Euro 2016 predictions: France worthy favourites plus top scorer tips at long


Size isn’t everything but the European Championship growing to 24 teams is only going to be good news for the big boys.

France kick off Euro 2016 as favourites and bookies expect the hosts to be joined by traditional powerhouses Spain and Germany at the business end of the competition a month from now.

The expansion from 16 teams means only a third of those starting the tournament will be heading home after three games and an early stumble or the odd slip won’t be fatal for the fancied runners.

And it’s probably just as well.

France midfielder Paul Pogba has his eye on leading the host nation to glory - they're 10/3 for the title

France midfielder Paul Pogba has his eye on leading the host nation to glory – they’re 10/3 for the title

Spain are on a hat-trick after lifting the trophy in 2008 and 2012 and they're 11/2 third favourites

Spain are on a hat-trick after lifting the trophy in 2008 and 2012 and they’re 11/2 third favourites

EURO 2016 – PICK A WINNER 

10/3 France, 9/2 Germany, 11/2 Spain, 9/1 England, 11/1 Belgium, 18/1 Italy, 20/1 Portugal, 100/1 Wales, 150/1 Ireland, 500/1 Northern Ireland

For the full list, visit oddschecker.com 

None of the market leaders, or England, Belgium, Portugal and Italy in the chasing pack, are the complete package.

France are no strangers to entering a tournament with off-field issues clouding the build-up and this time the circus show is all about the omission of Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema over allegations of a sex-tape blackmail plot. There’s also Eric Cantona accusing Didier Deschamps of being racist for leaving the Real Madrid man out and Olivier Giroud being booed by his own fans in the absence of his fellow striker. 

Oh, and they’ve also lost their best defender – Benzema’s Real team-mate Raphael Varane – to injury.

It’s not all bad though. Giroud is scoring and they are winning – defeat by England just days after the Paris terror attacks last November is their only setback in 10 games and they’ve beaten Holland, Germany and Portugal during that run.

Germany don’t quite have a run of results to match. Being a champion can be harder than becoming one and the Germans, who don’t have Philipp Lahm and Miroslav Klose to call on, have lost SEVEN games (to Argentina, Poland, Ireland, USA, France, Slovakia and England) since lifting the World Cup in Brazil two years ago. They’ve also conceded three goals in two games against Scotland. Ouch.

Still, they’re a tournament team, it’s all about timing, never write them off… and all that.

Chris Smalling was England's unlikely goal hero as they won their final warm-up game against Portugal

Chris Smalling was England’s unlikely goal hero as they won their final warm-up game against Portugal

Spain’s doubters point to a lack of goals in their squad while for England, on paper, scoring shouldn’t be a problem but fitting everyone in might be. And their defence looks far from solid.

Belgium also have concerns at the back now the injured Vincent Kompany’s tournament will be spent in the TV studio. And as for this being their golden generation, England had one of them once and that didn’t pan out too well. There remains question marks about whether Marc Wilmots’ men can get over the line.

Portugal boss Fernando Santos says he’s in it to win it…



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