The start of the 2016 European Championship, on June 10 in Paris (France), is still a couple of months away. But it’s never too early to take a look at the favourites to win the tournament and the national squads that are listed as the biggest outsiders to challenge for Euro 2016.
It’s never easy to pinpoint the biggest tournament favourite to put your money on, but Germany seems to be the one team that jumps to everyone’s mind in this regard. The reigning world champions have made it to the semi-finals of a World Cup or European Championship on every occasion since 2006, and can count on an amazingly experienced squad, with stars like Mesut Ozil, Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller and Marco Reus.
Group stage opponents: Poland, Northern-Ireland, Ukraine
The Germans could have won Euro 2008 but lost the final against Spain, who also won the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012, meaning the Spaniards are the defending champions. La Roja are slowly moving on from their golden generation, but still feature a bunch of star players who are ready to take revenge for their disappointing show at the 2014 World Cup.
Group stage opponents: Czech Republic, Croatia, Turkey
And than there’s host country France. Les Bleus have disappointed ever since losing the 2006 World Cup final. However, with a new and talented generation ready to explode, they are ready to show their skills in front of their fellow countrymen. Only question here: will the likes of Paul Pogba, Raphael Varane and Anthony Martial be able to handle the huge pressure?
Group stage opponents: Romania, Albania, Switzerland
Every big tournament, there are a number of outsiders who may have longer odds at bookie sites like Eurotips.com, but who will launch a serious challenge in France this summer.
England are one of them, as the Three Lions recorded an undefeated qualification round. They haven’t made it through to the semi-finals of a big tournament since 1996, but a new breed of talent could change that.
Group stage opponents: Russia, Wales, Slovakia
Next up: Belgium. FIFA’s number one have rocketed to contender status due to the disembowling of its golden generation, with players like Eden Hazard, Vincent Kompany, Kevin De Bruyne and Thibaut Courtois.
Group stage opponents: Italy, Ireland, Sweden
Facing Belgium in the group stages is no gift for Italy. The Azzurri made it to the final at Euro 2012, but didn’t survive the group stages at the 2014 World Cup. There’s a new generation coming, but is it too early yet?
Group stage opponents: Belgium, Ireland, Sweden
Last but not least, Portugal have Cristiano Ronaldo so they are always a team to account for. End of story.
Group stage opponents: Iceland, Austria, Hungary