European Championship Betting Guide: Sunday 6/13/21
After a year’s delay, the UEFA European Men’s Soccer Championships are back in full force, and if the first matches are any indication, these Euros will be sure to remind all why international tournaments like this are so special.
EURO 2020 Opening ceremony at the Olimpico in Rome! #EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/ADcB2yZZIE
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) June 11, 2021
Most days in the group stage will see two or three matches take place across the European continent, with the host sites ranging from Glasgow to Baku in this unique multi-host competition.
Thankfully, we're here to help you keep it all straight, from Matchday 1 until the July 11 final at Wembley Stadium
For all the odds on Euro 2020, head to FanDuel Sportsbook for a full menu of options. For advice on what Sunday’s fixtures might bring, read on!
England vs. Croatia
Wembley Stadium | London, England | 9am ET
The Pick: Draw +280
Per usual, this summer sees England enter a major tournament with great expectations.
At +550, the Three Lions are FanDuel Sportsbook's second-favorite to claim the title -- behind only France -- and for good reason. Gareth Southgate’s side is well-stocked with some of the world’s best talent. They boasted a +31 goal differential over a near-perfect qualifying campaign, and -- if things fall right -- they’ll potentially play six of their seven matches on home soil.
Standing in England’s way to a clean start in this tournament is a team they’ll be familiar with -- and one they’ll be desperate to defeat, given recent history.
After all, it was Croatia who ended England’s quest to “bring football home” in the 2018 FIFA World Cup with a dramatic 2-1 win in extra time in Moscow, and though Harry Kane’s late winner in November of that year in the Nations League semifinals gave the Lions some semblance of revenge against Zlatko Dalić’s men, victory in the Euros would do much more to dispel any lasting suffering.
A memorable comeback against Croatia!
Throwing it back to our last meeting with tomorrow's opponents for our Classic Match with @BudLightUK: pic.twitter.com/MOJI6ZYQ5f
— England (@England) June 12, 2021
Croatia might not enter this tournament in the best form -- they have just two wins in their last nine matches -- but they’ve played some of the best teams in Europe in that stretch and retain most of the main protagonists from their 2018 World Cup runner-up run, including their captain and former Ballon d’Or winner, Luka Modric.
They also finished first in a highly competitive Euro qualifying Group E that saw four of its five nations make this summer’s finals.
To be honest, this is a tough one to call. If you prefer recent form, star power, and home field advantage, England’s an easy choice.
But then again, you can’t underestimate the weight of pressure and expectation that’s always on the team bearing St. George’s cross, and against a Croatia side that will happily dig in and make this match an ugly one, a draw wouldn’t be a surprise.
Austria vs. North Macedonia
National Arena Bucharest | Bucharest, Romania | 12 p.m. ET
The Pick: Austria -145
Coming in 62nd in the latest FIFA world rankings -- if you care about such things -- major tournament debutantes North Macedonia are the lowest-ranked team in Euro 2020 and are the definition of a longshot.
The tiny former Yugoslav republic reached this summer’s competition despite having a negative goal difference in qualifying, but thanks to UEFA Nations League playoff victories over such titans as Kosovo and Georgia, Igor Angelovski’s men find themselves in the Euros for the first time in the country’s 30-year history.
Before you completely write them off, North Macedonia do have a tendency to play big teams close, highlighted by a historic -- and deserved -- 2-1 win over Germany in FIFA World Cup qualifying this past March.
Still, this Balkan nation is a massive underdog this summer -- they’re +2600 to win Group C, the longest odds in the field behind only Group of Death minnows Hungary -- and they’ll have a tough test from the start against an Austrian side who defeated them convincingly twice during qualifying, including a 4-1 road win in Skopje in June of 2019.
As noted by ESPN’s Bill Connelly, France Foda’s squad includes 21 players who feature in one of Europe’s top five domestic leagues, the most of any team outside the Big Eight (France, England, Belgium, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands).
Among that group are legitimate international stars, such as former Bayern Munich stalwart (and new Real Madrid star) David Alaba and RB Leipzig’s Marcel Sabitzer, making this version of Das Team a legitimate threat in Group C.
Now, is there cause for concern that Austria have never actually won a match in the only two previous European Championships they’ve played in? Perhaps…but all signs point to that ending in the Romanian capital on Sunday.
Netherlands vs. Ukraine
Johan Cruyff Arena | Amsterdam, Netherlands | 3 p.m. EST
The Pick: Draw +280 or Ukraine +550
Incredibly, the Dutch haven’t featured in a major tournament since the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, though based on what they’ve displayed in recent years -- including a run to the Nations League final in 2019 –--this version of the Oranje intend on making up for lost time.
An attack helmed by in-demand striker Memphis Depay -- fresh off a 20-goal season for Lyon -- will score more often than not, while a midfield featuring Liverpool-turned-PSG anchor Georginio Wijnaldum and Barcelona artist Frenkie de Jong provide the supply and the occasional tally themselves.
And yet, it isn’t all rosy for the Netherlands.
The Dutch will be without captain Virgil van Dijk this summer, as the Liverpool defender is still recovering from a major knee injury suffered in October, while a positive Covid-19 test has led Frank de Boer to leave No. 1 goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen at home.
Those misses at the back could open the door for Ukraine to spring a surprise on Matchday 1.
Even though the Yellow and Blue are +550 underdogs in this match, they went unbeaten -- and finished first -- in a Euro qualifying group that featured 2016 European champions Portugal, plus they’ve yet to lose in six matches this calendar year, including a 1-1 draw against France in World Cup qualifying this March.
It’s understandable why Holland would be the choice here -- after all, they’ve got the edge in talent and pedigree and have the benefit of playing at home -- but Andriy Shevchenko’s side is better than the odds dictate, and that value is hard to pass up.