Euro2020 Previews and Betting Tips, Matchday 1

Euro2020 Match Previews and Betting Tips: Matchday 1

The delayed Euro2020 tournament starts this week with the opening game between Turkey and Italy taking place on Friday. As this is the first major football tournament for three years, we are as excited as you are for this one. It’s tough to call a winner! Can the holders Portugal surprise us again by becoming only the second side to retain the title? Will the French justify their favourites tag? Can the Three Lions end nearly sixty years of hurt? Will the Germans win a penalty shootout?

Join us as we preview all the games from matchday 1.

Match of the Day

England know Croatia well after suffering heartbreak at their hands in the 2018 World Cup. Although England did extract revenge in the Nations League, Three Lions fans will still feel that we owe them for that defeat. Can England make a great start to the campaign with a win at Wembley?

England v Croatia
England Form Guide DWDWD
Croatia Form Guide DLWLW
  • Venue: Wembley
  • Sun 13 Jun, 14:00
  • Referee: TBC
  • Quick Glance OddsH: 33/50 D: 13/5 A: 9/2

About the Game:

The Three Lions have developed better as a team coming into this tournament. Garth Southgate led England to a fourth-place finish in the World Cup and followed it with another outstanding performance in the UEFA Nations League. They enjoy home advantage in the group stages and if they can proceed to the semi-finals and final stages of the competition, these are also hosted at Wembley. A further boost is that 22,500 fans will be on the sidelines as normality slowly returns to the footballing world. The attacking options are plenty, with Raheem Sterling, Marcus Radford, and Jadon Sancho available for selection to cover up the defence that could be their weak link. Harry Maguire’s fitness is a big worry as the defence’s leader, and Liverpool’s captain Jordan Henderson is also not fully firing on all cylinders.

Captain Harry Kane will lead the side attack, having proven himself as a performer on the big stage, winning the golden boot with six goals in the World Cup. The maestro scored twelve of the thirty-seven goals they managed in their qualifiers. The energetic, youthful midfield has the Premier League Player of the season, Phil Foden and Mason Mount, who both had extraordinary campaigns with their clubs. Mount has proven himself as a big team player in the UEFA Champions League-winning season, providing an assist in the final and scoring important goals in their tie against FC Porto.

Bet on England v Croatia at bet365

Croatia is an ageing golden generation that reached the heights of finishing runners up in the World Cup. Ballon dOr winner Luka Modric is the heartbeat of the side involved in everything the team does going forward, with his ageing feet likely to be tested. They have an experienced defensive line solid throughout the World Cup campaign led by former Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren and Domagoj Vida. It is a match that could shine in as they have a good understanding of the pitch and good chemistry that can frustrate England’s talent.

Andrej Kramaric will lead the lines after a successful season netting twenty goals for Bundesliga side Hoffenheim. He has big shoes to fill with Mario Mandzukic, who scored the winner to send Croatia to the finals. A tricky group alongside Scotland and Czech Republic makes this an interesting group with narrow margins that could end in tears if a team has an off day. Ivan Perisic, who just won the Serie A with Inter Milan, is a threat in front of goals with his ability to use both feet. Ante Rebic, who came into the limelight after moving to AC Milan, is another danger man in front of a goal with a devastating pace.

Prediction: An England win.

Rest of the Games

Coming up are our previews and Euro2020 betting tips for all the rest of games on matchday 1.

Turkey v Italy
Turkey Form Guide LLDWL
Italy Form Guide WWLDD
  • Venue: Stadio Olimpico
  • Sun 13 Jun, 14:00
  • Referee: TBC
  • Quick Glance OddsH: 6/1 D: 14/5 A: 11/20

About the Game:

Turkey has all the tools to disappoint the big names in Euro 2020. They could replicate their iconic 2002 World Cup and Euro 2008 performances where they excelled. A successful qualifiers campaign saw them beat the reigning World Champions France 2 – 0 and drew 1 – 1 to steal four precious points despite finishing as the runners up in the group. Senol Gunes’ side beat Netherlands 4 – 2 in the World Cup qualifiers early in the year, showing how strong they have become. Lille Burak Yilmaz spearheads the attack, who led the French side to a surprise Ligue 1 win. Hakan Calhanoglu has been the inspiration for the recent eye-catching performances alongside Cengiz Under, who has a magical left foot cutting in from the right. The Crescent Stars have a solid defence led by Leicester’s Caglar Soyuncu, Juventus Merih Demiral, and Liverpool’s loanee Ozan Kabak that conceded just three goals in ten qualifier games.

