Can England Claim Euros Glory After Historic Germany Triumph?
England's momentous 2-0 win over Germany has fans dreaming of Euro 2020 glory and a first tournament triumph since the 1966 World Cup.
Gareth Southgate's side face Ukraine in Rome in Saturday's quarter-final and will play the winner of Czech Republic's meeting with Denmark if they get past Andriy Shevchenko's charges.
The Three Lions are the bookies' favourites to win the tournament in the outright market with the best football betting sites. They are also odds-on to beat a Ukrainian side that qualified for the knockout stages as one of the best third-placed teams in the group phase, and who scraped past 10-man Sweden in a dramatic 2-1 extra-time win.
Goals from Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane against Germany saw England's odds slashed to 2/1 to win the tournament with William Hill, while the same bookmaker has England priced at 2/5 to beat Ukraine. But are Southgate's men really in pole position or is there another contender out there who will lift the trophy?
Euro 2020 Outright Odds
Free-scoring Spain were installed as outright favourites following their hectic 5-3 extra-time victory against Croatia but were leapfrogged by England in that market after the Germany game.
Luis Enrique's team were goal-shy in their first two matches but put five past Slovakia before another goal rush against the Croats. Before their quarter-final against Switzerland, Euro 2012 winners Spain are 3/1 to repeat that feat nine years later.
Italy and Belgium meet in a mouthwatering last eight battle in Munich and many will fancy the winners of that one to go all the way in this competition. Italy are the betting favourites to advance to the semi-final after injuries to Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard. Best betting sites have Italy at 4/1 in the outright market, with Belgium 7/1.
Denmark have been inspired since the frightening incident in which Christian Eriksen collapsed on the pitch following a cardiac arrest in their opening defeat to Finland. Those who fancy the Danes to land a fairytale victory for their talisman can back them at 10/1 to be crowned Euro 2020 champions.
Tournament Looks Wide Open
Speaking exclusively to Gambling.com, ex-England international Ray Parlour admits it's tough to pick a winner at this stage. Parlour expects England to beat Ukraine but believes Denmark could provide a real test for his ex-teammate Southgate if they meet in the semi-final.
“It looks like everyone is together, going the right way, and I’m quite excited by that," Parlour told Gambling.com, when discussing England's chances.
“I don’t want to be disrespectful to Ukraine but we should beat them. But then I’m expecting it to be England vs Denmark in the semi-final, which would be a really tough game. Denmark are real outsiders but they are good enough to get to the final, that could be a tough game if that’s the scenario we end up in.
“Ukraine have been a bit hit and miss. With these sorts of sides you never know, I thought Czech Republic wouldn’t be good enough, but they got through the group and suddenly they’re in a quarter-final.
“Then there’s Switzerland, who were so poor against Italy earlier in the tournament and they’ve just knocked out the favourites, so this tournament is wide open, especially that side of the draw.
“The big one everyone will be watching now is Belgium against Italy. I think one of those two teams will be in the final. I know Spain are still in it, and I’d expect them to beat Switzerland but then we just don’t know.
“England fans are already talking about being in the semi-final but I know Gareth will be professional about it. It’s an old cliché but he’ll be taking it one game at a time. He’ll be analysing them, working out how they play.
“I think fans would like us to start on the front-foot this time, because it has been a little bit negative so far, a lot of backwards passing and sideways passing. But no one can complain too much because we’re through to the quarter-finals.”
Southgate's Selection Dilemmas
The England manager left some big names on the bench and started Arsenal's teenage winger Bukayo Saka in the Wembley win over Germany. Jack Grealish replaced Saka midway through the second half and had a big hand in both goals which sparked jubilant scenes among the England faithful.
"It was great to see the emotions at the end," said Parlour. "It was always going to be a massive game.
"I was a little bit worried before to the game, to be honest, I was thinking it could go either way because we know Germany are not the side they used to be but they still have some very good players that can hurt you.
"He went with three at the back like the Germans and straight away I knew it was going to be a cagey game without many chances.
"This tournament has been really good for substitutions making an impact. Grealish was very much needed in the game and he set up the second goal and had a hand in the first. Gareth got it right and now we’re in the quarter-finals which is great.”
Former Arsenal midfielder Parlour was happy to see Gunners youngster Saka get the nod and also reserved praise for Harry Maguire at the heart of the English defence.
He added: "It was great to see Saka keep his place because I thought he had a really good game against the Czech Republic and was well worth another chance. He played well again in the first half when he was on the ball.
“Maguire played very well, he was the one who was trying to come forward of the back three. It was a brave decision to play three at the back but they were obviously working on it all week and Gareth is a good coach so he will have ensured everyone knew their role.
“I would guess Mason Mount wasn’t involved because he couldn’t train fully with the rest of the team and might not have worked well in the system.
“It’ll be interesting to see what he goes with in the next game now. I’m sure he’ll be looking at Ukraine and analyse how is best to play against them, a back four or a back three? I have a feeling he might go back to a back four.”
Should Saka Start in Rome?
Grealish will feel he did enough to earn a start against Ukraine, although Parlour isn't sure that should be at the expense of Saka. Man City youngster Phil Foden is another who will be chomping at the bit to get some game-time.
“I think he (Saka) done enough, one of the better players in the first half when no one really stood out," Parlour added.
“Gareth shuffled the pack in the second half but I can see him maybe starting against Ukraine because he’s dangerous. He had a great season at a struggling club and I think Gareth knows what he gets with Saka.
"Foden and Grealish are still in the frame though, especially Grealish with the impact he made in the second half. Gareth has got some really good problems to have."
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