Euro 2020 will be the 16th edition of the UEFA European Championship and it is the first in the competition’s history to be held across the continent. The tournament is scheduled to be held in 12 cities across 12 European countries from 12 June to 12 July 2020. Portugal are the defending champions but no team automatically qualified, with 55 nations gunning for the 24 spots in the finals.

Euro 2020 Qualifiers’ Odds

The top seeded teams are the favourites in the Euro betting markets to win their groups in eight of the 10 qualification groups, with Groups C and G the exception where Germany and Austria are tipped to finish above the Netherlands and Poland respectively, but all four are expected to qualify.

Top seeds England, Portugal, Switzerland, Croatia, Spain, France, Belgium and Italy are all expected to top their groups.

Euro 2020 Qualifiers’ Predictions

The top two seeds in each group are naturally the heavy favourite to be among the 20 automatic qualifiers from the group stage.

There are a few possible exceptions. In Group A, the Czech Republic may face a close race with Montenegro and Kosovo – whose fifth-placed seeding does not reflect their strong Nations League form – while in Group B, second seeds Ukraine may just miss out to an experienced Serbia side. There is a similar story in Group H, where third seeds Turkey may believe they can pip Iceland to the post.

Of teams who may fancy their chances through the playoffs, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Slovakia, Scotland and Finland may all be eyeing this as a more realistic goal rather than their tough groups.

The usual suspects such as Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, France, England and reigning champions Portugal should all progress to the finals fairly serenely.

Euro 2020 Qualifiers

This is the second successive European Championships which has an expanded format of 24 teams, rather than the 16 nations of previous tournaments. However, unlike the 2016 version held in France, there are no countries automatically qualifying due to their not being a constituent host nation. That means all 24 spots are up for grabs among UEFA’s 55-member nations.

There is another fundamental change to this qualification process, as four of the places in the tournament will be determined by results within the UEFA Nations League. 20 qualifiers will be determined via the standard qualification stages with the remaining four spots made up of Nations League results and subsequent playoffs.

European Qualifiers

UEFA’s 55 nations are divided into 10 qualifying groups. Five of the groups will contain five sides will the remaining five groups will contain six teams. Four of the five groups of five contain one of the four sides – Portugal, England, Switzerland, the Netherlands – who will be playing in the Nations League finals in June 2019, to ease their fixture schedule. All four nations will be in the mix of the Euro betting not only for qualification but being the outright winner of the 2020 tournament.

The top two teams from each group will qualify for the final tournament, determining the first 20 places. The main qualifying process will commence in March 2019 and conclude in November 2019, with double matchdays in March, June, September, October and November 2019.

Following the qualifying group stage, the qualifying play-offs will take place in March 2020 to determine the remaining four sides for the finals. The teams qualifying for the playoffs will be the strongest sides who have not qualified with results based on previous Nations League performance. There will be fourth ‘paths’ consisting of four teams each, with the winner of each ‘path’ completing the tournament.

The Nations League group winners will automatically qualify for the play-off path of their league. If a group winner is already one of the 20 qualifying nations from the group stage, they will be replaced by the next best-ranked team in the same league. However, if there are not enough non-qualified teams in the same league, then the spot will go to the next best team in the overall ranking. However, group winners cannot face teams from a higher league. The ‘paths’ will consist of two single-leg semi-finals and one single-leg final.

Group A: England, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Kosovo – This group makes England among the favourites in the Euro betting qualification process. There are no major rival who should cause them any concern in the running, although equally each of the four remaining sides will fancy their chances of second spot and an automatic qualification place.

Group B: Portugal, Ukraine, Serbia, Lithuania, Luxembourg – Defending European champions Portugal are expected to have no problems progressing through to Euro 2020, with Serbia and Ukraine vying for the second qualification spot.

Group C: Netherlands, Germany, Northern Ireland, Estonia, Belarus – The infamous ‘group of death’ sees both the Netherlands and world champions Germany pitted together. Northern Ireland will hold out hope of qualification through the playoffs but this daunting group has significantly shortened Michael O’Neill’s side Euro betting odds.

Group D: Switzerland, Denmark, Republic of Ireland, Georgia, Gibraltar – Perhaps the most intriguing group, the Republic of Ireland’s new managerial team will see this as a kind draw. Switzerland and Denmark should both progress to the finals, although it should be a close-run thing.

Group E: Croatia, Wales, Slovakia, Hungary, Azerbaijan – Wales’ first qualification campaign under Ryan Giggs sees World Cup finalists Croatia start as clear group favourites, while Slovakia and Hungary both made it to Euro 2016 and will believe they can replicate this feat.

Group F: Spain, Sweden, Norway, Romania, Faroe Islands, Malta – Luis Enrique’s Spain should qualify for the finals with ease although the Euro betting for qualifying should also be favourable to Sweden, who reached the quarter-finals of last summer’s World Cup.