Roberto Mancini has to rebuild Rome from its ruins from a shocking canvas of humiliation after missing out on the 2018 World Cup. They are in a 25-game unbeaten run that goes way back to 2018 and a 1 – 0 Nations League defeat at the hands of Portugal. The Azzuris have some exciting young names such as Federico Chiesa, Nico Barella, and Lorenzo Pellegrini, blending well with the experience of Marco Verratti, Jorginho. The old wall of Turin still stands, inspired by veterans Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini. They boast a 100% record in qualification, conceding just four goals. A historical giant in this competition has made it to four previous finals despite losing the first match on each occasion, including a 2 – 1 defeat to Turkey in 2000. The four-time World Cup winners have various goal-scoring threats, with Andrea Belotti leading the way with four while a quartet of players netting three times and six players scoring a brace.

Prediction: Italy to win.

Wales v Switzerland
Wales Form Guide LLDWL
Switzerland Form Guide DLLDW
  • Venue: Baku Olimpiya Stadionu
  • Sat 12 June 14:00
  • Referee: TBC
  • Quick Glance OddsH: 5/2 D: 21/10 A: 6/5

About the Game:

Gareth Bale was the hero leading Wales to the semi-final of the Euro 2016. They are in a low-key group of death alongside Italy, Turkey and Switzerland, who all feel like a possible dark horse. Chris Coleman’s side has the services of experienced Bale, Aaron Ramsey alongside new talents such as Manchester United’s Daniel James which is an exciting prospect. They start the tournament without their head coach Ryan Giggs embroiled in a domestic assault case that could be bad for their morale to start the tournament. They have performed well under Rob Page, who took temporary charge, winning four and drawing one of the last six games, losing just once against World number one Belgium in a World Cup qualifiers game. Wales earned a promotion to the top level of the UEFA Nations League, which shows great improvement in the side. The Dragons will be relying upon individual talent to bail them out if they are to go far in the competition as they did in the previous competition.

Switzerland emerged unbeaten from the group stage behind France last time out, only to be knocked out on penalties in the round of sixteen by Poland. They recorded one win to double their total wins in the competition over thirteen European Championship games. A very talented squad could be equated to a golden generation with superior talents in Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka with loads of experience approaching a century of caps for their national sides. They have been ranked in the world’s top 20 for the last ten years. Shaqiri has been used sparingly by Jürgen Klopp this season which could work perfectly for Vladimir Petkovic going forward while Xhaka provides the cover in the defence. The saving grace for their campaign is they can qualify by being the best third-placed finishers, having avoided relegation from the UEFA Nations League group. A well-organized defence featuring Dortmund’s Manuel Akanji, Borussia Monchengladbach duo of goalkeeper Yann Sommer and centre back Nico Elvedi.

Prediction: Switzerland to win.

Denmark v Finland
Denmark Form Guide LLDWL
Finland Form Guide LLLDD
  • Venue: Parken
  • Sat 12 June 17:00
  • Referee: TBC
  • Quick Glance OddsH: 9/20 D: 16/5 A: 7/1

About the Game:

Apart from Christian Eriksen, the other names don’t stand out in the star power but have proven quality in almost every position. Kasper Schmeichel, whose father was between the goal-posts in their 1992 European triumph for the Danes, will have Andreas Christensen, Simon Kjaer, and Joachim Andersen, who all enjoyed success at club level. Emile Hojberg provides cover in front of the defence gives it a solid, cohesive shape conceding just once. The other end of the pitch would give Kasper Hjulmand a headache, especially with the talisman Eriksen have a tough transitional season in Italy. They didn’t qualify for the Euros and were knocked out of the 2018 World Cup round of sixteen, having scored just twice. Barcelona’s Martin Braithwaite and RB Leipzig’s Yussuf Poulsen will be relied on to provide firepower.

