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No hiccups thus far during the 2020/21 football season means it is likely the delayed 2020 UEFA European Championship will be going ahead this summer.

The European Championship is due to open on 11th June with the opening game being Turkey vs Italy in Rome, the competition will then conclude 30 days later at Wembley Stadium. Rumours were circulating the web that due to the ongoing scenario with COVID-19 and fears the virus could spread, UEFA was considering one sole country to host the 60th anniversary of the tournament.

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England was being tipped as the host, and as you can expect, the English fans began to name stadiums that would likely be official stadia for the tournament. However, according to reports, the FA and UEFA have stated there are no plans to move the competition to just one country, despite the fact the pandemic will still have some effects during the period of the contest.

As per the original plan, 12 European countries spanning Europe will host the illustrious tournament with Wembley Stadium, England, being the venue for the semi-finals and final, with the trophy-winning fixture, being played on 11th July.

With the tournament having been delayed for 12 months. SkyBet has had the odds for the victorious country out for quite some time.

Below you can see the top five countries predicted to triumph in the summer.

1. England
Odds: 5/1
Group: England, Croatia, Scotland, Czech Republic
Key Player: Harry Kane
My Prediction: Runners-Up

England will be hoping to make amends after a disappointing UEFA Nations League campaign which did not see them progress to the finals. But after reaching the World Cup semi-finals for the third time in 2018, they will be hopeful that they can take that form into the Euros. The idea of playing the final in your home stadium must be something that will drive the team.

If Gareth Southgate can repeat their efforts from Russia, England should be a formidable side and reach their first international final since 1966. There is a possibility they can boast the record of winning both the World Cup and European Championship in their home stadium.

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2. Belgium
Odds: 5/1
Group: Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Russia
Key Player: Kevin De Bruyne
My Prediction: Semi-Finals

Despite finishing third in the 2018 World Cup, Belgium finds itself the number one ranked team in men’s football. Perhaps their consistency; and reaching the second UEFA Nations League finals has led them there. A team full of talent, this team is no longer considered an underdog.

They will undoubtedly have the quality to ease into at least the semi-finals depending on the draw. But cast your minds back – they did fall to Wales in 2016.

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3. France

Odds: 5/1
Group: Hungary, Portugal, France, Germany
Key Player: Kylian Mbappe
My Prediction: Champions

France got to the final of the 2016 competition, two years later lifting the World Cup for the second time. This French team is brimming with talent and depth. The form their players have been in this season should see them qualify from “the group of death”.

Thinking back to how easily they brushed Argentina and Croatia aside three years ago, we may see the French go one step further and claim their third European title.

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4. Germany
Odds: 15/2
Group: Hungary, Portugal, France, Germany
Key Player: Manuel Neuer
My Prediction: Semi-Finals

Since the 2018 World Cup Germany, have not exactly been their best. They exited the World Cup in Russia at the group stages for the first time in their history. Spain battered them 6-0 in the second UEFA Nations League, inflicting more misery on the trophy-laden nation.

However, these humbling years of late for the Germans have made them less predictable and more dangerous. It is likely they will progress
out of the group at the expense of the defending champions Portugal, but the quality to win overall is unknown.

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5. The Netherlands
Odds: 8/1
Group: Netherlands, Ukraine, Austria, North Macedonia
Key Player: Georginio Wijnaldum
My Prediction: Quarter Finals

Having not qualified for a major tournament since the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, in which they finished third, The Netherlands will be hoping to use the Euros as a ‘we’re still here, we can still compete’ message to the rest of Europe. Expectations are understandably low for the Dutch, which will be ideal for them. With no pressure, they can play with more freedom.

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There are plenty of other spectacular nations to have qualified that deserve a shoutout but, these stand-out few will be the ones to watch.

Even though the European Championship is to take place behind closed doors, for many fans and players alike, the contest going ahead is a beacon of hope and a sign of a return to normality. It is to be quite a competition. The sooner June arrives, this festival of European football can get underway.

*Odds are accurate as of publishing*

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April 2024