Euro 2020 is finally here. After three years of patiently waiting since the World Cup, which France won at a relative canter, we go again as the top nations in Europe battle it out to be crowned champions of the continent. Ed Acteson has mulled over the Rollover 1X2 Pick 8 on Saturday with a view to taking on the estimated £40,000+ jackpot. Check out his Euro 2020 football betting tips and join his Syndicate.
Football betting tips
Belgium vs. Russia
In my bumper Euro 2020 preview, I named Russia as one of the outsiders to watch in this tournament but they get their campaign off to an extremely difficult start against Belgium in the opening leg of this pool.
There are arguments against Belgium in this tournament and in this particular game. The Red Devils are an aging squad and Euro 2020 is thought by many to be their last genuine shot at winning a tournament, unless a significant number of youngsters are brought through in the coming years. Additionally, Russia have home advantage in this match which will be a huge boost to them.
Belgium were perfect in qualification, winning all ten of their games and, while their heavy favouritism here is justified, two draws in their last four games (1-1 draws against Czech Republic and Greece) has convinced with to back the stalemate.
In the Greece game they fielded a weakened team but against Czech Republic were full strength and required a 60th minute equaliser to get anything. With their best player, Kevin de Bruyne, a doubt due to his recovery from an acute nose bone fracture and a left orbital fracture, I want some additional coverage.
Selections: Belgium, Draw
England vs. Croatia
The first of three extremely tricky games which I want maximum coverage in. England and Croatia meet in a second consecutive international tournament, with the Croats having knocked England out of the World Cup at the semi-final stage.
The English come into Euro 2020 as second favourites, just behind France. Although they have a wealth of brilliant attacking players, their defensive options are limited compared to the French and one can only assume that home advantage has massively impacted their price which seems short.
The good news is that they arrive at this game on the back of a six match winning streak. The bad news is that Austria and Poland were the toughest games in that run and both saw Gareth Southgate’s side labour to an insipid single goal victory.
With huge pressure on their shoulders, England are up against it versus a talented Croatia side that still boasts many huge stars. Sure, their key players like Luka Modric are now comfortably the wrong side of 30 but they still have plenty of talent like Mateo Kovacic and Ante Rebic who have the legs to make a difference.
There is also a question of motivation in this group, with the winners facing a nightmare second round tie against the runners-up of the group of death, almost certainly one of France, Germany or Portugal. Gareth Southgate deliberately fielded a weakened team in order to finish second and secure an easier route in their World Cup group and, whilst there’s no suggestion he would do the same in the opening match of a tournament, I just have a funny feeling about this one.
Selections: England, Draw, Croatia
Netherlands vs. Ukraine
This is a game with upset written all over it. In Frank de Boer, the Netherlands have arguably the poorest manager of any major nation at this tournament. They are also missing their best player, Virgil van Dijk, and will be far more vulnerable as a result.
Their form is nothing to write home about either, with de Boer’s side having to come from behind twice to grab a draw with Scotland in a warm up game, as well as being stuffed 4-2 by Turkey in March during World Cup qualifying.
Ukraine are an extremely talented and difficult side to face, who topped a qualification group include Portugal, many people’s fancy for the tournament. It’s unquestionably a leg in which the units will be split and I’m covering all the bases.
Selections: Netherland, Draw, Ukraine
Scotland vs. Czech Republic
The final leg in which I will be covering multiple legs is the key battle between Scotland and the Czech Republic in Group D.
Scotland are currently marginal favourites to finish bottom off the group but there isn’t much in it between them and the Czechs. I actually think Scotland have been overlooked in the build up to this tournament and, with four third-placed teams qualifying for the last 16, both will have an eye on progressing to the next round.
However, England and Croatia are widely regarded as the favourites to finish first and second so Scotland and Czech Republic will view this as an absolutely pivotal game to earn three points, with nothing guaranteed in their subsequent fixtures.
It’s for that reason that I feel as though both will go for it. I’ve covered both sides to win because a draw could potentially eliminate the pair of them, even at this early stage.
Selections: Scotland, Czech Republic
Poland vs. Slovakia
The issue with this pool is that, after a difficult opening few legs, it’s tough to see an upset in the second half of it. The fifth leg is Poland vs. Slovakia and it could very well be a battle between two of the highest profile players in the group, Robert Lewandowski and Milan Skriniar.
Poland will be the aggressors in this game, having topped their qualifying group, against a Slovakia side who had to overcome the playoffs after finishing behind Croatia and Wales.
The Slovaks play a relatively defensive 4-1-4-1 formation which does provide them a platform to attack but you would expect them to be cautious in their opening match against a dangerous Poland. It could be a case of whether the talented Skriniar can keep Lewandowski out for 90 minutes. My money is on no.
Spain vs. Sweden
If Zlatan was available for this tournament, this could be a game in which I might fancy an upset. Spain have had a strange build up with manager Luis Enrique opting not to take the maximum permitted 26 players and choosing to bring nobody from Real Madrid.
That he’d rather have fewer options than take the likes of Sergio Ramos, Isco, Lucas Vasquez, Nacho or Marco Asensio is a decision that will certainly be highlighted by the Madrid press should this tournament prove a failure.
However, they have home advantage in their opening game and this Zlatan-less Sweden side looks ordinary to me. The pair were in the same qualifying group and Spain won the home leg 3-0, drawing the away fixture. I see a similar outcome here.
Hungary vs. Portugal
An open and shut case. Hungary are set to be the whipping boys of a horrifically difficult group and home advantage is really the only argument for them in this game.
Portugal surprisingly underwhelmed in qualification but the reigning champions have an absurd array of talent at their disposal and will surely get three points on the board quickly in this game which will do very little to reduce the pool units.
France vs. Germany
Here we go. The first of three potentially epic clashes in the group, sees World Champions and tournament favourites France travel to Munich to take on fellow heavyweights Germany who, despite a difficult few years, have a long and rich history of major tournament progression.
No side in the tournament can match the French squad’s depth in virtually every position and they could have put together a secondary squad that would probably have been among the tournament favourites. However, with great expectation comes great pressure and I just have this strange feeling that everyone expecting France to win a second consecutive tournament may be in for a surprise.
The French have a propensity to meltdown in tournaments when the pressure is on and I expected the inclusion of Karim Benzema to provide the spark for any possible bonfires this time round. So I was surprised, indeed, to see reports that it was Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud who had apparently fallen out in a warm up game.
This, as well as their home advantage, makes me think that Germany could get a point in this game. Joachim Low will want his last tournament as Germany manager to be one to remember and they will need to take a least a point from their two games against France and Portugal to get out of the group. I reckon a nervy opening game looks ripe for a draw.
You’ve read my football betting tips now join my Syndicate.
You could earn up to £100 (or currency equivalent) in bonus funds by joining Colossus with our New Player Bonus. Click here to join the action.