Euro Cup Contenders
As we draw closer to the EURO 2016, many backers are looking to spot and snipe the value hidden with the twenty-four squads scattered among six groups. The EURO is a unique and innovative tournament, sixteen teams advance to the knockout round which means 66% of the initial qualified field will qualify for further action. With this being established, there is plenty of room for upsets and shockers. In Part II of our futures analysis we will cover the potential sleepers or giant-killers that may shake up the tournament field.
In the first portion of our analysis we will look at the favorites, the apple of many bettors eyes and the traditional choice for many novel takers. Some favorites are offered at a deceptive price, while others offer abundant value. Here is a breakdown of this tournaments contenders and pretenders:
We are not keen on chalk playing, but the Germans are viable favorites for a reason. The 2014 World Cup Champions have emerged as the gold standard of world football. A team known for developing young talent in to a system that is easy to master and learn, the German football machine seems to be an unstoppable juggernaut. Second to hosts France, Germany is offered at lowest odds but even at this price there is substantial value. The Germans play a methodical and efficient form of football that implores the opposition to play a perfect game. Germany is astute on passing and resolute in midfield play which has been a source of despair for any competitor in recent history.
There was a time in recent history where Spain was the most dominant force in the world of football. The Spanish midfield was likened to the second coming of the Armada itself, that same nucleus of personnel returns to Europes biggest stage with all the limelight no longer burning a hole in their cherry red jerseys. Spain had a disappointing 2016 World Cup campaign, much of this was attested to some key players on the Spanish side simply aging out. Spain has since rejuvenated their Starting XI with the addition of Pedro as their striker. The Spanish offense had seemed to take a step back in 2014, but now in 2016 the EURO is the perfect stage for Spain to re-emerge as a world football power.
The Belgians are extraordinarily undervalued in this tournament to almost a sickening degree. To the trained eyes of tactful players, the price on the worlds No. 2 ranked national squad is delightful. Belgium has the talent to not only go far in this tournament but win the hardware outright. Belgiums attack is anchored by Everton striker Romulu Lukaku, a shark in the deep third that knows how to find the back of a net as good as any. Complementing Lukaku, the highly renowned Eden Hazard who was up for all kinds of honors when his club team Chelsea dominated the English Premier League in 2015. These two titans are just the tip of the Belgian iceberg and this team can sink any traditional favorite fast with their searing attack.
Vehemently we will attack the hosts, given the low upside offered with a team sporting sub top-twenty international rankings. The low rankings for France is exceptionally haunting considering the pure talent the French have harvested. Most notably, the French boast the services of Paul Pogba and Dimitri Payet, arguably two of the best midfielders in the world. Despite heightened expectations both this tournament and in many tournaments past, combined with world-class quality and playing the role of host, Frances chemistry is extremely volatile which makes them a very risky play. While France may have home support, they have never been able to get it right on the biggest stage as of recent because their personnel simply do not play well together.
Another household name in Europe, the English are another famed squad with a propensity for underachievement. We have seen England highly touted in numerous World Cup tournaments, yet they have not found a way to go any further than the Quarterfinals. With the revelation of both Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy, the English may have found solace in acquiring two secret weapons that they hope will catalyze an otherwise sluggish form of football. We are not buying the hype, England is known as a team that cultivates let-downs and until we see this tendency overturned we recommend staying off.
Once again, we have isolated a European pedigree with a reputation that precedes them. Italy has not been relevant on a world stage since their storied World Cup run in 2006. Nevertheless, the name Italy is enough to provoke punters to opt in. Add in what appears to be affable odds and it almost seems to be a must-play. However, we would argue that the familiarity of the public with Italy assesses a hidden premium and they are the New York Knicks of European football, a team that lacks quality offered at odds far lower than they should be.