The finals of UEFA Euro 2020 are still months away, but the qualifiers are almost over now. As a handful of teams prepare to face their final few matches in the qualifiers, it is time to take a look at some of the important highlights in recent times, as well as an overview of things to come next year, when the tournament kicks off in July.
England Confirmed their Spot in the Euro 2020 Finals with a Huge Win
On Thursday 14th November 2019, England made history on many accounts. First and foremost, the game against Montenegro was the England national football team’s 1,000th international match. The occasion was made all the more special when the same game also sealed the deal for England by firmly placing them in the finals of the UEFA Euro 2020, after a 7 – 0 win over Montenegro.
Aside from the whitewash win and the guarantee for qualification in the Euro 2020 Finals, the 1,000th game also saw captain Harry Kane score a hat trick in the first half, which boosted him up by a few ranks on the list of England’s highest goal scorers. Unless Kosovo manages to pull off an immense upset somehow, England will finish as the leader of Group A, with a massive goal difference that is already at a ridiculous 27!
The Defending Champions Face an Elimination Match (Almost)
It is somewhat uncommon for defending champions to not qualify for the finals in this tournament, but Portugal is staring down a “preferably win” match ahead, against Luxembourg.
In spite of Luxembourg not being in a position to qualify themselves, they can spoil the defending champion’s party by causing an upset.
Serbia, on the other hand, will need to beat Ukraine to qualify, in addition to Portugal losing their match against Luxembourg. Given the form that Ukraine is in right now with 19 points and securely sitting with a (Q) beside their name on the Group B table, that doesn’t look very likely. Therefore, it is not exactly a must-win match for Portugal, but they should most definitely be treating it as one.
The UEFA EURO 2020 Will be Hosted by Multiple Countries This Year
For the first time ever, the football tournament is not being held by just one or two nations – the responsibilities are being shared by multiple football playing nations within Europe.
Come to think of it, it does make perfect sense to lift the economic burden from the shoulders of just one or two nations, and give true meaning to the event’s name, Euro.
The cities which will host the massive event during the entirety of the tournament include Amsterdam, Budapest, Bilbao, Bucharest, Baku, Copenhagen, Rome, St Petersburg, Glasgow, Munich, Dublin and, of course, London. Wembley Stadium in London will be hosting the two semi-finals, as well as the final of UEFA Euro 2020.
Bets are Already On the Way
A tense match is always a little more thrilling for fans if there’s a bit of money riding on the matches, and bets on the final Euro 2020 qualifiers are open on NetBet right now.
Even if the qualifiers are over by the time you get to read this section of the overview, rest assured that they have a long list of matches and games for fans and sports enthusiasts to bet on, across all fields of sports. Whether you are into football, American football, car/bike racing, horse racing, boxing or even table tennis for that matter, NetBet probably has a game for you to try your luck out on.
Iceland Fails to Qualify, Despite a Valiant Effort
Although Iceland has not been significant in the scene of international football for too long, they have already impressed the footballing world with their strength, speed, and resilience. The Euro qualifiers saw Iceland barely miss a spot in the finals, as Turkey sealed their own position by scoring a 0 – 0 draw against them and qualifying in the process.
While Turkey and France have already qualified from Group H, Iceland still deserves some commendation for their valiant efforts, which got them to 16 points and a positive goal difference, significantly ahead of Albania, Andorra, and Moldova.
Is There a Favourite Yet?
A favourite for winning the Euro Cup has been particularly hard to predict with accuracy in the last 20 years, simply because the standard of European football has risen rapidly, eclipsing even the South American nations that dominated the international scene a few decades ago. As a matter of fact, once the finals kick-off, it would be hard to predict who is going to win any of the matches.
Nevertheless, those that understand the game well enough will have an idea in each game, as well as a favourite of their own in the tournament, just like every year. Generally speaking, though, the French team of World Champions are by far the most favourite team to win Euro 2020.
If France does manage to pull it off, it would be their second time in 20-years, as they also won the World Cup 1998 and the Consequent Euro 2000 back then. Bets are high on history repeating itself next year.
Next off, all bets point towards Harry Kane’s team of young Brits. If their latest performance in the qualifiers, and especially against Montenegro, is anything to take a hint from, France may have their work cut out for them if they have to face the Three Lions at any point during the tournament. It would also be a historic win for England as they have not won the European Cup to date.
Other than these two obvious favourites, one should never underestimate Germany of course! Also, Belgium seems to be in the best form ever, which could potentially turn into their first ever win at the final of the European Cup.
Upsets are not uncommon in big tournaments, and as far as unlikely teams winning the tournament goes, UEFA Euro definitely takes the crown there. Perhaps that’s part of what makes this event so interesting for anyone who loves football. Experts hold that this is primarily because the difference between the various competing European teams is so little in a tournament as big as this, an upset is always just a goal or a save away.