Finland has won just once of the previous twenty-two meetings with Denmark with a very low tally of goals scored in these encounters. Two or fewer goal tally has been achieved in seven of the ten matches. The Finns have become a dominant underdog force in tournaments and surely won’t lack enthusiasm after thirty-one attempts to feature in a European or World Championship. Norwich striker Teemu Puuki marshalled his side promotion back to the Premier League, tallying twenty-six goals and provided four assists this season. He was on fire in the qualifiers scoring ten of their sixteen goals and providing one assist. However, he is in a sprint race to shake an ankle injury to start a chance as the group’s underdogs.

Prediction: Denmark to win.

Belgium v Russia
Belgium Form Guide LLDWL
Russia Form Guide LDLDW
  • Venue: Saint Petersburg Stadium
  • Sat 12 June 20:00
  • Referee: TBC
  • Quick Glance OddsH: 33/50 D: 3/1 A: 15/4

About the Game:

The World number one team is among the favourites to win the tournament. Ten consecutive victories in the qualifiers show how ruthless the Red Devils can be and how dominant they have become as a team. Romelu Lukaku netted twenty-four times to guide Inter Milan to the Serie A triumph alongside PFA Premier League player of the year and assist king Kevin De Bruyne. The return of Eden Hazard from a long spell of injury is a big boost to their attack as they seek to win a first major trophy to complement their FIFA ranking dominance. Youri Tielemans has established himself as one of the most decorated midfielders in the Premier League, scoring a spectacular winner in the FA Cup triumph with Leicester City. Christian Benteke has been on form, scoring in each of the last four games for Crystal Palace. Roberto Martinez has an experienced, reliable defence of former teammate Thomas Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld to provide cover for the best keeper heading into the tournament, Thibaut Courtois.

Two familiar foes having played in the same qualification group where Russia lost both game 3 – 1 and 4 – 1. These two were the only defeats for the side, winning the other eight qualifiers scoring thirty-one goals and conceding just once. Russia reached the quarter-finals of the 2018 World Cup as hosts. The team’s captain Artem Dzyuba scored seven goals in the final three matches, which would be a great determinant in their performances. The maestro is just one goal short of Aleksandr Kerzhakov’s record of thirty goals coming into this tournament, scoring twenty goals in twenty-seven appearances for Zenit. Aleksandr Golovin is one of the worlds most talented playmakers and could have a breakthrough tournament after struggling in his start at Monaco, managing five goals and nine assists this season. They can pull off a qualifiers magic losing only to the World number one and forcing results against Denmark and Finland.

Prediction: A draw.

Austria v North Macedonia
Austria Form Guide LLDWL
North Macedonia Form Guide WDWLD
  • Venue: Arena Nationala
  • Sunday 13 June 17:00
  • Referee: TBC
  • Quick Glance OddsH: 4/7 D: 11/4 A: 11/2

About the Game:

Austria has a shallow history at the Euro competition, never having reached the second round. They have been in just two Euro’s, qualifying for one of them as the tournament hosts. A good performance in this competition will go a long way in their World Cup qualification hopes which they have failed to qualify for since 1998 and have failed to win a single game in Euros in two previous finals. David Alaba can marshal the side into the annuls of Australian football folklore if they can make sufficient progress like the semi-finals of finals of a major competition. They would be confident against an opponent they beat 2 – 1 and 4 – 1 in the qualification stages. They have a productive attacking duo of former West Ham danger man Marko Arnautovic and RB Leipzig’s captain Marcel Sabitzer that head coach Franco Foda can rely on. They have been on fantastic form in the nations league, winning a B-level group ahead of Romania, Northern Ireland, and Norway.

North Macedonia makes a surprise addition to the expanded competition qualify for the competition for the first time as an independent nation. They benefited from UEFA Nations League success to schedule a playoff final with Georgia to earn the bragging rights to compete shoulder to shoulder with Europe’s elites. Thirty-seven-year-old Goran Pandev, a treble winner with Inter Milan, scored arguably the most important goal in the country’s history that will stay in the memory of the supporters for generations to come. Although you can probably write them off from winning the competition, it wouldn’t be a total surprise if they shock a few teams. They beat Germany 2 – 1 in a World Cup qualifier with memorable victories against Slovenia and Israel and a slender defeat against Austria. However, they need an ultimate effort over 270 minutes of the competition to qualify for the next stage. Igor Angelovski has Leeds talent Ezgjan Alioski, and Rayo Vallecano keeper Stole Dimitrievski to add to the experience of disappointing big guns.

