With the Covid-19 vaccines on their way there is real hope that all walks of society can get back to normality by mid-2021. That would be just in time for what could be a spectacular European Championship, where Portugal will attempt to defend the crown they won in 2016 in France.
The one-year delayed Euros will be staged at a variety of venues all over the continent, and the fact it will likely be the first major international tournament which fans can attend since the outbreak of the pandemic will only add to the excitement and buzz around the event. That is even before we talk about the mouth-watering clashes in store, none more so than in Group F, Portugal’s section and an authentic “group of death”.
The online sports betting industry is one of the few sectors that has managed to continue unabated in the atypical year that is 2020, although a shift of betters to popular gaming services such as Frank Casino Portugal benefited from the temporary absence of real sports events.
But sports gamblers will have a feast of football matches to wager on next summer. We pick out five games that could bring excellent returns.
Hungary v Portugal, Budapest, 15 June 2021
These two nations produced a memorable match at Euro 2016 which finished in a 3-3 draw in Lyon. This time round a rapidly improving Hungary side will have home advantage and given that their next two Group F matches will be against France and Germany, the Magyars will be desperate to get at least a point from the game. On the one hand Portugal usually start tournaments slowly (Euro 2016 a case in point), but on the other hand the Seleção tend to thrive when playing opposition that is willing to attack them. This has all the makings of another goal-laden classic.
Germany v France, Munich, 15 June 2021
France are World Champions. Germany are in a state of turmoil after the recent shock 6-0 defeat against Spain. But Germany are at home and despite their current problems are always one of the favourites going into any tournament, be it a Euro or a World Cup. A very difficult match to call, which should make for good odds available and excellent potential for big winnings for those who predict the correct outcome.
Belgium v Russia, Saint Petersburg, 12 June 2021
Belgium have been widely recognised as one of the most talented football nations in the world over the past decade, yet have nothing to show for it in terms of silverware or even appearances in any finals in the major tournaments. With talisman Kevin De Bruyne at his peak, is this the competition where the Belgians finally realise their potential? They have been handed a tricky start, playing against Russia in Saint Petersburg. The home team will be hoping to draw on the positive experience of hosting the 2018 World Cup when they reached the quarter-finals before losing out in a penalty shootout to eventual finalists Croatia.
England v Scotland, London, 18 June 2021
Scotland have qualified for a major tournament for the first time since 1998, and have timed their return perfectly given that Glasgow is one of the host cities and Hampden Park will be the venue for their 1st and 3rd Group D matches. However, it is the game in between that really captures the imagination, as the Scots travel south to face their oldest and most bitter rivals England on matchday two. Although England have the more talented players, matches between these two nations are always fiercely fought encounters, making for an extremely unpredictable score-line.
Portugal v France, Budapest, 23 June 2021
Depending on previous results in Group F, this match could be an all-or-nothing encounter with only the winner progressing to the knockout stages of the tournament. That points to a tense encounter in the Hungarian capital, where World Champions France will no doubt begin as favourites in most people’s eyes, but they were also big favourites in the Euro 2016 final and we all know what happened in Paris on 10 July 2016. Another possibility to be factored in if you bet on this match is the possibility that a draw could suit both teams just fine. Food for thought.