England have finished third at the European championships on two occasions, with the most recent coming back in 1996. They have since also reached two quarter-finals and failed to progress past the round of 16 in France back in 2016. Despite this, it appears the squad is much improved, so could they now go two places better and win the competition for the first time in their history?
The 1996 tournament took place in England and there was a huge amount of expectation behind the side. Alan Shearer played a key role in the success and even finished as the top scorer at the tournament with five goals but unfortunately this was not enough, as pre-tournament betting favourites Germany won their 3rd title. Matthias Sammer was also awarded the best player at the tournament, as they knocked England out on penalties, with Gareth Southgate having his penalty saved. This was a match that England could easily have won, with chances in extra-time but it was not to be, and it has been a difficult period ever since.
However, next year could finally be the year that England get their hands on the European trophy and are coming off the back of a positive showing at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. This saw them reach the semi-finals, before being knocked out by Croatia but they have since continued this improved form and the squad now looks capable of going two places better than they have in the past. When you look here, these cover the best betting sites on the market in 2020, with most offering odds on the tournament next year. In many cases, England are sitting as favourites for the title, which further backs up the notion and support behind the side, who continue to come in for support amongst supporters. 6/1 is the biggest price that can be found for England and based in their recent form and the strength of the squad, it could just prove to be a good bet.
England qualified for the tournament through Group A and produced one of the most impressive qualification campaigns, which has certainly played a role in their price shortening for the finals next year. This saw them take on the Czech Republic, Kosovo, Bulgaria and Montenegro. A group they were overwhelming favourites to win but still had to produce on the pitch, which is something they certainly did. From the eight matches played, England picked up seven victories and were also beaten just once. The latter coming on matchday seven, when losing 2-1 away at the Czech Republic.
Bar that off night for England, it was ultimately a very impressive qualification, that also saw them finish with a goal different of plus 31, following scoring 37 and conceding just six. It meant they averaged just over 4.5 goals per game, which is an incredible record and shows the key strengths of the squad at present. It meant they also bettered any other side in that department, with Belgium next best at an average of four goals scored a game and then Italy at 3.7. Each of the latter also posting very impressive qualification campaigns and now amongst the favourites in the betting for the title next year.
Key results to note for England were the opening 5-0 victory over the Czech Republic and a 6-0 away win at Bulgaria, on what was a hostile atmosphere for the squad. England also following this up with a 7-0 win at home to Montenegro and a 4-0 away win over Kosovo. This also meant they topped the group, with the Czech Republic then following them through as runners-up.
Moving into the finals and England have been drawn in Group D, which will see them taking on Croatia, Scotland and the Czech Republic. It is a group they will start as the strong favourites to progress through, but each side could pose a threat.
Our #EURO2020 group is complete!
— England (@England) November 12, 2020
It now all sets up for a fascinating tournament next year and there is no doubt that England have a strong chance of finally ending the lengthy wait for a title in the competition and going two better than back in 1996.