Prediction: A draw.

Netherlands v Ukraine
Netherlands Form Guide LLDWL
Ukraine Form Guide DWDWW
  • Venue: Johan Cruijff Arena
  • Sunday 13 July 20:00
  • Referee: TBC
  • Quick Glance OddsH: 3/5 D: 13/5 A: 5/1

About the Game:

The Netherlands have a rich tournament history lifting the Euro 1998 trophy; they have since reached four semi-finals and the World Cup finals three times. The absence of Virgil Van Djik and Donny Van der Beek would be a big blow for this tournament. The 29-year old Liverpool defender did not miss a single match in their title-winning 2019-20 season will be a big miss for the side. Matthijs de Ligt will marshal the defence alongside Nathan Ake, who are equally good defenders and can do the job for Holland. Ronald Koeman, who began a potential rebuilding process, jumped ship when Barcelona came calling, allowing former Ajax, Inter, Crystal Palace and Atlanta boss Frank de Boer to step in. Memphis Depay, Frankie De Jong, and Georginio Wijnaldum provide the magic for the side. They will not be fielding their best team, but they are a force to watch out for as favourites in the group which, on paper, looks fairly easy, which would buy them time to understand each other.

Ukraine enters the tournament with a progressive profile and patiently builds a team over time under legend Andriy Shevchenko. The memories of the Euro 2012 where they lost all three group games without scoring a goal are still vivid. They topped the qualification group stealing four points from the reigning Champions Portugal in an unbeaten campaign of six wins and two draws. Andriy Yarmolenko has the second-highest goal tally after his coach for the Ukraine National team and would be fresh after being sparingly used by the Hammers. Manchester City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko has developed quickly as a professional footballer and will bring the Manchester City winning mentality and ball dominance to the side. Shakhtar’s winger Yevhen Konoplyanka and Dynamo Kyiv midfielder Viktor Tsygankov have had successful seasons for their clubs. A draw against the group favourites would be a good result heading to the other two group games against Austria, and North Macedonia can dominate, making qualification a real possibility for Shevchenko’s side.

Prediction: Netherlands to win.

Scotland v Czech Republic
Scotland Form Guide LLDWL
Czech Republic Form Guide WWWLW
  • Venue: Hampden Park
  • Monday 14 June 14:00
  • Referee: TBC
  • Quick Glance OddsH: 19/10 D: 2/1 A: 81/50

About the Game:

The Tartan Army have had to endure a twenty-three-year wait to feature in a major tournament. Steve Clarke’s side won both UEFA Nations League meetings last term 1 – 0 triumph at Hampden Park and coming from behind to win 2 – 1 in Olomouc. They qualified through the playoffs edging out Serbia and Israel on penalties. They are unbeaten in their last three World Cup qualifiers, with a 2 – 2 draw against Austria, 1 – 1 against Israel, and they beat the Faroe Islands 4 – 0. Clarke has brought resilience and harmony, benefiting from the abundance of Premier League talent in the side. Captain Andrew Robertson, Kieran Tierney, Scott McTominay, Stuart Armstrong, and John McGinn. Che Adams provides the goal threat in front of goals enjoying plentiful supply from the left wing by Tierney and Robertson. McGinn is the current teams leading goal scorer with ten goals, with no other player having more than five goals.

Two World Cup semi-finalist, England and Croatia, are in this group. They topped the group despite losing all games against Scotland. West Ham inspirational midfielder Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal played an integral part in London’s best Premier League campaign. Soucek could venture forward something he did well for his club, scoring ten goals alongside creative midfielder Vladimir Darida. Patrik Shick will lead the Czech Republic to manage nineteen goals in the last two seasons for Bayern Leverkusen. No midfielder has scored more non-penalty goals than Soucek, ranking higher than Bruno Fernandes, De Bruyne and Ikay Gundogan, which should worry oppositions. The maestro scored a hat-trick against Estonia earlier this season despite playing a deeper role. The lack of star power will bring the most of the players, especially in their threat from set-pieces.

