The European Championships are barely a few months away and the tournament will be a showpiece for the greatest players from across Europe to demonstrate their talent. All the usual suspects will battle it out to be crowned the best European football nation, however we have seen shock victors in recent tournaments with both Greece and Portugal taking home the spoils.
Some nations are blessed with natural talent and others have to unite as a team to become greater than the sum of their parts, but whatever the strategy – only one team will emerge as champions.
France and England are the tournament favourites, but both nations do have history of not living up to their reputation, so it’s worth checking out some of the higher priced sides in the competition.
In this article, we’ll rate the best outsiders to win Euro 2020.
At 9/1, Portugal is handsomely priced to become back-to-back winners of the UEFA European Championship.
Spain accomplished the feat for the first time in history by winning the 2008 and 2012 competitions, and their neighbouring country are set to challenge for their second consecutive Euros due to their all-star squad.
The strength in depth of the Portugal squad is frightening for opponents, with multiple household names available at every position. Some of the greatest established talents in Europe are in the Portugal set up, such as Premier League stars Rui Patricio, Joao Moutinho, Andre Gomes and Bruno Fernandes. The attacking contingent are amongst the best in the world with the inclusion of youngster Joao Felix, who has played a key part in Atletico Madrid leading the race for La Liga, and the evergreen five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.
With only one loss in their last 11 games, Fernando Santos’ side are in a rich vein of form approaching he competition and there’s every reason to back Cristiano to captain them to glory in what could be his last major tournament.
Currently ranked 19 in the FIFA World Rankings, Poland is not considered one of the likely winners of the Euros. The 100/1 shot could go well in this year’s tournament however and are worth consideration given their attacking threat.
Poland has the best striker in the world in Robert Lewandowski and the 32-year-old Bayern Munich star will be hungrier than ever to win the competition as he’s at the peak of his career. Averaging more than a goal per game for his club over the last two seasons, Lewandowski is already the top scorer in the country’s history and will strike fear into any opposing defence.
The Poland defence is to be admired too with multiple excellent options for goalkeepers, from Juventus stopper Wojciech Szczęsny and one of the main reasons for West Ham’s excellent season, Łukasz Fabiański.
After a quarter-final appearance in Euro 2016, Poland know what it takes to advance in the tournament and will be looking to progress in this year’s event.
One of the ultimate footballing powerhouses, the Netherlands are synonymous with technically gifted and athletic squads. Sadly, the team has been far from the force of yesteryear in recent tournaments, but the next crop of Dutch talent has established itself and the future is bright for the Oranje.
The real strength to Frank de Boer’s side is through the spine. It’s not clear whether captain and leader Virgil van Dijk will be back from his lengthy time on the side lines for the Euros, with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp suggesting he won’t be ready.
21-year-old Matthijs de Ligt is a wonderful replacement for van Dijk and will command the team with or without the Liverpool maestro at his side. FC Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong has continued to impress for club and country and will be the team’s anchor in midfield.
Former Manchester United frontman Memphis Depay has developed from his disappointing stint at Old Trafford and is relishing his time at Lyon. The skilfull scorer already has 23 goals for his country and can create chances out of nothing – the perfect attribute for knockout football.