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Euro 2020 / 2021 Preview and Game Picks thread.....

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Legend
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Posted: #1

Is it Euro 2020?  2021?  Whatever it is, it is finally here.  After a delayed summer (of life in general) our first big international football tournament is upon us with lots of wagering options.  I can’t wait.

First some general notes on the nature of these international tournaments and general trends…..

Some don’t realize that these teams have had about 2 weeks together before they play their first matches of the tournament.  This has a big impact – in some obvious and not so obvious ways. 

First off – the tactics are much less complex than what you see at the club level.  They more closely resemble a 14 year old YMCA league than high level club soccer.  For the most part – you see 4-4-2 or 5-3-2 or a simple derivative.  The managing expertise is usually less than at the club level – so while tactics matter when analyzing these games – these managers just don’t have as many bullets in their guns as do club managers.  Think all star games in American sports – short notice combined with little coaching prep time and complexity results in way different styles of play than regular season games.

This leads to a lot of set play goals.  In normal big 4 European Leagues, the percentage of set piece goals is right around 20%.  In the 2018 World Cup, that number was doubled at right around 39%.  So while the good club teams have recently developed advanced tactics of counter-attack, short passing attacks, quick change of tactics, playing out from the back with major GK involvement, and space creating schemes – this is often ignored in international tournaments out of necessity in favor of more standard pass pass pass shoot or get fouled and try your luck from a set piece.

One noticeable difference that seems to be catching on in international soccer is the high risk high reward tactic of playing out from the back rather than kicking long on GK touches or deep defensive possession.  In almost every friendly in the last 10 days or so – I have seen this over and over.  Even tiny Malta did this (to their peril) – insisting to play out of the back against a Kosovo side that was continually picking their pocket and creating very dangerous scoring opportunities.  But this is the way of the future.  Playing out of the back is a necessity for better sides these days – and GKs have become very skilled with their feet and in charge of making very quick decisions.  This also leads to unexpected consequences and potentially more goals on both ends of the pitch. It is yet to be seen how much of this we will see – but I anticipate quite a bit.

Order of games in the group matches is very important and often ignored by bettors.  Many sides play to their schedules – and set up and tactics are supportive to this – and most importantly – player personnel.  Keep this in mind when analyzing any match in the group stage.  Also, out of the 24 teams only 8 will be eliminated in the group stages and seeding is less important for the knock out rounds because of the lack of a single dominant team.  This means that 4 of the third place group sides will get through – which greatly changes strategy in the three group games for some of these teams on the bubble.

Teams can do very well with low scoring draws early.  In 2016, Portugal won the tournament by winning only 1 match out of 7 in 90 minutes.  That is an almost unbelievable stat.  Greece won the tournament by scoring 7 goals in 6 matches. 

 

 
 
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Legend
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Posted: #2

Low scoring matches (ie unders) dominate early matches for all of the reasons described above…. In 2016, only 2 of 12 first round matches went over 2.5 goals.  

VAR.  VAR has generally increased the amount of penalty calls – but a lot of that was early in the introduction and things seem to have settled down recently with the relaxation of the interpretation of the handball rule.  This is a bit of a wild card.  But certainly the more possession you have deep in the opponent half – the more likely you are to be on the good side of VAR.  Penalties are just one of those high impact things when betting soccer that is highly irregular and unpredictable.

Nations that have sides that are primarily from the same team have an early advantage.  Of course, this depends on the level of the league (Russia always has a bunch from the same team in the same crappy league), but this does have an advantage.

Home field advantage.  This is a big one, and situational.  For instance – England has the potential to play 6 out of 7 games (if they keep winning) at Wembley!  Crazy.

 
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Legend
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Posted: #3

OK… On to the groups….  This analysis is as of now, today.  Injuries, form, situation, tactics all play in to adjustments in to my match analysis.  So take it for what it is worth…. 

 

As always – I try to post widely available lines.  Not the lines I got or get.  But lines everyone can bet.  Units are from 1-5 with however many 0’s you want to add to the end of it for your bet size.  I will have a lot of zeros.

