With the much awaited European Championship commencing today, Football fans can get ready to feast their eyes on the finest that Europe has to offer. The Championship is being hosted by tournament-favourites, France, and the first game will kick-off at 12:30 am IST in the Stade de France. The world will have eyes on Saint-Denis that is nested in the northern sprawl of Paris.
The French team will go into the tournament, hot favourites as they have one of the most impressive line-ups. Having won the 1998 World Cup and 1984 Euro Championship at home, the host side are primed to do repeat history at will and betting against them could be detrimental to your pocket.
Still being in a state of emergency since last November’s terrorist attacks, France starts the tournament with severe security concerns. These concerns are being met by like spirited measures of more than 90,000 police, soldiers and private guards deployed at the tournament, where seven million fans are expected to visit the 10 cities.
The 24 Team Tournament:
For the first time since it was hosted by England in 1996, 24 teams will be competing for the cup which is 8 teams more than the previous format of 16.
With 6 groups consisting of 4 teams, the top two teams will qualify along with the best 4 third place finishers based on performance.
Group Stage Predictions:
Qualify: France, Switzerland.
Third Place: Romania.
Qualify: England, Russia.
Third Place: Wales.
Qualify: Germany, Poland.
Third Place Ukraine.
Eliminated: Northern Ireland.
Qualify: Spain, Croatia.
Third Place: Turkey.
Eliminated: Czech Republic.
Third Place: Sweden.
Eliminated: Republic of Ireland.
Qualify: Portugal, Austria
Third Place: Hungary.
WHO IS GOING TO WIN?
As mentioned above, France are the primary favourites. Current World champions, Germany, are undisputedly one of the favourites, holders Spain are also strong hopefuls and can ignite their flame again.
Germany finished atop their qualification group but reserving their spot in the Euros was not as perfect as they would like – with defeats against a strong Poland and the Republic of Ireland made them ask more questions than provided answers. France and England have also managed to tame the German side and a poor performance against Slovakia resulted in a 3-1 loss.
Football is any team’s game as long as you are willing to give what it takes to be champions. Two great examples of marvellous triumphs are Ranieri’s Leicester City and Greece in the 2004 Euros. All in all, it is going to be treat to watch with the talent on display.