Euro 2016 - Assessing The Main Contenders

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Euro 2016 - Assessing The Main Contenders

Postby TheKnow » Mon May 09, 2016 2:55 am

Football is a team game first and foremost, but it's essential for teams to have match winners in their side.

The winner of this tournament will have world class players in their squad; players who can make that all-important tackle at the right time, create that big chance for their team mate to score or produce that moment of magic to win the game for their country.

With this in mind, I've compared BetVictor's Player Of The Tournament market with the Outright Winner market on Oddschecker to assess the merits of Euro 2016's main contenders.

First up is PORTUGAL 22/1 - They have the Player Of The Tournament favourite Cristiano Ronaldo 8/1 in their side, so must be respected here. But with only Bernardo Silva 33/1 and Eder 50/1 among the remaining players in the market, they look well short of the required number of match winning players to be able to lift this year's trophy.

Next up is ITALY 16/1 - Like Portugal, they too have only 3 players in the Player Of The Tournament market. Their hopes appear to rest mainly on the shoulders of Graziano Pellè 50/1, Ciro Immobile 66/1 and Manolo Gabbiadini 66/1 - but it's likely they'll fall short of winning the tournament.

With 5 players in the Player Of The Tournament market, ENGLAND 9/1 are expected to put up a solid performance at Euro 2016. Harry Kane 16/1 and Jamie Vardy 20/1 will look to continue their impressive Premier League scoring into the summer, while Wayne Rooney 20/1 will offer both goals and leadership. The remaining 2 players are Tottenham's Dele Alli 20/1 and Everton's Ross Barkley 33/1 - both of whom are capable of assisting and scoring. England appear to have a better chance than Portugal and Italy, but their lack of experience and a hard Premier League season could prove too much for the young Lions.

Now onto the favourites of the Outright Winner market FRANCE 7/2 - They have 6 squad members priced up in the Player Of The Tournament market. Antoine Griezmann 14/1 is among the favourites (12/1) for the Golden Boot award, so his goals will be key to Les Bleu's chances. They also have the Premier League quartet of Dimitri Payet 20/1, Olivier Giroud 25/1, Yohan Cabaye 25/1 and Anthony Martial 33/1 among their squad. Arguably their most important player though is Paul Pogba 14/1 - he is the one who plays box to box and will be tasked with dominating midfield battles. They're definitely one of the main contenders, but at the prices, given they only have 6 players in the Player Of The Tournament market, I feel they're opposable.

GERMANY 7/2 are the current World Champions and must be afforded maximum respect here. They have 7 players in the Player Of The Tournament market - Mesut Ozil 12/1 and Thomas Muller 12/1 are arguably Germany's most consistent duo and are backed up by Marco Reus 20/1, Mario Gotze 20/1 and Max Kruse 20/1. Mario Gomez 25/1 has goals in him and André Schürrle 33/1 is a lot better than he showed when at Chelsea. Germany have enough match winners in their side to go close here but there are still another two teams whose chances I prefer to theirs.

The two teams who have the most players in the Player Of The Tournament market with 8 are SPAIN 11/2 and BELGIUM 12/1.

Belgium are no longer an unknown quantity on the International stage and are rightly considered a very dangerous team. Eden Hazard 20/1 has looked reinvigorated for Chelsea over the last few weeks and Kevin De Bruyne 25/1 has been one of the Premier League's best players when fit this season. Romelu Lukaku 25/1, Christian Benteke 33/1 and Divock Origi are all capable goalscorers, where as Axel Witsel 40/1, Marouane Fellaini 40/1 and Kevin Mirallas 50/1 are solid midfielders.

Spain are looking to win this for the third time in a row, having lifted the trophy in 2008 and 2012. Diego Costa 33/1 is expected to earn a recall to the Spain squad and will most likely lead the line, with Ãlvaro Morata 25/1 the other main striking option. This team is packed with creative midfield talent - Andrés Iniesta 16/1, Thiago 33/1, Cesc Fabregas 40/1, David Silva 40/1 and Juan Mata 40/1 provide Vicente Del Bosque with an unbelievable amount of options. The man between the sticks is so often underestimated when considering tournament winners - in David de Gea 33/1 Spain have one of the best goalkeepers in the world and the only one to make the Player Of The Tournament market.

