With the expansion of the European Championships to 24 teams you would’ve imagined that might bring up more exciting games and plenty of goals. And while you’d be right (69 goals in this year’s group stages is a record for the Euros), the action hasn’t exactly been enthralling.
Of the 36 matches so far in the tournament, 23 have seen only one side score. While it’s not the first time that over half the games have seen blanks, it’s never been at that kind of level
The biggest culprits? We’re looking at you Group C. Every single game in the ‘Group of Death’ containing Germany, Poland, Ukraine and Northern Ireland saw only one team find the net. Six games, three 1-0’s, a pair of 2-0’s and a goal less draw.
The average goal per game in the group stages has never been as low as it is in 2016 (1.91 goals per game).
Stopping the rot?
But now we’ve got rid of some of the ‘weaker teams’ like Ukraine, Romania and er, Sweden and Austria, the standard will surely go up? Well, history again isn’t on the side of the goal gluttons.
Over half of the knockout matches in the last five European Championships have seen one team fail to score (57%). 12 of the 20 quarter finals ended with a clean sheet for the winner as did half of the semi finals.
And with goal machines like Northern Ireland, Ireland and Poland in the last 16 (all with just two goals in three games) that record could continue. Now, you do have some hotshot strikers in matches like Spain vs Italy and England vs Iceland – but with some top defences as well.
Which makes it no surprise at all that Paddy Power have gone for short odds on every last 16 tie for both teams not to score:
Italy vs Spain – BTTS No –
England vs Iceland – BTTS No –
Switzerland vs Poland – BTTS No –
France vs Ireland – BTTS No –
Germany vs Slovakia – BTTS No –
Hungary vs Belgium – BTTS No –
Croatia vs Portugal – BTTS No –
Wales vs N.Ireland – BTTS No –
So tread carefully if you fancy a flutter on both teams finding the net. We do know one thing about the last 16 though. All of the British Isles are there. Oh. Ooops. Sorry Scotland. But it’s fine. At least you’ll have a chance at the next Euros. Unlike some…