The European Championship is ahead of us. This year it will take place in France and begin on the 10th June, whereas the final will be played a month later on 10th July. France was selected to host the Euro 2016 in May 2010, beating Turkey and Italy. Matches will be played on 10 different stadiums, located in 10 different cities (if we consider Saint-Denis to be a separate town and not part of Paris). Check out our Champions League Guide to find out more about the stadiums. The opening game and the final will be played on Stade de France in Saint-Denis, the national stadium of France for football and rugby matches and the fifth largest stadium in Europe. It was built for the 1998 World Cup that was held in France and it is one of the most magnificent modern stadiums in the world.
More Teams and more Matches
For the first time, there’ll be 24 teams competed for the title – European Champion, until now the form included only 16 teams, whereas now 16 teams will progress from the group stages into the knockout phase of the tournament. More teams equals more matches, more exciting fans queueing in line, waiting to enter the stadium. Queueing can sometimes take half an hour but nobody complains as the atmosphere is quite simply majestic. Phones have become essential part of the kit for any football traveller to find out directions, latest scores and, more importantly, to put accas on who you think will win! Sometimes it’s also nice to kill the time with some good old fashioned casino games as well, with the best casino apps.
As the start of the Euro 2016 is approaching, it becomes the main topic of every discussion, of every meeting between football fans. Fans love to discuss each team’s chances and there probably isn’t a person who doesn’t have a favourite team even if their own national team isn’t competing. Still, regardless what your personal wishes may be, there are teams which are considered favourites for winning the championship, both by experts, commentators, ex-footballers, as well as bookies. The competition will surely be fierce and winning the Euro will not be an easy job, no matter who is going to win in the end.
Most coaches have already announced their squads and there have been only few surprises. Although some disagree, France and Germany are considered to be the two favourites for winning the Euro 2016. The French will have the home support advantage and they are considered to be the ultimate favourites. Bookies give them 3/1 chances of winning the championship. Not only do they have the home advantage, but the tricolours also have a complete squad and a lot of talented young players who are, some say, destined for success. Didier Deschamps decided not to include Mathieu Valbuena in the squad, and the player was reportedly quite disappointed with this decision. A lot of other experienced players were dropped at the expense of N’Golo Kante, Kingsley Coman and Anthony Martial for whom this will be the first major competition. France will compete in Group A, alongside Switzerland, debutants Albania and Romania. Only the Swiss can cause problems here, even though the French had a secure victory against them on the last World Cup.
Germany are the current World Champions and one of the most powerful squads today. The best odds for Germany that you can get at online bookies are set at 4/1. And who can write off their chances, especially after that magnificent semi-final win against Brazil two years ago. The Germans are in the same group with Poland, Ukraine and Northern Ireland. Although they already lost to Poland in the qualifications, they shouldn’t have any serious trouble coming out on top of their group. A team praised for their consistency, discipline and known by the fact that they are dedicated to the game and their style of play until the very final whistle, the Germans are always amongst the favourites.
Spain is still the current European Champion. Despite the terrible World Cup experience in Brazil when they were eliminated in the group stage, the Spaniards have got a squad which should definitely be respected. They will face some rather difficult opponents in their group as they’ll compete in Group D, against Turkey, Czech Republic and Croatia, all of which may cause an upset. The odds for Spain are 11/2.
The English haven’t been very successful in the past few decades, not only on European Championships, but also on all major tournaments. The press and the fans somehow got used to defeats and disappointments. Many generations were praised as the ‘one’ that would bring the glory to the cradle of football, but none managed to deliver. At the beginning of the qualifications for Euro 2016, not a lot of people had high hopes for this tournament, especially after the terrible World Cup in 2014. However, England managed to win all 10 matches in qualifying Group E and became the fifth team to do so. Suddenly, people started believing again due to the amazing form of Liecester and Tottenham, both teams with a solid English core with superstars such as Vardy, Drinkwater, Kane and Alli who have all made the England 2016 Squad. Indeed the expectations are raised and people on the Island are wondering whether football could come home. With a young and energetic team, and several experienced and proven players, the English just might surprise everyone in France.
Teams that Might Cause an Upset
There are several other teams which aren’t considered to be major favourites, but may become involved in the battle for trophies. Belgium are currently the second best rated team by FIFA and the best European team on the rankings. Italy are one of the teams that are capable of winning matches even when people least expect. The Portuguese, led by Cristiano Ronaldo might also pose a threat. Underdogs like Northern Ireland, Wales, Croatia and Iceland have also been mentioned as some of the teams that might shock some of the major footballing nations. All in all, a great European Championship and 30 days of top class football matches that’ll take place on 10 amazing stadiums are ahead of us.