euro 2020: France and England rise as favorites

The UEFA Euro 2020 is set to kick-off on June 11, as Turkey and Italy clash at the Stadio Olimpico, in Rome, Italy. This will be the 16th edition of the European Championship, and for the first time in history, the tournament will be held in multiple cities across Europe. Wembley Stadium, in London, England, will host the semi-finals and the final.

The tournament was originally scheduled to be played from June 12 to July 12 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Europe, and rescheduled from June 11 to July 11 2021, while still retaining the name “UEFA Euro 2020”. Matches will be played in London, Rome, Amsterdam, Glasgow, Copenhagen, Saint Petersburg, Budapest, Bucharest, Seville, Baku and Munich. The video assistant referee (VAR), which was introduced by FIFA in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, will make its debut at the Euro in this year’s tournament.

Portugal are the defending champions, after winning the competition in 2016 when they beat France in a thrilling final match, and claimed their first European title. This year’s Euro has France and England as favorites, with +500 and +550 odds respectively to win the championship according to resources about gambling. But Belgium, Portugal and Germany are serious contenders for the title as well.

France

The reigning FIFA World Cup champions, France enter the tournament as the clear favorites to lift the trophy at Wembley on July 11. With the likes of Kylian Mbappé, Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba, the squad managed by Didier Deschamps is a well-rounded mix of young talent and experienced players, that certainly poses a threat to any team in the championship.

France qualified for the final tournament as the top team in the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying Group H, ahead of Turkey and Iceland. They will play in the tournament’s Group F, against Portugal, Germany, and Hungary, in what was deemed this year’s Group of Death. France will face Germany in their first match, on June 15.

England

Despite finishing fourth in the last World Cup, England left a good impression after good performances under Gareth Southgate. They are now ranked among the favorites to win the Euro 2020, and Harry Kane, the team’s captain and most prolific player, is at +650 to finish as the top goalscorer in the tournament.

England qualified for the Euro 2020 after finishing at the top of the Group A of the qualifying round, ahead of Czech Republic and Kosovo. They were seeded in Group D, against Croatia (the runners-up in the 2018 FIFA World Cup), Scotland and Czech Republic. England’s first match takes place on June 13, at Wembley, against Croatia.

Belgium

Belgium is one of the teams in this year’s tournament with the best current form. After a great run in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, when they eliminated Brazil and beat England in the third place play-off, Belgium have been blasting through opponents, with great performances by Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku. They are at +600 odds to win the Euro 2020.

In the qualifying stage, Belgium won all ten matches and finished top of the group ahead of Russia and Scotland, scoring 40 goals and allowing only 3. They will play in the Euro 2020 Group B, with Denmark, Finland and Russia, with the first match against Russia on June 12, at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg.

Portugal

Portugal are the defending champions, and when you have one of the best players in the sport’s history in your squad, you can’t be counted out. Led by Cristiano Ronaldo, they enter the tournament at +800 odds to win the title. 

Portugal finished at second place in the Group B of the qualifying round, and will play in the Euro 2020 Group of Death, against France, Germany, and Hungary. Their first match is on June 15, against Hungary, at the Puskas Arena, in Budapest.

Germany

With +900 odds to win the tournament, Germany will play their last competition under 15-year head coach Joachim Löw, who announced on March 9 that he will resign from his position after Euro 2020. In May, the DFB announced Hansi Flick, former manager of Bayern Munich, as his replacement.

Another member of the Euro 2020 Group of Death, Germany qualified for the final tournament as the leaders in Group C, finishing ahead of Netherlands and Northern Ireland. They will make their debut in the tournament against France, and then face Portugal on June 19, at Allianz Arena in Munich.

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