Portugal and Italy have outside chances. England shouldn't disgrace themselves. France and Germany are strong sides but will probably fall just short. The winner is most likely to come from Belgium or SPAIN 11/2, with the latter my preference, given their recent record in this tournament.

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Postby megadan1213 » Mon May 09, 2016 8:04 am

I agree with you that Italy look like they'll fall short, but i've said this many times in the past and they're something of an enigma, in that, they will perhaps under achieve with a good squad, and over achieve with a less sensational squad.

Take for example Euro 2004 and Euro 2008, in 2004 not escaping a group with Sweden and Denmark, and in 2008 looking tired and scraping through to the second round. but right in the middle of these two average tournaments they have a world cup win, then again, finishing bottom of their 2010 world cup group, to reach the final of Euro 2012.

They're just so confusing and unpredictable i never know which Italy is going to turn up, in the most recent World Cup they crashed out in the Group stages, so are we due another deep run in this tournament?

I agree England look strong, lots of match winners, especially Dele Alli who i like alot; i do worry about the defence somewhat which could be our undoing against the best sides, especially if they switch it on, but i'm confident we can worry teams with our pacey and vibrant attack.

One team maybe slipping under the radar, even though they are 4th favourites is Belgium, they have a strong side with lots of match winners, if players like De Bruyne, Hazard, Lukaku can switch it on, they could be exciting and dangerous, plus they have a very solid defence, even without Kompany.

I think the ultimate winner will come from Spain or France, i can't see Germany winning it, i think their form has dropped off and Spain are slightly ahead of them at the moment; i think France can do well purely from being the home nation, which is such a huge bonus for any team, plus they are supremely talented of course.

Finally, we come to Portugal, wouldn't it be nice for Cristiano Ronaldo to lift something with Portugal? you just have to admire his determination and ability, he deserves something but he doesn't have the squad to back it up, you just imagine Portugal being picked apart if they come up against any of the other main contenders.

For me, though, Spain at 11/2 look a decent bet because i think they're more than capable of reaching the final, and they certainly wouldn't be 5/1 when they get there, even against Germany or France they wouldn't be underdogs, so it's a great little bet to put on, i don't see them disappointing like in WC 2014.

Also England, OK i am biased.. and i don't like to bet on England after years of being burnt, but i think they have the best chance of doing 'something' since the 2002-2006 period.

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Postby TheKnow » Mon May 09, 2016 10:35 am

Yeah, Italy can never be discounted - but when Graziano Pelle 50/1 is expected to be their best player, I find it difficult to see them actually winning the tournament.

I think England have a lot of similarities to the cricket team that reached the final of the T20 World Cup this year, in that they're now picking exciting, attacking players and letting them go out and play, rather than sticking rigidly to the same players in the same formation like they've done in the past - it's a refreshing approach and could just work if they can play without fear. That being said, I think they'll find at least one too good.

I definitely like Belgium a lot! Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne are real top notch, and they've got a lot of quality players in that side. I fancy them strongly to win their Group as well and can't believe they're not a shade of odds on - we have Italy's presence to thank for them still being available to back at 6/5 with SkyBet.

I wouldn't put anyone off backing France or Germany, they're tournament favourites for a reason and have a strong chance but I think Spain are a better value bet at 11/2, as they're just as strong if they can get enough goals out of Costa and Morata.

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Postby bobslay13 » Mon May 09, 2016 11:47 am

I'm pretty sure that right now Spain would be underdogs against France or Germany in a final. Based on the outright odds you can see that and also based on their last World Cup and shabby performances in qualification.

For me the best bets at the top of the betting are Italy and France. Germany as you say have dropped away from the brilliance of their 2014 World Cup win lately. Pretty average in qualification and some poor results in friendlies too. Italy I very much agree with. The price is big for a nation with such international pedigree and I can see them overachieving as they have done in the past.

I still don't like Belgium's chances. The squad is great on paper but they don't play well together. I've watched plenty of their matches against the likes of Wales and whilst dominating possession they struggle to break teams down and have weaknesses at left and right back.

France are worthy joint favourites for me and my pick of the outsiders is Poland with a strong midfield and Lewandowski up front!
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