Prediction: A draw.

Poland v Slovakia
Japan Form Guide LLDWL
Poland Form Guide WWLWD
  • Venue: Saint Petersburg Stadium
  • Monday 14 June 17:00
  • Referee: TBC
  • Quick Glance OddsH: 4/5 D: 23/10 A: 17/4

About the Game:

Robert Lewandoski will have a career-defining tournament with the Ballon dOr a possible reward if he can lead his side to success. He became Bundesliga record goalscorer with an insane forty-one goals in twenty-nine games. Jerzy Brzeczek was sacked despite having a successful qualification campaign to make Paulo Sousa a surprise package coming into the games. The Portuguese manager experimented with an attacking duo of reigning FIFA World Player of the Year Lewandoski and Napoli’s Arkadiusz Milik, who ended his loan season in Marseille on a high. They suffered a disappointing group-stage exit in the 2018 World Cup in Russia but once again are a part of a very tricky group but can build momentum against the underdogs, Slovakia. Their defence is their strong point featuring Kamil Glik and Southampton’s Jan Bednarek providing cover for Juventus goalie Wojciech Szczesny.

Slovakia has a big talent in Marek Hamsik, who has carried the team on his shoulders. The maestro was destined to be a big name in Europe but overstayed in Napoli, and when the top sides came calling, he opted to ply his trade at IFK Goteborg in Sweden. Twenty years old David Strelec could provide the spark in front of the goal. They ventured on a scenic route through the Nations League playoffs conquering both Northern and the Republic of Ireland to book their spot. They have been in great form, qualifying for a third major tournament since their independence in 1993, commencing their Qatar qualification campaign unbeaten. Their defensive success depends on Inter Milan’s Milan Skiriniar and Parma midfielder Juraj Kucka, the team captain, to cover Newcastle’s goalkeeper Martin Dubravka. However, they have a lot to prove as the underdogs of Poland, Spain, and Sweden.

Prediction: Poland to win.

Spain v Sweden
Senegal Form Guide LLDWL
Colombia Form Guide LWDLL
  • Venue: Estadio de La Cartuja
  • Monday 14 June 20:00
  • Referee: TBC
  • Quick Glance OddsH: 11/25 D: 16/5 A: 6/1

About the Game:

La Roja was unbeaten in the qualifiers, including a 3 – 0 win against Sweden, scoring thirty-one goals and conceding just five goals. Luis Enrique led the side to top their UEFA Nations League group that featured Ukraine, Germany, and Switzerland. A moment of reckoning was the 6 – 0 triumph against Germany where Manchester City star Ferran Torres scored a hat trick. A well-balanced defence features De Gea between the posts, Manchester City duo Aymeric Laporte and Rodri, Chelsea Cesar Azpilicueta and Barcelona’s legend Sergio Bisquets. They are stern favourites to conquer the group despite leaving out all Real Madrid players, including Sergio Ramos and Nacho, Navas, Canales and Martinez. Whether it was his loyalty to his roots as a Barcelona manager or because of their poor season is up for debate. Spain has home advantage in all their group matches, looking up to Alvaro Morata as their star man to provide the goals.

Zlatan Ibrahimović was geared for a return to the Sweden squad after reinventing his career in AC Milan. However, an injury would mean the best talent ever to grace the Sweden national team is missing in action, leaving Janne Andersson to depend on his young talent. They reached the 2018 World Cup quarter-finals without the maestro and stood a better chance working as a unit than depending on a star man. RB Leipzig playmaker Emil Forsberg alongside Sebastian Larsson and new Juventus wonderkid Dejan Kulusevski ignites an exciting Swedes attack. They come into this competition on the back of a disappointing UEFA Nations League that saw them lose five of their six group games. However, they have restored confidence by winning the World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and Kosovo coming into the tournament. Alexander Isak netted seventeen goals for Real Sociedad and will lead the lines, looking to add to his six national goals in the twenty international caps.

Prediction: Spain win.

