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bet365 Euro 2024 Preview and Tips

3 minute read

Euro 2024, the 17th renewal of football’s second most important nation’s tournament, kicks off on Saturday morning Australian time with hosts Germany taking on a resurgent Scotland.

EURO 2024.
EURO 2024. Picture: Racing and Sports

Unlike the World Cup, which has never strayed from the hands of the heavyweights of the game, the Euros are renowned for seismic upsets. Just five European sides have lifted the Jules Rimet Trophy since the World Cup's inception in 1930, yet ten (counting West Germany and Germany as one) countries have won Euro since the Soviet Union collected the inaugural title in 1960.

Czechoslovakia in 1976 and Denmark in 1992 were real bolters, the Danes only landing a place in the finals at the 11th hour after civil unrest saw Yugoslavia withdraw.

However, the shock to end all shocks was Greece's success in 2004, quoted 250-1 chances at the start of the tournament.

Portugal and The Netherlands, who along with Croatia are probably the best sides not to win a World Cup, have also tasted victory at the Euros.

So, when assessing the chances, it is dangerous to put a line too firmly through anyone. The format sees 16 of the 24 entrants progress to the knock-out stage, giving 2/3rds of the teams attending the tournament a crack at glory.

Here's how each group shapes up, with some recommended futures wagers at the end. Once the final 16 is sorted out and the knock-out phase commences on 30 June (AEST), we'll assess our investments and perhaps go again.  

GROUP A

Germany           

Scotland            

Hungary             

Switzerland

Hosts Germany are favoured to win this group, a reasonably kind one compared to some. Recent results by their standards in the big tournaments have been abysmal, so redemption on home soil under young manager Julian Nagelsmann is keenly anticipated. Veteran Toni Kroos returns to the international stage, joining other veterans Muller, Nauer, and Gundogan. The younger members of the squad hold the key through; in particular Musiala and Wirtz. If they blossom, the three-time champions can go a long way.

Scotland and Hungary are emerging from decades in the wilderness with renewed hopes. The Scots' 2-0 win over Spain in qualifying was a defining moment in their rebirth. Hungary's rise has been a little more gradual – they line up for a third straight Euro finals and their squad is maturing.

Switzerland is unfashionable, yet have a knack of making the knock-out stages.

The bet365 market has the Germans clearly favourites to win the group at $1.33*, with little separating the other three.

GROUP B

Spain                   

Croatia               

Italy                     

Albania

In a format where two sides progress, this group would see one very strong casualty. However, with the four best-performed third-placed sides progressing, there is a good chance Spain, Croatia and Italy will go through unless one of them slips up against Albania.

Nevertheless, the three heavy hitters of the group are not at their peaks. Spain is rebuilding, with around half their squad the veterans of ten of less international matches. Croatia's stars are ageing, and strangely they perform a lot better at World Cups than Euros. Defending champions Italy, with a new manager and new look three years on, boasts a squad rich on players making their mark at club level, but unproven on this stage.

Not too many household names in the Albanian squad, but they did recently go on a run of eight games undefeated including the scalp of the highly regarded Poles.

Spain is the $1.80* favourite with bet365 to win the group, which seems a bit skinny.

GROUP C

Slovenia             

Denmark           

Serbia         

England

After 58 years without a title, England has its best chance to break the drought with squad bursting with young talent. The outright market with bet365 has them favourites at $4.50* - can they cope with that, and the incredible weight of public expectation back home? If you like backing horses that generally run well but haven't won for 25 odd starts, this is the team for you.

The reaction to a 1-0 loss to Iceland at Wembley last week has been knee-jerk; don't forget the Three Lions lost 4-0 to Hungary shortly before a strong 2022 World Cup campaign. Their Achilles heel might be the back four, with Maguire a big loss on the eve.

This is not a strong group, with Denmark (always resilient) the obvious danger and Serbia (strong up front, perhaps defensively frail) to a lesser extent. If Southgate's squad show any cracks at this stage, the overall outlook isn't bright.

Understandably, bet365 has England very short to win the group at $1.40*.

GROUP D

Poland                

The Netherlands            

Austria                

France

The second strongest group of the six in my view.

Tournament second favourite France has all the right ingredients to add this to their 2000 title. Mbappe will be in a great frame of mind after his recent transfer to Real Madrid. He is favourite in the bet365 top goal scorer market at $5.50* on the strength of his feats in Qatar 18 months ago, including a hat-trick in the final.

He is ably supported by an excellent mix of youth (Barcola, Zaire-Emery, Saliba, Camavinga) and experience (Giroud, Griezmann, Kante). Add to that the wiles of Didier Deschamps in the dugout and it is difficult to knock the credentials of Les Blues, still licking their wounds after going so close in the last World Cup.

The Netherlands boast enough stars to launch a serious challenge to the French in this group, but the loss of De Jong is massive. Expect them to be rock-solid from the back, but their ability to score goals freely is questionable.

Austria and Poland both hover around the mid 20's in world rankings and have the capacity to upset the two big guns on their day.

There might be a few draws in this group for those looking for plays in the $3.50 range during the first phase of the tournament.

GROUP E

Belgium

Slovakia

Romania

Ukraine

Many of the Belgian golden era squad are gone now, or in their twilight. However, there is a new wave emerging from this remarkable nation of just 11.5 million – Doku, Debast, Bakayoko to name a few.

This may be the last time we see De Bruyne at his best on the international stage. He will be desperate to finally land a big prize after a dozen or so years of promises unfulfilled. Lukaku is another who needs to make his mark now … or never.

The Belgians should justify their quote of $1.44* with bet 365 to win the group.

It was a tough road to the finals for Ukraine who have been unable to play at home since the war began. They have a lot to play for, and aren't without a touch of class, particularly in the shape of La Liga top scorer Dovbyk. They should get through this stage.  

Little separates the other pair, who will see getting to the Round of 16 as a major achievement.

GROUP F

Turkey

Georgia

Portugal

Czech Republic

It seems like this line has been rolled out a lot, but surely this is Ronaldo's last appearance on the international stage.

Portugal is at $1.44 to win this group, with the Czechs the logical danger. Former Belgian manager Roberto Martinez is now in charge, piloting a side dripping with talent, many of whom are excelling in the toughest test of all, the English Premier League. They went undefeated through the qualifying phase and can go very deep into this tournament.

Along with Portugal, the Czechs are past Euro winners and they bring good recent form with them. A relatively young side, led by the experienced Tomas Soucek, they will no doubt be better for this hit-out and might be ones to watch in North America in a couple of years.

Turkey headed their qualifying group and have caused a few surprises in this competition before, albeit a generation ago. With a couple of key players pulling out they will do well to get to the final 16.

Georgia appears in the Euros for the first time and are the clear fourth pick in the group.

SUGGESTED WAGERS

France to win outright: 5 units at $5.00* with bet365

Portugal to win outright: 3 units at $8.00* with bet365

Jamal Musiala to score three or more goals during the tournament: 5 units at $5.00* with bet365

*Odds correct at 4.25pm 11 June 2024.


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