I thought I’d take a look through all of the teams in this year’s Euros and evaluate the teams’ characteristics. It may help us in getting those all-important trading angles as we head into the matches. So, I’ll work through the teams in alphabetical order.
Albania – Defensive
Built to be tough to score against. Portugal’s 0 - 1 win was care of a 90th minute goal.
Serbia’s 0 - 2 saw 2 90th minute goals!
First time in the Euros it seems.
Austria – Defensive
Nine consecutive wins in Euro qualifiers. Six of those were clean sheets.
Easy(ish) qualifying group puts a dampener on the form.
Back in the 2008 Euros, Austria had two 0 - 1 losses to Croatia and Germany and a 0 - 0.
Belgium – Goals expected
Goals spring to mind with Benteke, Lukaku, Hazard, Fellaini, Witsel and De Bruyne up front.
Relatively easy Euro qualifier group. Yet to be tested. Packed with potential.
And it is that ‘p’ word - ‘potential’ - that you’d hang your hat on.
Croatia – Could make the big guns work but not win
Containing an ‘essence of Bilic’ is how I would describe the Croatians.
2012 saw struggles with the big guns Spain and Italy – tight but draw and loss.
Could not beat Italy in qualifiers. 1 - 1 draws. Suggests struggles with the likes of France, Italy, Spain, Germany, England. The big guns are, it seems, always a step too far in tight encounters.
Czech Republic – Big guns a step too far
Scored and conceded in nine of their ten qualifiers.
Limited side judging by the teams they beat. Had Latvia and Kazakhstan and an obviously faulty Dutch side in their qualifying group.
Are likely to keep it tight v the big teams but lose 0 - 1 or 0 - 2.
England – Could be unbeaten but go out on pens for another weepy ending
A group of individuals rather than a team.
Not a side to make the heart beat faster. A very strong attack with established goal scorers in Kane, Sturridge… and one season wonders Rashford and Vardy.
Have consistently lost to the really good sides – Chile, Germany, Italy, Uruguay, Spain (friendly) and Netherlands (friendly) since 2013.
Unbeaten in 2012 Euros. Note that, and went out on penalties to Italy after a 0 - 0.
A superb qualifying campaign but let’s not get carried away – Lithuania, Estonia, Switzerland, San Marino, Slovenia (y Sunday League side could beat a couple of those countries – oh okay then, draw against a couple of those countries).
France – Very poor in 2008 and 2012
Over estimated here? Value Lay in the Winners market?
Very French Deschamps has left out top Ligue 1 scorer Ben Arfa and, remarkably, Benzema.
Griezmann and Martial stand out in attack, Giroud a liability – Benzema instead surely?
A midfield of household names.
A dire 2012 with 2 - 0 losses v Sweden and Spain. No win in 2008. Could be the Lay in the Tournament market?
No Euro qualifiers were played. We only have friendly form and that is not form to be pinning your hopes on.
Germany – No draw in Euros in 2008 and 2012
Ignore friendlies where Germany simply do not care for the result. The winning head is on in major tournaments.
An aging team at first glance. Gomez back, evergreen Muller the goal machine, Gotze, Podolski, Khedira, Schweinsteiger.
Bar Gibraltar, a good test in Euro qualifiers against Poland, Scotland, Ireland and Georgia.
Conceded in their last four Euro qualifiers so may see a we-score-one-more-than-you tactic.
Did not draw a match in 2008 or 2012.
The number of goals in a Germany Euro match tended to progress in the third and fourth matches of the Tournament so look for both teams to score and over 3.5 goals in third and fourth matches.
Hungary – Limited attacking potential
Where’s the second goal going to come from?
Last time they won by two clear goals was 2011 v Moldova. If they win, it is likely to be one-goal-in-it.
Trouble scoring two goals. Scored two twice - v Faroes and Norway (Norway own goal produced Hungary’s second).
Hungary are layable all day if scoring the first goal, if we rely on this inability to score a second goal in matches.
Gudjohnsen gets an outing from the old folk’s home for these Euros.
In qualifiers with an out-of-sorts Dutch side so lucky the Dutch underperformed. Latvia, Kazaks and Turkey the other sides.
First Euros campaign.
Italy – Tough to score against
The ‘Pulis’ of the Euros?
Ignore the friendlies, Italy are always up for a competitive event.
Not a vintage side, or maybe a side in transition as a lot of unrecognizable names.
Only scored 2+ goals v Norway, Azerbaijan and Bulgaria in qualifiers.
1 - 0 merchants it seems? Only Spain beat Italy in 2012.
Northern Ireland – Clean sheets will be a worry
Where England are a collection of players, Northern Ireland are a team.
