Betting on Euro 2020
The European Championships of 2020 will be the biggest edition of the tournament ever played, and has already featured a number of innovations by the way the new Nations League has played a role in the qualifying process.
Qualifying is well under way and teams are jockeying for position to be included in the extended 24-team finals format (begun in 2016) which is a huge advance on the traditional 16 teams which entered into the 2012 finals, for example. There are also more teams ever in qualifying thanks to the inclusion of Kosovo – 55 nations are currently taking part.
The change to the Uefa Euro 2020 format is that instead of having one or two hosting nations, the tournament will be played across 12 host cities, with Wembley Stadium in London hosting the semi-final and final of the tournament.
With regards to qualification, the top two teams from the ten qualifying groups will qualify automatically, with a further four teams added to the Finals list by an innovation which focuses on teams' performances in the new Nations League which was played in 2018. 16 teams are divided into four qualifying paths, with the winner finding themselves in the finals tournament set to take place in June and July of 2020. This elongated system is deemed fairer to teams in regards to their performances over a longer period of time and against teams of a similar quality. Ultimately, it results in a 24-team finals tournament, as was the case with Euro 2016 in France.
The Finals tournament will once again feature six groups of four teams, with the top two teams from each group, along with the four best-performing third-placed teams, entering a knockout phase. European Championship odds won't likely change much between then and now, as despite this new qualifying format, the same teams are expected to reach the knockout phases to be played in the summer of 2020.
European Championship Odds
The revamped 2020 European Championships features 24 countries, but the odds lists still contain the same names as ever they did. However, it is always worth casting an eye back over previous tournaments to see what can and does happen in terms of the final outcome.
Back in 1992, Denmark were only admitted to the competition in Sweden as a result of Yugoslavia being banned at the last minute. The team then went on to claim an astounding victory by overcoming favourites and reigning world champions Germany in the final.
This surprise was repeated by Greece in 2004, when the country surprised everyone by progressing to the final where they overcame hosts Portugal. Portugal themselves repeated the trick, although not to the same element of surprise, by overcoming France in the final of 2016. That game too was played on French soil, showing that the host country can often crumble under the weight of expectation. Indeed, only Spain, Italy and France have won the competition on home territory in its 16 editions to date.
So, when casting your eye down the list of European Championship betting odds, have in mind these surprise victories. If another surprise occurs, no one can say we hadn't had prior warning.
Euro 2020 Odds
Despite its huge new format and the revamped qualification process, the Uefa European Championships of 2020 will still feature the same teams as favourites. The standout candidates at the time of writing are France, Spain, Germany, Netherlands and Portugal, with a handful of other countries such as Belgium England, Croatia and Italy retaining an outside chance.
Reigning World Champions France must surely enter as favourites according to Euro 2020 odds, and indeed they do with most bookmakers. The team is blessed with an array of talent which is the envy of almost every other nation in world football: Kylian Mbappé is undoubtedly the jewel in the crown too. France showed by winning the 2018 Word Cup that it is a side who performs when it matters most, so lacklustre performances in the Nations League competition shouldn't be taken too seriously.
One team whose Nations League performances should be noted, however, is the Netherlands, who were unlucky to miss out to Portugal in the final of that competition. Holland secured their passage to those finals by overcoming both France and Germany – an incredibly difficult path to travel - and the then beat England in the semi-finals. A young team based around the exciting young Ajax side which has taken Europe by storm in 2018/19, Holland promise to be competing on similar levels which saw the country win the competition back in 1988.
Germany and Spain are perennial favourites for these competitions, and although perhaps not operating at the levels of previous years, still boast a batch of experienced players who know how to play knockout football as well as anyone.
That leaves, Portugal, the reigning European Champions and winners of the first ever Nations League. Blessed with the talents of one Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese deserve their prominence among the bookmakers as one of the favourites for the competition.
European Championship History
The European Championships has been the premier international tournament for European countries since it was first played back in France in 1960, founded by Uefa in 1958. That particular tournament pays no resemblance to the current format, featuring only four countries. The Soviet Union defeated Yugoslavia in the final, proving that particular tournament's place in the confines of history, as these two countries do not even exist anymore.
The tournament has grown over the years, and in the 2000, 2008 and 2012 formats, the hosting duties were shared between two counties each time. This process of sharing hosting responsibilities has been taken to a new level with the 2020 tournament, however, as the competition will be played across multiple countries for the first time.
Historically, the most successful counties in terms of Euro wins has been Germany and Spain, each with three titles. France have two titles, while another seven countries have claimed solitary titles. That historical success informs European Championship betting off today too, as those same dominant countries remain among the favourites for the upcoming tournament.