Joe Townsend from Sporting Life has crunched the numbers and listened to his gut to put up his value pick for Euro 2020 which will, of course, take place in 2021 because of you know what. Why? I hear you ask. Well, let Joe explain.
We don’t yet know for sure what form Euro 2020 it will take in terms of host cities, but for the moment Wembley is set to be the centrepiece of the tournament as it’s slated to stage both the semi-finals and the final itself. England will also play all three of their group games at the national stadium. Reach the final and they will have played five of their seven matches on home soil; quite the advantage.
Undoubtedly that is a strong factor in the Three Lions being as short as 11/2 to lift the trophy, with some bookies pricing them as joint-favourites alongside the world’s No.1 ranked side Belgium. We mustn’t do Gareth Southgate’s team a disservice, they reached the last four of both the 2018 World Cup and inaugural Nations League a year later, and have some fantastic players, but there is no value in backing them.
Take a look at the betting for the Euro 2020 winner and all the usual suspects are towards the top of the list. Before there is a jump to 33/1 shot Croatia you’ll find defending champions PORTUGAL at a price that shouldn’t be sniffed at and can be taken each-way at 1/2 odds to reach the final.
I must warn you that they are in the ‘group of death’ alongside France and Germany, which goes a long way to explaining that price. But it’s folly to consider the Germans to be anything like as strong as they once were, with their recent record-breaking 6-0 defeat by Spain an indication of just how far Joachim Low’s men have fallen. The case for Portugal is a good one; Germany’s odds don’t offer value.
When Fernando Santos’ side upset host nation France to win their first major tournament in 2016 it was a shock, a triumph largely built upon the talismanic virtues of Cristiano Ronaldo. They are a much, much better team now.
Their fifth-position in the world rankings, one spot below England, is hugely misleading and almost entirely a consequence of one result. Portugal dominated Uruguay in the last 16 of the World Cup but were defeated thanks to an Edinson Cavani brace – the lack of a major tournament since has meant the rankings are completely outdated.
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Portugal won the Nations League in 2019 and although they won’t defend their crown at the Finals later this year they still won four and drew one of their six group games, it just so happened that Group C also contained world champions France.
Should you need any more persuasion then I’ll run you through some of the key men that will be tasked with defending the trophy for Portugal this summer: Ruben Dias, Bruno Fernandes, Joao Felix, Diogo Jota, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Just shy of £400m of talent, and I’ve only named five players. At the prices, Portugal are the team to get behind in 2021.
My football tips for 2021 best bet: Portugal to win Euro 2020(1)
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