Advised in Outright Preview
After fifty matches, 17 penalties, 140 goals (eleven of them own goals), 145 bookings, six red cards and over 1,000,000 fans in the stadiums, Euro 2020 comes to a conclusion on Sunday evening with a final at Wembley that all England fans have dreamed of for the last FIFTY FIVE years.
It is fair to say it hasn’t all gone to plan for this column sadly, showing a loss for the tournament. That could all change still though in this final so excuse myself for blowing a small trumpet for the outright preview, as at least we got something correct, albeit four weeks ago. Proof below:
Betfred are offering a top price of 6/1 for England to win the tournament and I would be keen to get involved. Remember how football fever struck in 2018 as England reached the last four of the World Cup? Their conquerors there, Croatia are up first here, giving the team a chance of revenge to kickstart the campaign and I would love to be involved for the ride over the next four weeks.
Italy look like they have been underestimated at 9/1. They for me are the value play in the outright market and recommend adding them to the staking plan.
Both Italy and England were put up to win the tournament a month back and bias aside, it looks like it is the right final. That is largely due to this pair having the meanest defence of all teams that took to the field this summer, something else that was pointed out in the first preview of the competition:
The mean defence is a huge positive in tournament football. The last four nations were very assured at the back. Portugal conceded five goals in 2016 (three of them in the last group game vs Hungary) Spain just a single goal in 2012 and three in 2008, while Greece conceded just four and were unbreached in the knockout stages.
So having said all that, this has the hallmarks of a cagey and low scoring final with the defences expected to be on top. Hence why under 2.5 goals is around a 4/9 shot and the draw is trading at just 2/1. It could come down to the two goalkeepers.
England’s rear-guard was finally broken after twelve hours by the tournament’s first successful direct free kick and I was concerned about how erratic Jordan Pickford became for the rest of the game. He has already earned the Golden Glove award for most clean sheets but twice on Wednesday he handed Denmark possession from his poor distribution and his usually excellent kicking game also let him down. If it was the occasion he was fighting with, the pressure gauge will be increased for the final which does alarm me.
His opposite custodian is one of, if not the world's best goalkeeper and has just swapped Milan for Paris to ply his club trade. It is incredible to think Gianluigi Donnarumma is only 22-years-old as he is about to earn his 33rd international cap and is in contention for Player of the Tournament.
England were shorter in the betting when the tournament began and edge favouritism again at 4/5 to lift the trophy with the Azzurri Evens. In terms of match betting, England can be backed at 13/8 and Italy 9/4.
With us already in a good situation with the outright call, the only bet I can see in the final is a single goal to win it. Exactly one goal scored in the final is 11/4 but it is a match we should ‘try’ and enjoy.
Harry Kane needs a brace to land the Golden Boot for which he is 10/1 but 4/1 is available to be top scorer. A single strike will see him share those spoils with Cristiano Ronaldo and Patrick Schick.
Euro 2020 has been an exhilarating and enjoyable pan-European experience and here’s to the final match bringing us more of what has preceded it in the last 31 days.