Your Guide To Euro 2016
Adorn your new football shirt, drape the flags and buy the face paint…. Euro 2016 is here!
Yes that’s right, get ready to cheer, cry and cuddle your best mate through a rollercoaster of emotions, as some of the best (and worst) teams in europe get ready to lock horns in France.
But what’s the best thing about the Euros? Who are the players you should be looking out for? And what’s the best way to party throughout the 90 minutes? (and beyond).
For all the answers, keep reading… because we’ve got everything you need to know about this year’s spectacular summer of soccer.
As ever, the tournament will feature some of the best teams in europe. The only iconic team missing from the roster will be the Netherlands – who failed to qualify after a disappointing run of defeats prior to the tournament.
Making their debut will be Albania, who finished above Serbia and Denmark in their qualifying group. Even they are odds on favourites to not qualify from their group, they may well prove to be a banana skin … after all, who thought the unfavourable Greece would go on to win the competition in 2004.
Hosts France will be hoping to impress on their own turf. They have a great manager in Didier Deschamps and also have what you’d assume to be a relatively easy qualifying group (featuring the aforementioned Albania, Romania and Switzerland).
It’s been an incredible season for a certain couple of English forwards too.
Dele Alli and Harry Kane were both in sensational form last season. Between them they contributed over 30 goals and 20 assists, helping Tottenham finish 3rd in the English Premier League.
Ali and Kane will both be coming up against Chris Coleman’s Wales side in the group stage where they will lock horns with Real Madrid star, Gareth Bale.
The Welsh haven’t qualified for a major tournament in over 57 years now, so Gareth and co will be looking to cause an upset! It’s already shaping up to be a mouthwatering game of football.
Other tasty fixtures in the qualifying rounds include; Germany v Poland, Rep of Ireland v Italy, Spain v Croatia as well as Northern Ireland, who also qualify for their first ever euro’s competition.
Here’s all the groups! Three teams qualify from each, with the top two in each group going straight through to the knockout stages. After that, the top 4 ‘best placed’ teams in third position go through, meaning a total of 16 reach the next stage.
For the first time 24 teams are included.
Group A Group C Group E
Albania Germany Belgium
France Northern Ireland Italy
Romania Poland Rep of Ireland
Switzerland Ukraine Sweden
Group B Group D Group F
England Croatia Austria
Russia Czech Republic Hungary
Slovakia Spain Iceland
Wales Turkey Portugal
The players to watch
Antoine Griezmann – France – Winger
A European Under 19 champion in 2010, Griezmann has been a sensation this season. He helped Atletico Madrid finish 3rd in the Spanish La Liga and reach the Final of the Champions League scoring 32 goals in 54 appearances (League, Spanish Cup and Champions League).
Robert Lewandowski – Poland – Forward
An incredible 42 goals in 51 appearances in the 2015/16 season has helped Robert Lewandowski become one of the most prolific strikers in the world. The Bayern Munich forward helped his team win the Bundesliga ahead of Borussia Dortmund by 10 points.
David De Gea – Spain – Goalkeeper
Credited by most as the best goalkeeper in the world, De Gea has pulled of some pretty remarkable saves in the 2015/16 season, keeping 15 clean sheets in 34 appearances. He also helped Manchester United to a 5th place finish in the Premier League. (Manchester United also won the English FA Cup)
Euro 2016 Odds
It’s time for a flutter. The odds for this year’s tournament winners aren’t that surprising, but we’ve added a few little extra for you to consider:
Winners: Our Top Goalscorer Tips:
3/1 France 4/1 Germany Robert Lewandowski (Poland) 16/1
5/1 Spain 17/2 England Harry Kane (England) 14/1
11/1 Belgium 16/1 Italy Mario Gomez (Germany) 25/1
80/1Wales 150/1 Rep of Ire
350/1 Northern Ire
Manuel Neuer (Germany)
Gianluigi Buffon (Italy)
David De Gea (Spain)
Remember to bet responsibly. Winners odds taken on 6/6/16 – Subject to change.
Butter the baguettes and fry the frogs legs! ….only joking, you don’t have to go all French on us.
Yes, the finals are in France, but the best football food is good old British snack food! Sausage rolls and simple sarnies are the way forward. Here’s a checklist to take shopping with you:
Beer Sausage Rolls Crisps Nuts
Cider Pizzas Dips Cheese/Crackers
Juice Burgers Scotch eggs Buns
Spirits Chips/wedges Mini pastries Sandwich fillers
Pop Hot Dogs Sweets/chocolate Cakes