Hosts France the favourites for Euro 2016
With Euro 2016 about to get underway, host nation France are the bookies favourites to go all the way. Didier Deschamps's side are just ahead of Germany whilst the other contenders in the eyes of the bookmakers including Spain, England and Belgium.
Taking a look through the embarrassment of riches in the French squad, it is easy to see exactly why many believe they are the team to beat. Hugo Lloris captains the side and is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League. Paul Pogba has developed a reputation as one of the finest midfielders in the World and this competition could give him the platform to demonstrate his talent on the big stage. He helps to comprise a dynamic, athletic midfield alongside Paris Saint-Germain's Blaise Matuidi and Leicester's N'golo Kante. Then in attack they have a wealth of options inlcuding Antoine Girezmann who has enjoyed a stunning season with Atletico Madrid, much maligned Arsenal man Olivier Giroud as well as young stars Kingsley Coman and Anthony Martial. Boosted by home support, there is certainly enough quality in the side to warrant their status as favourites and you can back France at a best price of 16/5 with Ladbrokes.
World champions Germany are shortly behind the French and Joachim Low's men will be looking to emulate both them and Spain in simultaneously holding both the World and European titles. Despite some retirements of key players since their World Cup triumph in Brazil, this is still a side packed with quality. Mats Hummels will marshall the defence, Mesut Ozil supply the ammunition in midfield whilst Thomas Muller seems to thrive when playing on the big stage. Germany always seem to show up when it matters and despite some concern over their form coming in to the tournament, you can rest assured that they will be there or there abouts in the latter stages. The price on Germany to win the Euros varies slightly depending on your bookmaker of choice but they are available at a best price of 9/2 with Coral.
These two nations are the ones that everybody seems to be talking about but what of current holders Spain? The Spaniards have won each of the last two European championships and despite their poor showing at the 2014 World Cup, they still have a squad the envy of nations across Europe. Their possession-based style under Vicente del Bosque has yielded great success in past and now they will have the added motivation of making amends for their shocking performance in Brazil. The squad will also with the inclusion of some fresher faces including the likes of Alvaro Morata, Koke and Thiago Alcantara. For the first time in many years now, Spain will come into a major international without the added pressure of being favourites. Vicente del Bosque will step down as manager after the tournament and if you think he will leave his post having won yet another title, you can get odds of 5/1 with Bet365 on Spain being crowned champions.
England's hopes do not actually seem as farfetched as in other recent tournaments and with the betting relatively open, Roy Hodgson's men can arrive in France with some confidence. The likes of Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy and Dele Alli have all enjoyed fine seasons for their respective clubs and Hodgson's main job now is to mould an attacking unit that can get the most from his players. The England boss seems intent on keeping Wayne Rooney in the starting line-up but there is a real argument to be made for England being a more cohesive unit in his absence. The defence also remains a worry and up against the best sides in the latter stages of the tournament is where they could come unstuck. However for the patriotic and optimistic amongst you, England can be found at a best price of 9/1 with BetVictor.
Looking further down the list of those in contention, Belgium and their large Premier League contention are certainly worth a look out. They have a star studded line-up on paper but the issue for them will be getting the best out of each of their players at the same time as their is a fear they may simply represent a collection of individuals as oppose to a balanced team. Portugal have Cristiano Ronaldo in their ranks and frankly that means anything could be possible whilst the likes of Poland, Austria and Croatia all boast strong claims as potential dark horses.