In its 56 years of existence the European Championships has not been shy in serving up the occasional surprise winner. In its 88 years of existence the World Cup has not yet done so.
Quite why this is so is hard to determine: all we know for sure is that once every couple of decades the Euros has culminated in Czechoslovakia, Denmark and Greece lifting the trophy to everyone’s astonishment while its bigger, better-travelled cousin has produced only eight winners from its 20 tournaments, all – at the time of their successes – global superpowers.
Might this summer finally buck the trend? By its very definition it’s highly unlikely but if any team is going to break up the usual Brazil/Germany/Spain/Italy hegemony the Cutter believes the four below have a better chance than others. Better yet the odds on them doing so are currently healthier than an athlete in peak condition and even more better yet these William Hill promo codes offer you a £30 free bet along with all manner of special deals.
Stop that sniggering at the back. England may possess an under-valued rookie boss who pales to his peers and they may always, always flatter to deceive on the biggest stage of them all – well, okay, maybe except that one time – but the Three Lions are roaring along nicely and most encouragingly of without the excess baggage of expectation that has weighed them down previously.
Having easily navigated Group F unbeaten two consecutive 0-0 draws with Germany and Brazil late last year hints at an obduracy that could serve them well beyond a group stage they are expected to easily progress from. Elsewhere Southgate’s team selections have been progressive and brave making England something of an unknown quantity. Rule one in the outsiders handbook states that you should never discount an unknown quantity.
The 2010 semi-finalists boast a formidable strike-force in Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani while they’re bolstered at the back with the experience of Diego Godin and Maxi Pereira who have 237 international caps between them.
It is always folly to discount the South Americans but particularly so given their fortuitous group landing that’s put them among a trio of interior opponents – Saudi Arabia, Egypt and hosts Russia – that will surely see them emerge top.
From there La Celestre are more than capable of going deep.
This may not be a vintage Croatian eleven but when their midfield consists of Rakitic, Perisic, Kovacic, and the sublime Luka Modric then we’re more than happy to jump on board at such generous odds.
It could be reasoned too that the broad price reflects Vatreni’s inclusion in the closest thing this summer’s tournament has to a ‘group of death’ with Argentina, Nigeria and Iceland all contesting Group D. Should they better the latter two however and proceed to the knock-outs expect the betting to dramatically tumble.
The biggest outsiders of our chosen four Poland find themselves in a difficult group to call with Senegal, Colombia and Japan all capable of impressing or flopping on any given day.
Even so, the suspicion lingers that this Lewandowski-fronted outfit have been somewhat under-valued considering the ease in which they bossed their qualification challenge, free-scoring and losing just the once along the way.