 

Group A: 

Italy (7 points):  They are unbeaten in their last 11 and a very popular side in the top 7 betting favorites at about 8-1.  I see a problem in their defense.  Aging and slow Bonnuci and Chiellini are anchoring a defense that is susceptible to speed and quick movement.  They have enough matches in Rome and a very easy enough group to get through, but will get caught in the knockouts because they wont be able to score enough.

Turkey (7 points):  Turkey has a great mix and a balanced young side.  They have a mix of players playing at big clubs through Europe that present a great future.  This group is ripe for the taking – and if they can do something in their first match against Italy I wouldn’t be surprised to see them win the group outright.  In qualifying, they only let up 3 goals in 10 games and also beat France 2-0.  A legit darkhorse for a deep run.  They play 2 of their group games in Baku – which is not a home match but close enough.

Switzerland (3 points):  Always bland and not flashy, they will grind out results through set pieces and defense.  I just don’t think they have enough this time around and might not get out of the group.  First match against Wales is a must win for them.

Wales (0 points):  Not the team they were last time around in 2016 when they made the semi-finals.  They will likely try to ride some heroics from Gareth Bale and play about 8 men on defense at all times – and like Wales – Bale is not what he was in 2016.  Giggs (Wales manager) not available for the tournament because of an assault arrest.  Winner of Switzerland match should determine 3 place finisher here.

 
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Legend
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Posted: #4

Group B:

Belgium (7 points):  What is there to say here?  Absolutely loaded – with a key ingredient that very few teams have – a single player that can absolutely dominate, control, and win a game by himself in Lukaku.  DeBruyne uncertainty hurts, but this side is deep and can play in any style against anyone.  Martinez is an excellent manager and will switch things up regularly with this veteran and cohesive side.  No surprises here.

Denmark (6 points):  Definitely one of the better of the tier 2 sides in this competition, and a real chance to make a run.  Their problem is always defense – winning games by only scoring 3+ goals which leads to disaster – but it might be different this time around.  They get Belgium out of the way first – which is exactly what they would want – and even if they cant squeeze out a result they should handle Russia and Finland with ease.  All three group games are at home.

Russia (3 points):  Not great talent in not great form and a side that seems to always screw it up.  Undisciplined blunders plague this side.  A side mostly made up of domestic league players, they will really struggle here.  I think this is one of the two groups that wont produce a third place advancer, even though they play their first two in Russia.

Finland (1 points):  Finlands manager has no experience managing at the club level.  Is that good?  I don’t think so.  This is a weak team with a very good scorer (Teemu Pukki).  They will be all defense and try to counter attack – might work against Russia but not against the other two.  They do get Belgium in the last match and likely after they have already qualified, but not nearly enough.  Early exit.

 
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Legend
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Posted: #5

Group C:

Netherlands (7 points):  The result of missing the 2016 Euros and the 2018 WC is this rebuilt Dutch side.  I am still not convinced it is enough though – Their form has been mediocre and when I watch them – they just don’t seem to click on all cylinders.  They lost to Turkey 4-2 in March in WC qualifying, and drew with Scotland at home just a week ago – certainly a team they should handle.  Enough to win this group (all three games in Amsterdam), not enough to be a contender.  Virgil Van Dijk is probably the worlds best defender, and he is out.  Anyone who has seen Frank de Boer manage knows what you get with him – and it aint good.  I pick them to win the group mostly because of lack of competition and home field.

Ukraine (5 points):  I think they have a shot to win this group, and without them having to play the Dutch in Amsterdam in game 1 I would pick them.  They seem to play to their competition level. Still a good bet at 5-1. 

Austria (2 points):  The good new for Austria is that Marko Arnautovic came on to play the last 30 minutes of their 0-0 draw over the weekend against Slovakia.  The bad news is that Austria is actually in game with competition like Slovakia.  Low scoring, grind it out – could manage to get a win or two. 

North Macedonia (1 point):  Look, this is probably one of the worst sides in the tournament skill-wise, but this is a weak group and I watched this team beat Germany in Germany about a month ago.  And it wasn’t a fluke.  Aging Goran Pandev is going to have to score a few goals on the counter attack in order for this side to do anything at all – but who knows.

