It is finally here. After a delay of more than a year, the Euros have now started and sports fans can now get back to watching their favourite players showing their football skills on a world stage. After the postponement of the competition from 2020 due to the pandemic we are all eager to see which nation will lift the trophy at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 11th of July.
Following the first round of matches, now that we’ve had a glimpse of each team, we are going to discuss which teams are looking the best. Have the first round of results altered the odds at 22Bet sports betting and has there been any shock surprises so far.
Starting with the reigning champions from 2016. Kicking off their tournament in Group F, Portugal played Hungary in Budapest, finishing eventual 3-0 winners. Whilst this may look like a comfortable win they were made to work for it with Hungary withstanding long bouts of pressure. Hungary’s defence finally broke in the 84th minute.
Two more quick fire goals from Ronaldo secured the victory, and in doing so he became the tournaments all time record goalscorer with 11 goals over a record five championships.
With a wealth of talent in the team, Portugal are definitely contenders this year. Could they retain their title? Ronaldo is capable of scoring plenty of goals and at crucial times as we have seen throughout his illustrious career. Will he go out with a bang? You wouldn’t bet against him.
The current World Cup champions are always dangerous in major tournaments and they have started well with a hard fought 1-0 win over Germany in Munich. A man of the match performance from Paul Pogba helped inspire the team in a group which has been noted as the “group of death” with Portugal, Germany and Hungary.
It’s a great start in such a difficult group, and with stars such as Griezmann and the staggering speed and talent of Mbappe there seems to be a harmony within this squad of players. France were tipped as one of the favorites to win the Euros, and their odds have only shortened after that display.
A star studded team the ‘Red Devils’ arrive at every major occasion with huge expectation, owing to the stars they have. These Euros are no different with Lukaku, Hazard, Courtois, Vertonghen to name a few. Belgium made a very convincing start with a 3-0 win over Russia in St Petersburg. Lukaku scored two with a ‘man of the match’ performance. This ensured a smooth start and Belgium are likely to ease through the group stages.
It remains to be seen if they can handle the pressure as one of the favourites if they make it to the knockout stages. More positive news is that Kevin de Bruyne has joined the squad whilst he recovers from a facial injury. Easily on of the best players in the world at the moment, de Bruyne will be a great addition to the team.
A 1-0 win over Croatia saw England win their opening match in the Euros for the first time in history. Perennial under-acheivers, this could be a huge confidence boost for the team. A team with lots of young players at the top of their game in the Premier league bodes well for the tournament.
A stumbling block could be a grudge match against Scotland in the next match. On paper it should be a win for England, but as we know anything can happen in a derby game. Will the passion and determination to beat England provide a shock result for Scotland?
In the opening game Italy cruised to a 3-0 win over Turkey sending a message to their rivals that they are back. Having missed out on qualifying for the last World Cup in Russia the Italian nation was rocked and a rebuild began.
Roberto Mancini has come in and they are currently on a 28 game unbeaten run and this showed in the opening match. They looked confident in attack and solid in defence. It will be hard for any team to break them down. Italy are back and ready to prove how good they are.
A special mention – Christian Erikson
If you were sat watching Denmark’s opening game you would have witnessed the shocking scenes of Christian’s cardiac arrest. Denmark’s players showed amazing bravery by creating a wall to give Christian privacy from the crowd whilst medics did what they could to save his life.
Remarkably, and to everyone’s relief, he survived to tell the tale. This brought home how precious life really is, and put the fever of the Euros into perspective. After hearing that their teammate was recovering in hospital the brave Danish players decided to finish the game against Finland on the same day. Whilst they lost, the result really didn’t matter and the fact that Christian Erikson survived is the most important thing. We wish him well and a speedy recovery.
The results from the first round of matches have shown that this tournament is wide open and the main contenders are all playing well. There were no real surprises, but with an unbeaten 28 game run and how comfortable they looked throughout the game Italy would be considered well-priced possible winners.