The off-season has not lasted long for European players around the world with the much-hyped Euro 2016 soccer tournament kicking off on Saturday morning (AEST). UBET has a host of markets available throughout the 51-match event that takes place over the course of four weeks, including the outright winner where France ($4), Germany ($4.50), Spain ($5.50) and England ($9) are the only countries at single digit odds prior to kick-off in the first match.
The opening encounter takes place in a northern suburb of Paris, where locals are expected to flood through the gates of Stade de France when France hosts Romania at 5:00am on Saturday morning (AEST).
The feature matches of the tournament aside from the first game and the Final include a June 19 match between Switzerland and the host nation, old enemies England up against Wales on June 16, Spain up against the Czech Republic, Belgium taking on Italy, both on June 13 and Portugal playing Austria on June 18.
Les Bleus opened as the favourites for Euro 2016 with UBET and the fact coach Didier Deschamps has strike power across the park at his disposal justifies their narrow favouritism ahead of Germany. France generally performs in tournaments that are held on home turf, winning the 1998 World Cup when Zinadine Zidane scored a brace of goals and the 1984 Euro as well.
The Germans are a notoriously strong soccer nation, winning the last World Cup in Brazil two years ago and Thomas Müller, Mario Gómez and Mesut Özil are coach Joachim Löw’s biggest scoring threats after combining beautifully in the World Cup win of 2014. That champion team has undergone some change since the World Cup win but the crux of the playing group remains.
Spain is the defending champion and is the third favourite in the futures market to win Euro 2016 behind rivals France and Germany. On the back of their 2014 World Cup capitulation, Vicente del Bosque’s Spanish side is expected to progress deep in the tournament on the back of Cesc Fabregas, Andres Iniesta and David Silva.
The England team is notoriously poor in big soccer events. However Roy Hodgson’s men enter Euro 2016 with form on the board. They accounted for the Socceroos in a warm-up friendly a few weeks before this tournament and after that win backed it up with a win against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal. Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy make England one of the most potent attacking threats of any team competing for glory.
The World Number 2 side is also the highest ranked European side in Euro 2016 and UBET is offering generous odds for the Red Devils to lift the Euro trophy in July. Despite underwhelming recent performances, Marc Wilmots’s chargers have strike across the park including Premier League guns in Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard as well as Christian Benteke, Divock Origi and Michy Batshuayi.
The Italians would be pretty unrealistic in expecting to go one step further than last time by winning this year’s tournament and coach Antonio Conte has even conceded a lack of talent coming through the ranks of the proud soccer nation. However The Azzurri still boast the likes of Gianluigi Buffon, Matteo Darmian, Alessandro Florenzi and Daniele De Rossi.
Portugal’s hopes of success have rested on the shoulders of arguably world’s best player for a number of years; and this time around is no different with superstar Cristiano Ronaldo in brilliant form. Obviously one player can’t win the Euro on his own and the goal-scoring machine is well supported by players like Luis Nani, Bernardo Silva and Fábio Coentrão.
German superstar Müller began as favourite with UBET to find the back of the net the most times. He opened as the $8 favourite and is one of just two players in single figures before the tournament began. Müller has scored 32 goals in his 71 matches for Germany.
Arguably the world’s best player is the other player listed in single figures to score the most goals in this tournament with UBET. Ronaldo was in sparkling form for Real Madrid last season and often carries that sort of form into international matches. He has scored 58 goals in 126 matches for Portugal.
25-year- old Frenchman Greizmann has managed to score seven goals in his 27 matches for his country and UBET originally installed the striker as the third favourite ($11) prior to the tournament getting underway. France’s chances of winning are considered to be really good and with Greizmann firing, that will only enhance their prospects.
Tottenham sensation Harry Kane started as the most favoured Englishman to score most goals with UBET at the juicy odds of $15, ahead of countrymen Jamie Vardy ($29) and Wayne Rooney ($41). Kane was in sensational form for his Premier League club last season and already has five goals in 12 international matches.
Gómez is playing in an excellent German team and with support from two of the best passers in world soccer; Müller and Özil, he was first listed as a $26 chance to score most times in Euro 2016. In Gómez’s 64 international matches for Germany, he has troubled the scorers 27 times.
Poland has limited scoring threats but Robert Lewandoski is the exception to the rule with UBET opening with him at $34 for most goals. The Bayern Munich striker has scored 47 goals in just 63 matches for the flagship Bundesliga club and in his 76 matches at international level; Lewandoski has found the back of the net on 34 occasions.