 
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Legend
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Posted: #6

Group D:

England (9 points):   England should be very pleased at their fortune of playing all three games at home, a relatively easy group, and then knockouts at home also.  Let them win and look great initially, then as always they will be way overbet and taken out by an underdog in the knockouts.  Great speed and potentially great finishing up front, not great defending.
Croatia (4 points):  Croatia should also be thankful they are in a group with two irrelevants also.  Not the team of five years ago….  Aging and predictable – but will make it through because of weak competition.  Scoring goals might be a real problem. 

Scotland (4 points):  The Scots and the Czechs likely to battle it out for 3, and playing at home for 2 of the 3 group matches gives Scotland the edge.  They play England away in the middle match, but the matches against Croatia and Czechs are in Glascow – and they should get a result in both.  They beat the Czechs about 8 months ago in a competitive match away (Nations League 1-0).

Czech Republic (0 points):  Filled with players from lower leagues, I don’t expect much from the Czechs.  This is not the dog to back. 

 
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Legend
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Posted: #7

Group E:

Spain (9 points):  Considered a contender, but where are the goals going to come from?  I am not convinced that Morata and Torres can get the goals needed for Spain.  I see them definitely getting out of the group (3 games at home), but losing before the semi’s in the knockouts.

Sweden (6 points):  I think they could contend for the group and are a good bet at 6.5-1.  Organized, balanced, and experienced….  They are the right mix of being able to adapt to opponents style and succeed.  Tough to get a result in Spain against Spain, but if they do they could pip the group.

Slovakia (3 points):  Made it here through the playoffs, but are on a decent run of form recently beating all of Ireland, Scotland, Russia, and drawing with Austria.  Robert Mak is relatively unknown but can score goals and change games. 

Poland (0 points):  A bad team with a great player.  No better way to put it.  They better hope Lewandowski stays healthy and goes nuts.

 
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Legend
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Posted: #8

Group F

France:  This group is silly.  Three contenders for the title are in this group, and Hungary.  Sorry Hungary.  France is France – beautiful to watch – adaptable, skill to burn, deep – favorite for the title and should be.  But this group is tricky.  They have to go to Munich and play Germany in game 1, but I have to give the edge to the French here.

Germany:  Once again, really a toss up of these top 3 but Germany is in the top 3 because they play all of their games at home.  Otherwise, a step behind in current form of both France and Portugal.  Timo Werner is comical in front of goal – so I think when they get beat it will be because they cant score enough goals from midfield.

Portugal:  Five years ago was not an accident.  Even though the team has aged a little bit – new additions like Diogo Jota and Joao Felix bolster the attack in a team with a defense that might be the weakest link (other than Dias).

Hungary:  They will starve.  Sorry.  No other way to put it – and too bad – because they are not even close to the worst side here and could possibly do something without this group.  But there is basically no hope.

 
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Legend
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Posted: #9

Future Wagers:

Winner comes from Group F:  +160 (3 units to win 4.8)

Group A winner:  Turkey +650 (1 unit to win 6.5 units)

Turkey to reach final 8 +260 (.5 unit to win 1.3)

Group D winner England -220 (4.4 to win 2)

Czechs not to qualify -120 (1.2 to win 1)

Poland under 3.5 pts +120 (2 to win 2.4)

France to win Group F +140 (2 to win 2.8)

France to win tournament +450 (1 to win 4.5)

Turkey to win tournament +65-1 (.3 unit to win 19.5)

 
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Legend
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Posted: #10

Game Wagers:

I will try to write up all the games, but at least every game will be picked.  Writeups and tactics will get more detailed as the tournament goes on.  I will keep full honest records.

Friday Jun 11:

Turkey / Italy (Rome) – Turkey +.5 +168 (2 to win 3.36) – Tough assignment in Rome, but I expect a low scoring match where Turkey plays deep and plays on the counter attack.  1-1

 

Saturday Jun 12:

Wales / Switzerland (Baku) – Switzerland -.25 -110 (1.1 to win 1) – Close hard fought low scoring low chances match.  Switzerland should be able to steal it.  1-0

Denmark / Finland (Copenhagen) – Under 2.25 -120 (2.4 to win 2) – Finland will sit back exclusively and counter with Pukki.  Once Denmark break the ice, look for a midfield possession pass fest from Denmark.  2-0 Danes

