Updated: Jun 10
The Euros kick off Friday when Italy faces Turkey in what should be the beginning of an electric month of football. Here I will give my predictions for each group and some futures bets that look intriguing.
Group A- Includes Italy, Switzerland, Turkey and Wales. The obvious favorite here is Italy but Turkey and Switzerland are not bad teams by any means as Switzerland has a great track record of getting out of group stages and Turkey has had some good results versus the likes of the Netherlands and Germany. Wales is another story, they had a Cinderella run to the semis the last time this tournament was played, but this time around, I'd be shocked if they win a game in the group stage. I think Italy wins the group without losing a game, with Turkey second, Switzerland third but qualifying for the knockout stage and Wales to be bounced early.
Group B- Headlined by Belgium's star studded roster including the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku, Group B is very solid. Denmark is an extremely underrated team that has been in excellent form heading into the Euro’s and they play all their groups stage games at home, which makes them an enticing bet to win the group. However, I think Belgium still gets the job done. As solid as Russia is, I think they lose to both Belgium and Denmark, which makes their odds of advancing to the knockout stage with only 3 points very unlikely. Finland will be the punching bag of this group. I think Belgium and Denmark tie with 7 points, but Belgium gets first because of the point differential, Russia in third and Finland in fourth.
Group C- Probably the weakest group, Netherlands is the heavy favorite to win the group and rightfully so, however it would not shock me if they dropped points versus Ukraine or Austria. I see Ukraine getting second with a win versus North Macedonia and draws versus Austria and Netherlands. I see Austria in third but not a pretty third, they go winless and only earn 2 points. North Macedonia would be an amazing story if they somehow qualify for the knockout stage, but it probably won’t happen. However, I do have them drawing Austria and even that would be considered an upset. Nonetheless, no one from this group is getting very far in the knockout stage.
Group D- England seeks revenge for their 2018 World Cup semifinal loss to Croatia and I think they will. This simply is not the same Croatia team as many of their key players such as Mario Mandzukic and Ivan Rakitic have retired from international play and England has only gotten stronger. The Czech Republic has some solid players such as Antonin Barak but they have looked dreadful as of late so it would be surprising to see them qualify for the next round. Scotland is the underdog of this group but do not count them out as they play extremely tough and could take points away from England or Croatia, it would not surprise me to see them qualify for the round of 16. England wins the group with ease, followed by Croatia, Scotland and Czech finishing last.
Group E- Might as well call group E the injury group. Led by a Spain team that is without two of their top players and veterans in Sergio Ramos and Sergio Busquets, Group E may be more competitive than some think. Sweden also has injury problems as Zlatan Ibrahimovic will miss the tournament with a knee issue. All these injuries would seem to open the door for a team like Poland to make a run. But Poland has looked bad as of late as they drew Iceland in their previous fixture. Slovakia is simply bad. I still think Spain is good enough to win the group, but they won’t dominate like many expect. Spain wins the group followed by Poland, Sweden and Slovakia. Sweden qualifies for the knockout stage despite finishing third.
Group F- Called group F because all the teams probably let out a nice f- bomb after seeing they were in this group. Led by 2018 World Cup champs France, 2016 Euro champs, Portugal and 2014 World Cup winners, Germany, there is really no way to predict how this one will go, but I’ll try my best. France is the best team in the world, and I think everyone agrees. Adding Kareem Benzema only strengthens their case. I think they win Group F, but they drop points versus Portugal. I like Germany finishing second as they get all their games at home and it is Joachim Low’s last Euros as Germany coach and he and his squad will be eager to do well. Portugal is a weird team as they have a large mix of young and veteran players, so I don’t think their chemistry will be as sharp as Fra