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Euro 2021 Betting: Are Portugal overpriced to win back-to-back European Championships?

Portugal Euro 2021 Betting Odds: Ronnie & Co. are 14/1 shots for the trophy
Portugal Euro 2021 Betting Odds: Ronnie & Co. are 14/1 shots for the trophy

2020. Blink, and you’ll miss it. It seems as though it was only yesterday we were all gearing up for the forthcoming spring months and subsequent build-up to summer, and now it’s almost Christmas. 

A global pandemic has effectively rendered this year null and void, and in the process completely wiped out Euro 2020 right from under our collective noses. Indeed, the tournament is now only eight months away from beginning - the exact same time from now since last March and as we have seen, it goes pretty quickly.

The usual suspects head up the outright betting, though for the first time in a long while it is England who are currently the bookies favourites at 5/1. World Cup holders France are 6/1, Belgium are 11/2 and the Netherlands are 15/2, while Germany can be backed at 8/1 and Italy at 12/1.

It is Portugal who I am focussing on here, though, after the reigning European champions thrashed Andorra 7-0 in a friendly on Wednesday night. While thrashing a side renowned for being thrashed may not be that noteworthy, the resounding result in Lisbon was merely the icing on the cake for Fernando Santos’ team, who have now lost just one match since the 2018 World Cup. 

14 victories, seven draws and just one defeat in their previous 22 games is a pretty impressive return for a side who proved their pedigree at last summer’s Nations League finals, three years after winning Euro 2016. Portugal eased past Switzerland 3-1 in the semi-finals before edging a tight affair in the final on home soil, beating a talented Netherlands outfit 1-0 to claim the first ever Nations League trophy in June 2019.

They have always entered major international tournaments as the underdogs, too: 28/1 to win Euro 2016 in France four-and-a-half years ago and 16/1 to win the Nations League last summer - only Switzerland were a bigger price as the bookies had England and the Netherlands as firm favourites.

And that is a trend which has seemingly continued ahead of Euro 2021, as Portugal are 14/1 to retain their crown as kings of the continent. That is a price which could represent tremendous value given their recent performances in European tournaments and the fact that they are, alongside Italy, the most in-form international team in Europe right now.

The appealing odds is down to the fact that Portugal find themselves in the obligatory ‘group of death’ at Euro 2021, where they will pit their wits against France and Germany alongside a currently undetermined play-off winner. 

This of course makes the European champions’ jobs a lot trickier on the face of it, though one glance at their immense squad-depth provides you with the confidence that they have what it takes to overcome both of those sides and qualify for the knockout stages - especially as there is also an opportunity for the four best-performing nations who finish third in their respective groups to also make it through to the last-16.

Euro 2021 Betting

Portugal have always had standout players, the likes of Luis Figo, Deco, Rui Costa and Cristiano Ronaldo have always provided the side with a glimmer of flair and that bit of star quality, but throughout the years it has been their overall lack of quality which has seen them fall short at major international tournaments, Euro 2016 aside. 

Now, though, they are a squad with exemplary quality in all areas of the pitch, not just their starting XI but also in reserve. Ronaldo, now 35, is still going strong and gearing up for his fifth European Championship escapade; it will most likely be his last given he will be almost 40 by the time the next Euros roll around, however nothing must be assumed where the anomalous Juventus forward is concerned. 

No player in Portugal’s squad will be more desperate to retain their country’s crown than their all-time record goalscorer. Having scored his 102nd goal during A Seleção’s 7-0 win over Andorra on Wednesday night - a trademark leaping header at the back post - the former Real Madrid forward, who pretty much single-handedly won Portugal Euro 2016 by scoring three goals and providing three assists, is showing no signs of slowing down and is predicted to enjoy another glistening tournament next summer despite him now entering the twilight stages of his career.

Away from Ronaldo and the likes of Nelson Semedo, Joao Moutinho, Ruben Neves, Diogo Jota, Bruno Fernandes and the exciting Joao Felix are all players worthy of top-bracket recognition, while their robust defence which features long-serving veteran Pepe - who like Ronaldo is still playing some tremendous football for club and country despite his ageing years - and Ruben Dias, who is enjoying a promising start to life with Manchester City this season, is almost impossible to break down. 

Portugal have conceded just two goals in their last 10 games, keeping clean sheets against France and Spain last month, highlighting their defensive capabilities and adding more fuel to the hypothesis that they are indeed being massively overpriced by the bookmakers ahead of Euro 2021. Will they be able to repeat their exploits from 2016 next summer? On reflection, it certainly seems as though they have a fantastic chance.

Port
Euro 2021
Portugal to win the tournament
  • Won the Euros and the Nations League in 2016 & 2019 respectively
  • Have great squad-depth
Odds correct as of 2020-11-12 11:45 Odds subject to change.
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