Group G: Poland, Austria, Israel, Slovenia, FYR Macedonia, Latvia – Potentially the kindest of the Euro 2020 qualification groups for its participating teams, Poland should top the group with Austria to join them. Slovenia are a potential outsider.

Group H: France, Iceland, Turkey, Albania, Moldova, Andorra – World champions France will be looking for their first European title in 20 years but the Euro betting will be split between Iceland, who many consider to now be fading, and Turkey – who were also paired with the Ice Men in World Cup qualifying.

Group I: Belgium, Russia, Scotland, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, San Marino – Alex McLeish’s Scotland face a tough task for Euro 2020 qualification with Belgium massive group favourites and Russia tipped to join them. If the Scots can pip the World Cup quarter-finals into second, they will be delighted.

Group J: Italy, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Finland, Greece, Armenia, Liechtenstein – Finland enjoyed a fie Nations League campaign and Greece won the European Championship in 2004. The Euro betting still has Italy to progress along with Bosnia & Herzegovina.

 

UEFA Nations League Play Offs

Following the first 20 spots in Euro 2020 qualifying being determined through the 10 qualification groups (with the top two in each group progressing) the final four spots will be decided via a playoff system based upon Nations League results.

The draw seeding for the initial qualification groups was based on the overall rankings of the Nations League but 16 teams will still have a chance of qualification through the playoff system. These 16 teams will be the best-performing in the Nations League rankings, outside of the 20 sides who have already qualified.

Each Nations League group winner will automatically qualify for the play-off ‘path’ of their league. If a group winner has already qualified via qualifying group stage, they will be replaced by the next best-ranked team from the same league. If there is an insufficient number of nations in the same league, then the spot will go to the next best team in the overall ranking. However, group winners cannot face teams from a higher league.

The playoffs will be split into four ‘paths’ with each ‘path’ consisting of four teams. Each ‘path’ contains two single-legged semi-final and a one-legged final with the winning nation from each ‘path’ securing a spot in Euro 2020.

Euro 2020 Key Dates

21–23/03/2019: Matchday one

24–26/03/2019: Matchday two

07–08/06/2019: Matchday three

10–11/06/2019: Matchday four

05–07/09/2019: Matchday five

08–10/09/2019: Matchday six

10–12/10/2019: Matchday seven

13–15/10/2019: Matchday eight

14–16/11/2019: Matchday nine

17–19/11/2019: Matchday ten

22/11/2019: European Qualifiers play-off draw

01/12/2019: UEFA EURO 2020 final tournament draw

26–31/03/2020: European Qualifiers play-offs

01/04/2020: Additional final tournament draw if required

12/06–12/07/2020: UEFA EURO 2020 final tournament

About the Euro 2020

Euro 2020 is the 16th edition of the European Championships and the second which contains 24 nations. It is the first version which will not have a set host nation (or host nations, as was the case in 2000, 2008 and 2012). The tournament is held every four years and Portugal are the reining champions, having defeated hosts France 1-0 in the 2016 showpiece in Paris.

Traditionally, Germany and Spain are the most successful sides in the tournament’s history with each nation holding three titles to their name. France have been the winners of the tournament on two occasions while the Soviet Union, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Netherlands, Denmark, Greece and Portugal have won one title each.

It is the second most watched football tournament in the world after the FIFA World Cup with a reported 284 million viewers watching the 2016 final in France – a record high for the tournament. Germany/West Germany are the only side who have qualified for all 12 previous editions of the tournament. They are nation with the most games (49) and most wins (26) in the tournament finals. Current Die Mannschaft boss Joachim Löw has won more games as manager (11) than any other coach and despite their Nations League struggles, will be in the thick of the Euro betting for the 2020 tournament.

The first ever tournament, held in 1960, consisted of four teams while that number doubled by the 1980 tournament while the 1996 edition, held in England, saw an increase to 16 nations. This number was expanded further to 24 by 2016, with a series of nations making their first ever appearance in the finals including Northern Ireland, Hungary and Albania. The latter nation’s midfielder Taulant Xhaka also made history as he faced brother Granit Xhaka – a Switzerland international – in 2016, with the pair becoming the first siblings to face each other in the tournament.

Euro 2020 will be a Pan-European tournament held across 12 cities – London, Glasgow, Dublin, Bilbao, Munich, Rome, Baku, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Bucharest, Budapest and Saint Petersburg.

The early candidates in Euro betting for lifting the trophy include world champions France, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, England and reigning champions Portugal. It should be remembered that Spain (2008 and 2012) are the only nation ever to have retained their title. Two of the last five winners – France in 2000 and Spain in 2012 – had won the World Cup two years prior, with Les Bleus hoping to replicate their achievement again this time round.

The most common match-up in the European Championships finals is Italy against Spain (a game that has been played out on six occasions) while the Netherlands – the big absentees of the last tournament – will be hopeful of reaching a fifth semi-final in 2020 and they will be involved with the Euro betting odds.

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