Euro 2020 Guide: 3 Dark Horses to Keep an Eye On
With just two rounds of qualifying completed so far, it’s hard to predict with absolute certainty which nations will be going on to compete at Euro 2020 next year. Even so, we’ve already been given a glimpse at the level of talent some teams are bringing to the table – and there are a few dark horses that are already looking like a good bet at this early stage. With that in mind, here’s a quick rundown of three teams shaping up to be real contenders next year.
“Dutch Eurovision Fans” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Daniel Kruczynski Odds to win: 12/1 Failure to qualify for last year’s World Cup despite the betting odds being in their favour left many Dutch fans despairing with their beloved national team, and rightly so; yet what a difference a year makes! Having already finished top of an extremely tough Nations League group – including a 2-0 victory over World Cup holders France – it certainly looks like the Netherlands are getting back to their best.
As for the key players, Virgil van Dijk, Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong together form what is arguably the best defensive trio of any team in the competition. But that’s not all there is to this rejuvenated Dutch side. The team plays an attractive brand of football based on quick passing and ability to counter-attack at speed. Despite currently sitting in second place behind Northern Ireland in the qualifying group standings, the bookmakers expect the Netherlands to coast through the remaining games alongside long-standing rivals Germany.
It’s certainly not too much of a stretch to say that the famous ‘Orange Craze’ could be cheering their team all the way to glory next year.
Odds to win: 25/1 Many seem to quick to rule out Croatia’s chances of repeating their dazzling betting underdog run to the World Cup final last year in Russia – but perhaps this team has a little more left in the tank than we give them credit for. It’s certainly a side that remains packed with talent. The likes of Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic offer an incredible depth of experience, whereas young guns such as Ante Rebic and Mateo Kovacic continue to go from strength to strength with their respective club sides.
Despite an unexpected loss away to Hungary in round two of the qualifiers, let’s not forget their recent triumph over a quality Spain team in the Nations League. As such, we highly expect that Croatia will naturally up their game against the other teams in their group (Wales, Tunisia and Slovakia) and book their place at Euro 2020 sooner rather than later. If you’re keeping an eye on Euro 2020 qualifiers betting, it’s worth checking out comparison sites to find out which bookies are offering enhanced odds over the course of the qualifiers.
Following their recent results, we can expect Croatia to be placed at longer odds than they perhaps deserve.
Odds to win: 14/1 As with the Netherlands, Italy fans were forced to endure the humiliation of failing to qualify for last year’s World Cup despite being odds-on to do so – for the first time in their history, in fact. That alone is enough motivation to suggest that this young Italian side could go deep into the latter rounds of Euro 2020.
Their performances in qualifying thus far have been dominant, scoring eight goals whilst conceding zero in the process. None of the other teams in their group seem to pose a real threat, which leads us to believe that Italy will have no issue with qualification this time around. Juventus forward Moise Kean is definitely one to watch, having put in a series of electrifying performances towards the end of the Serie A season.
His recent contract extension suggests there’s plenty more to come from this exciting talent. So, there we have it. Three betting dark horses that could go all the way at Euro 2020. We’ve got plenty of qualifying action to go before then, of course, yet expectations are certainly high among the respective camps mentioned above. Who’s your money on?