In just under 1 months time, on June 10th, the Euro 2016 finals start and it should be a decent tournament. It has a newly expanded format with 24 teams and that’s a big jump as previously there were just 16 and back when Demark won it in 1992 just 8 teams participated. This makes some of the stats from the past tournaments less valuable. The last 8 tournaments and then winners and top goalscorers are shown below.
|Year||Winner||Runner-up||Losing semi-finalists||Top Goalscorer||Team pos|
|1988||Netherlands||Soviet Union||Italy/West Germany||Van Basten (5)||Won|
|1992||Denmark||Germany||Netherlands/Sweden||Larsen/Riedle/Bergkamp/Brolin (3)||3 x SF/1 Loser|
|1996||Germany||Czech Republic||England/France||Shearer (5)||SF|
|2004||Greece||Portugal||Czech Republic/Netherlands||Baros (5)||SF|
There have been a couple of shocks in this tournament with Greece and Denmark winning and also the Czech Republic, the Soviet Union and Portugal have made the final. The outrights market is headed by France and Germany, who are both priced 7/2 and whilst they both have strong claims for the title there are 4 knockout matches to overcome to win. Spain at 11/2 are interesting and after that plenty have decent e/w prices. Those outrights will be revisited before the tournament starts.
A market that often appeals in these tournaments in the top goalscorer market. All the top goalscorers are shown in the table above and Euro 2012 is worth ignoring slightly as 6 players shared the top prize and with a measly total of just 3 goals. With the expanded tournament this time round and a fair few weaker teams in the mix the top goalscorer is probably going to need 5 or 6 goals to win it. In 1984 and 1988 the goalscorer came from the winning team but since then Villa in 2008 and Torres in 2012, both with Spain, are the only two players to win the tournament and top goalscorer honours.
Lewandowski was top goalscorer in qualifying with 13 goals, followed by Ibranhimovic with 11 and then Muller with 9 but qualifying goals have not historically translated into tournament goals. Muller and Ronaldo are favourites at 8/1 and are followed by Griezmann (12/1) and Lewandowski (16/1).
It’s hard to know who will start for some teams and this is reflected in the prices. France have Griezmann, Martial and Lacazette in the top 15 players and Spain have Costa, Morata and Alcacer between 25 and 33/1. I didn’t think Torres would even be considered to have a chance of going to the Euros but he has finished the season well and people in Spain are bringing up his name.
It’s worth looking at the last few top scorers and see who they scored their goals against.
Villa (2008) – Russia (3) and Sweden (1) = 4
Baros (2004) – Latvia (1), Netherlands (1), Germany (1) and Denmark (2) = 5
Kluivert (2000) – Denmark (1), France (1) and Yugoslavia (3) = 5
Milosevic (2000) – Slovenia (2), Norway (1), Spain (1) and Netherlands (1)
Shearer (1996) – Switzerland (1), Scotland (1), Netherlands (2) and Germany (1) = 5
All of the above players scored against some of the easier teams and each player had one match when they scored at least two goals. With the expanded tournament all teams now have at least one easy match. Having said that all games are tricky and teams may score 6 goals in topping a group but unlikely its more than that. The groups are listed below and shows number of goals scored (F) and conceded (A) by each team in qualification.
Group A – France (n/a as hosts), Romania F11 A2, Albania F10 A5, Switzerland F24 A8
France are the favourites here, the host nation and up against Romania, Albania and Switzerland which is why Griezmann is such short odds and if he is the penalty taker for France his price of 12/1 is probably fair. Romania were very tight at the back in qualifying especially away from home so don’t expect many goals against them.
Group B – England F31 A3, Russia F21 A5, Wales F11 A4 and Slovakia F17 A8
Harry Kane could get a few goals here and any Wales goals are likely to come from Bale. He is 66/1 with some bookmakers and he has scored in big games for Madrid this season and could easily get 3 or 4 in the group. Russia have Artyom Dzyba who has a goal every other game for Russia and at 80/1 looks worth a speculative e/w bet.
Group C – Germany F24 A9, Ukraine F14 A4, Poland F33 A10 and Northern Ireland F16 A8
I suspect people will be looking at Northern Ireland to leak some goals and they let in 8 goals during qualifying. However, Poland let in 10 and Germany 9 and of sides qualifying for the tournament only the Czech Republic, who leaked 13 goals, let in more than those 2. This could be the highest scoring group.
Group D – Spain F23 A3, Czech Republic F19 A14, Turkey F14 A9 and Croatia F20 A5.
Spain let in just 3 goals in qualifying and they will keep the ball and keep scores down. They also have no fixed option upfront so tricky to know who they will go with but this group could have goals aside from them as Czech Republic, mentioned above, let in more than any other finalist in qualifying.
Group E – Belgium F24 A5, Italy F16 A7, Republic of Ireland F19 A7 and Sweden F15 A9
Belgium have lost Kompany but centre-back depth is not a problem for them, although full-backs might be. Italy, you’d expect to tighten up in the finals but with Republic of Ireland and Sweden someone here could get some goals. De Bruyne as 50/1 and has scored some important goals for Manchester City but will Hazard be on the penalties? Belgium are another team that you would want to see how they setup as if De Bruyne plays behind the forward with freedom he could easily get some goals.
Group F – Portugal F11 A5, Iceland F17 A6, Austria F22 A5 and Hungary F11 A9
Ronaldo could easily get a hatrick against one of these teams and come out of the group with 4 goals and a very good chance of the golden boot. You’d expect him to get a few and his price is likely to shorten so it might be better to back him on the exchanges with a few to trade out after the group stages and lock in some profit or a free bet.
Top Goalscorer Choice (e/w at ¼ odds on 4 places) – Artyom Dzyba (currently 80/1), Kevin De Bruyne (currently 40/1) and Gareth Bale (currently 50/1) – All 1/4pt e/w
Better prices can be obtained at some bookmakers but these prices are fair.