Finland, Hungary, Greece, Faroes, Romania in their group. Lucky for N.I. that Greece are in decline, Faroes are always beatable. Finland in a class only just above minnows.
Scored and conceded in five of six matches. Clean sheets a concern. Likely to concede and that could be the downfall here as it brings into play a need to consistently score two goals at least in order to win.
Poland – Too reliant on Lewandowski! If he misfires so will Poland
Two big names (literally!) in Lewandowski and Blaszczykowski could make the difference in a tight match.
Only beaten by Germany in qualifiers. Sounds like the big four (Italy, France, Spain, Germany) may be too much but could simply outscore others.
Portugal – reliant on Ronaldo. Could be dark horses
No draw since June 2014 a sign of the kind of team we see here? All out win, or lose?
Less than enthusiastic qualification opponents in Serbia, Denmark, Albania and Armenia. Only one loss in 2012 was a 1 - 0 v Germany.
Rarely draw in their Euro matches. Draws tended to be against top teams.
Republic of Ireland – Will be set up not to concede
A limited pool of players to choose from.
Only conceded two goals once in qualifiers – that boy Lewandowski! 1 - 1 and 1 - 0 win v Germany.
Will be tough to beat this campaign.
Under 2.5 goals. 1 - 1 ‘s could be regular scorelines. Losses could be 1 - 0’s as could wins.
Romania – Clean sheets a must if they are to progress
The only player I know is Pantilimon the ‘keeper.
Unbeaten in qualifiers since 2011. Seven clean sheets in eight qualifiers and three 0 - 0’s.
Only managed 2+ goals v ‘minnows’ Northern Ireland, Faroe Islands and Finland. Romania have a consistent problem scoring goals.
Russia – The Great Bear may not be so great
Montenegro, Moldova and Liechtenstein are three of the teams Russia had to beat to progress. Hardly compelling form.
Likely to struggle if 2012 is anything to go by.
Did manage to beat Spain in qualifiers and then lose to them later.
Hamsik could be a key man in a team with only three recognizable names.
Failed to score in three of their last four Euro qualifiers and conceded two v Luxembourg.
Spain – Out with the old, in with the new
Will Spain still have that air of invincibility? They could struggle in this competition.
Nolito has been scoring for fun in friendlies. A Spain side where the old guard are leaving. Names such as Aduriz, Vazquez, Soriano, Koke, San Jose, and Bellerin will need some bedding into the side.
Since 2007 in qualifiers: 25 wins, a draw and a loss in 27 matches.
There is a superb mentality here as advertised by the qualifiers. This has pervaded into the Euros proper.
Unbeaten in Euros in 2008 and 2012. Conceded only 1 goal in 2012.
Sweden – If Ibra does not score, where will the goals come from?
Ibrahimovic turns up, he could turn tight matches into wins.
He scored in seven of Sweden’s last eight qualifiers. If he does not score, Sweden will really struggle.
Conceded two goals at least in four of five Euro matches in 2008/2012.
Keeping the back door shut is the Swedish concern.
Switzerland – Reliant on defence
Will struggle against the bigger sides such as Spain, France, Germany, Italy and England.
Estonia, San Marino, Slovenia and Lithuania are the kinds of teams Switzerland faced in qualifiers. Poor stuff.
Lost to England and that suggests the higher ranked teams will be a step too far.
Did not play in 2012.
No familiar names. Another weak-looking group, a misfiring Holland apart.
Four clean sheets in their last five matches.
I cannot read this Turkey side.
Only losses in qualifiers was v Spain, 1 - 0. Bar Spain, it was a weak-looking group.
Big teams could find it hard to beat Ukraine. Thinking 1 - 0, 2 - 0 if they do.
Wales – Or should be call it ‘Bales’?
Gareth Bale the jewel in the crown – if he doesn’t score, who will?
Six clean sheets in their last seven qualifiers. Tended to win 1 - 0.
Far too reliant on Gareth Bale to score the goals. If he gets crocked, so will Wales’ chances.
I hope you gain some benefit from my look at each team and their ‘character’. I will be using this list in my research and will be trying to cover as many Euro matches as possible.
The tennis is hotting up as well. I have been flexing my tennis muscles on Twitter @drtclub and had a solid run yesterday.
Take a look at some of the screenshots @drtclub and you will see the potential that tennis trading has.
My simple rule? Favour one player. Stick with said player and try to back them at their highest point.
For example, Wozniacki the other day could have been backed at odds of 17.5. Only a few games later, she was at odds of 2.00! Now that’s a swing I’d like to be a part of!
Wimbledon of course is my major focus, as are all of the main tournaments from a tennis perspective.
Enjoy the Euros, and the tennis, and remember to get involved on Twitter at@drtclub!