Belgium / Russia (St Petersburg) – Belgium .75 -110 (3.3 to win 3) – Don’t care that this is in Russia, don’t care that it’s the first match.  Belgium have many different ways to win this match, and should win easily.  I don’t often give more than a half goal, but it warrants it here.  3-0

 

Sunday June 13:

England / Croatia (London) – England -135 (1.35 to win 1) – Overrated as usual, but playing at Wembley they should be able to out-speed the Croatians and win.  Im not overly confident and wish this game was not the first, but cheap enough to bet.  2-1

Austria / N Macedonia (Bucharest) – Under 2 +110 (2 units to win 2.2) – N Macedonia should be very cautious here and thrilled with a draw.  Austria just doesn’t have much firepower outside of Arnautovic.  0-0

Ukraine / Netherlands (Amsterdam) – Under 2.25 -110 (1.1 to win 1) – Another first round low scoring match from two teams who know a draw is good news to both.  0-0

 

 I will post the remainder of round 1 in the coming days.

Win lose or draw - I wish everyone a great tournament and lots of success.  Follow me on twitter if you like.

peace_5

 
 
 
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Posted: #11

peace_5peace

play Draftkings
 
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Posted: #12

Good Luck Vanzackclover ......awesome insights as always thumbs_up

 
Legend
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Posted: #13

@DiamondJack

 Thanks.  GL to you also this tournament.  Your thread is great.

peace_5

 
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Legend
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Posted: #14

For those interested in stadium limitations and capacities....

 https://www.90min.com/posts/each-host-stadium-capacity-fans-euro-2020

 
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Posted: #15

Awesome analysis. This got me really hyped. Thanks and good luck.

 
Legend
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Posted: #16

Vanzack, thanks for the great write ups and best of luck this tournament.

Since I'm a native, I'd like to comment on your thoughts for Belgium.

KDB will be ok, he'll miss the first game, but had a small procedure and will likely play without a mask. I agree on Lukaku. 

I disagree somewhat on Martinez. I don't think he's that great, he seems to be stuck on certain people and I don't find him very adaptable when it comes to playing teams that are difficult for the Belgians. His insistence on a 3 men defensive line will cost us big time, especially if 2 out of the 3 are Vermaelen and Vertonghen. Boyata and Denayer don't have my confidence either. Lucky for us, Courtois will be a rock as always. 

He couldn't bring himself to replace Chadli and Witsel, both lack serious matchplay and are not even close to being fit. I can see you bring a questionable Eden Hazard along, but not those two with the other options available. 

Belgium should win the group, but then when it's for the cookies, I'll be watching every game with serious apprehension, of course I dream we'll win it all, but not putting a dime on it myself. 

Have a great tourney! an_cheers

CPL XIX Winner. Punter. Scotch lover. Big Man.
 
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Posted: #17

Top Shelf...GL 

 
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Posted: #18

Thanks for the Write up

BsoccerballL

 
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Posted: #19

peace_5 moneybag

 
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Posted: #20

Thx VAN for all your opinesan_cheers

 
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Posted: #21

GL this year VZ peace_5

 

 

Lamp
 
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Posted: #22

@vanzack

 How do you feel about booking over under game bets ? 

which countries do you feel have a heated rivalry for lots of cards to be thrown out and which national teams have absolutely no discipline ? 

My line of thought Scotland vs England ? Potential to be a rough slugfest but potentially England side way too technical team to be handed out any ?

Macadonia playing with nerves/anxious probably be giving a red card 2/3 games they play 

not sure about any others... but would like your take on it ...

Also corner bets which side/sides have weakesr goalie for punchouts and poor defence playing against best aerial attacks ? 

 
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Posted: #23

Actually macadonia/Austria looking like one of those dirty rough games for both sides ... neither team exactly technical forte yet both going to want this game bad to get out of the group and stronger opponents ... expect a rough affair ... Austria averaging 5 cards per match last 10 games and Macadonia 6.5 last 10 ... both will need this game and I expect a slugfest hoping there’s not a lot of juice under -200 vicinity over 1.5

 
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Posted: #24

@criticalwager

 This isn’t rugby… I wouldn’t focus on who gets kicked out, goalie “punch outs” and UK slugfests. 

an_cheers

 
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Posted: #25

an_cheers Thanks for sharing Vanzack, Good Luck clover

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