Hungary v Portugal
Hungary Form Guide LLDWL
Portugal Form Guide WWLDD
  • Venue: Puskas Arena
  • Tuesday 15 June, 17:00
  • Referee: TBC
  • Quick Glance OddsH: 6/1 D: 3/1 A: 1/2

About the Game:

The Magyars have never beaten their opponents in thirteen attempts. They finished fourth in the qualifiers but had a successful playoff campaign winning against Bulgaria and Iceland in this venue. Adam Szalai seems to save his best form for the international stage, while RB Leipzig latest signing, Dominik Szoboszlai, could make a great impression on the big stage. They are in the group of death with a slim chance of going any further than the group stage. A great motivation would be to enjoy their experience of playing against the World Cup winners France, the Euro defending Champions Portugal, and World heavyweight Germany. A good result would be a draw in one of these tough three games that would go a long way in the side’s confidence.

The defending champions head to the tournament with a better squad they won with the Euro 2016. They won the trophy by strong defensive displays but now have to prove themselves by winning by their attacking merits. Fernando Santo will be braver this tournament, boasting one of the best and strongest squads. The attacking midfield of Bruno Fernandes, Bernado Silva, and Joao Felix behind one of the greatest player in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo, is an exciting prospect we hope would deliver some of the best attacking football. Ronaldo was the top scorer in Serie A, and Bruno was the third-best assist provider in the Premier League. Man City defensive duo Joao Cancelo and Ruben Dias were integral in their domestic success, with the latter winning the PWA player of the year. Felix won the La Liga with Atletico Madrid while Andre Silva was a runner up for the Golden Boot at Eintracht Frankfurt.

Prediction: Portugal to win.

France v Germany
France Form Guide LLDWL
Germany Form Guide DLLDW
  • Venue: Fussball Arena Munchen
  • Tuesday 15 June 20:00
  • Referee: TBC
  • Quick Glance OddsH: 8/5 D: 11/5 A: 9/5

About the Game:

The biggest game of the first round of the Euro 2020 games features the reigning World Champions, who lost in the Euro 2016 finals to Portugal as hosts. The group of death could have one big name boarding the plane back home early. The Nations League successful campaign saw Les Blues rise the ranks to second place in the FIFA World ranking. Ngolo Kante is a serious contender for the Ballon d’Or after producing a man of the match performances for Chelsea in big games on the road to winning the UEFA Champions League. Paul Pogba has occasionally produced exceptional performances for his country and is a big vocal talent for Didier Deschamps. The return of Karim Benzema after being ignored for six years raises their attacking credentials alongside Antonio Griezmann and one of the world’s best young talent, Kylian Mbappe. A stable defence led by Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane and whoever he will partner alongside Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez on the wingback providing cover for captain Hugo Lloris.

The Germans have to prove themselves after a poor showing in the World Cup, failing to get past the group stages. A 6 – 0 thumping by Spain in the UEFA Nations League and a 2 – 1 loss to North Macedonia were uninspiring results. However, they are one of the most successful sides in the world, being four-time World Cup winners and three times European winners who have also been runners up three times. Die Mannschaft had a successful qualification campaign ahead of the Netherlands. Experience in Mats Hummels, Toni Kroos, Thomas Mueller, Joshua Kimmich makes them a solid side with Chelsea duo Kai Havertz and Timo Werner and Leroy Sane to provide energetic attacking drive. Manager Joachim Löw will leave the post as national manager after this tournament; he would love to end his spell as head coach by winning this tournament.

Prediction: A draw.

Combi bet of the day: Our Pick*

Game Event Odds Cumulative Odds
Turkey v Italy Italy to win 1/2 1.50
England v Croatia England to win 4/6 2.50
Wales v Switzerland Switzerland to win 23/20 5.37
Netherlands v Ukraine Netherlands to win 3/5 8.60
Scotland v Czech Republic A draw 2/1 25.79

Place a bet on this 5-fold accumulator at bet365

Bookie of the week: Our Pick

Bet365 are our bookie of the week. To find out all you need to know about bet365 you can read our review.

* All our selections are provided for entertainment only and should only be used for informational purposes. Whilst we use our experience and knowledge to help inform you to make a considered bet, we are not responsible for any losses that may arise from actual results being different than predicted.

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Euro 2020: matchday 1

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