Here we look at past winners of the European Championships to help us find the Euro 2016 winner.
Below are the winners and runners up of the European Championships since 1960.
|2012||Poland and Ukraine||Spain||Italy|
|2008||Austria and Switzerland||Spain||Germany|
|2000||Belgium and Netherlands||France||Italy|
Host nations traditionally have an advantage at the major international tournaments although the bias is not quite as strong in the European Championships as it is at the World Cup, where many sides are playing outside of their own continent and therefore playing in conditions they are less familiar with. From the last fourteen European Championships three teams have won the European Championships on home soil.
It is worth noting that the three teams to win the European Championships as hosts were Spain, Italy and France and those teams are always amongst the favourites to win the tournament anyway so it may be wise not to overestimate the host nations, especially if they are smaller countries that wouldn't be given a glimmer of hope anyway.
In cases where the more fancied nations are hosting the European Championships the hosts usually do well even when they don't win, in 2004 Portugal were runners up in their own country, in 2000 Holland were eliminated in the semi finals on penalties, in 1996 England were eliminated on penalties in the semi finals as well. In 1988 West Germany hosted the European Championships and went out in the semi finals against the eventual winners Holland whilst in the 1980 European Championships, hosts Italy went out in what was then the third place playoff (effectively the semi final). If a major nation is hosting expecting them to reach at least the semi finals and if they get knocked out the opposition will probably go on to win the European Championships in the final.
At Euro 2016 the hosts are France, a team that is normally amongst the favourites to win most tournaments. They haven't been at their best over the past few years but they have the quality to bounce back and they should progress at least one extra round as a result of having home advantage so France should be looking to reach the semi finals at least in 2016.
Only France in 2000 and Spain in 2012 won the European Championships as World Champions. Those are the only times even a World Cup finalist has gone on to win the European Championships two years later. In many years the European Championships will take place whilst the world champions are South American so looking at European teams that did well at the World Cup without winning could be a good strategy.
It looks as though world champions at the European Championships should be respected for what they achieved two years earlier but it should also be remembered that it takes plenty of luck to win the World Cup as well as skill and it may pay to concentrate on the unluckier losers at the previous World Cup rather than the team that emerged victorious.
Spain's chances are likely to be reflected by the Spain Euro 2016 Odds but many of the players who won the World Cup in 2010 and also won the European Championships twice will be gone by now. Spain's younger players will have to prove they are as good as the old guard and that will be difficult.
Germany looked to have a great chance of winning the last European Championships but they blew that opportunity and their best chance may have passed. That means the Germany Euro 2016 Odds are probably going to be a bit short and whilst they should once again go well, they are unlikely to go all the way for the first time since 1996.
Holland can be a very hit and miss team and that is back up by the Holland Euro 2016 Odds. They show that Holland are a good side but not one to put all your faith in and they may be looking at the semi finals at best in 2016.
England are desperate to win a major championships but for the time being they look way off the required quality and as a result the England Euro 2016 Odds should probably be avoided. Unless any young stars are unearthed ahead of the 2016 European Championships England are always going to fall short either at the group stage or more likely the quarter final stage.
The France Euro 2016 Odds could be amongst the most appealing as they will have home advantage in 2016. Strong teams that have home advantage nearly always perform admirably, even if they fail to win it, and at the very least France should provide a good back to lay trade at Euro 2016.
Italy looked back to their best at the last European Championships which means plenty will want to take a chance on the Italy Euro 2016 Odds but unfortunately for Italy their best was not good enough and with the likes of Pirlo long gone from the team Italy will have to rely on the likes of Mario Balotelli to try and bring them success.
Portugal have one of the best players in the world in the form of Cristiano Ronaldo but as a team they look short of the quality required to win Euro 2012. The Portugal Euro 2016 Odds at best are worth backing to trade out later in the tournament as they should do well and give every time they face a tough match but they look unlikely to be winning their matches when it comes to the semi final or final.
This will be the first European Championships to feature 24 teams which means there are more teams to consider. However this change looks more about increasing the quantity at Euro 2016, not the quality, and the teams who only just make it into the Euro finals are unlikely to prove good enough to win Euro 2016 so sticking to the five or six favourites should be the best strategy.
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