2016 Copa America and Euro Cup Analysis, Predictions and More
With the newly crowned Real Madrid as the 2016 UEFA Champions League victors, one would think football cannot get any better. However, die-hard football fans should not bite their nails in desperation because there are still many upcoming championships to bet on, two of which are the 2016 Euro Cup and the Copa America.
And, just to whet your appetite, soon we’ll be announcing a few morsels in the manner of great contests (and, of course big prizes) for you to participate in. Continue reading below to read what’s in store for you in these competitions with a few predictions…
Where just a couple of days away from the initial games which start of June 3, with team USA taking on Colombia in Santa Clara, California.
Undoubtedly, this will be a good match to watch, but with so many great teams and world class players participating, it won’t be the focus of everyone’s attention. Let’s take a look at what the group draws are:
Group A: United States, Colombia, Costa Rica and Paraguay.
As mentioned above, the host, United States kicks off against Colombia in the first match. Both teams were off to a good start in the 2014 World Cup with plenty of stars making their show on both teams. Both Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez and Juventus’ Juan Cuadrado lead Colombia, while Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey lead Team USA.
It’s worth noting that the US is playing on its home turf and though football does not carry as much punch as other sports, it has been steadily growing and should get a huge push from this competition.
This group has stiff competition, while Colombia is the favorite, Paraguay, Costa Rica and USA all have a shot at heading into the second round. Costa Rica was a Cinderella during the World Cup defeating Italy, Uruguay and England to make it to the second round in what was dubbed the “Death Group” in the Cup.
Group B: Brazil, Ecuador, Haiti, and Peru
As luck would have it, this is a fairly easy draw by Brazil’s standards. However, with Brazil’s performance in the World Cup, having fallen to Champion Germany 1-7, it opened up questions on whether the team is too reliant on Neymar Jr’s abilities. Though Brazil has no shortage of talent, they’ve gone through a rough patch on the world stage.
Haiti is pretty much a scratch off, which leaves Ecuador and Peru vying for the second spot in this group. Ecuador has much talent sporting players in West Ham United, Swansea City and Manchester United. While Peru also has its own upcoming talent within its ranks.
Group C: Mexico, Uruguay, Jamaica, and Venezuela
This group sports two CONMEBOL and CONCACAF giants: Uruguay and Mexico. Uruguay has among its ranks one of the best strikers in the world, Luis Suarez, who will be looking to take his team far into this competition. While Mexico’s Chicharrito Hernandez will lead his team forward.
Jamaica’s “Reggae Boyz” will attempt to punch through the group stages, while Venezuela will try to bring some good news back home where their countrymen are in dire need at least of some relief.
Group D: Argentina, Chile, Panama, and Bolivia.
This group is led by the World Cup runner up, Argentina with none other than Leo Messi taking the helm. Argentina is clearly the favorite to win the group, if not the Cup, as payback to not having secured the World Cup.
Chile is expected to take the second spot in this group, although could face some resistance with both Bolivia and Panama having fairly decent squads which might be a surprise in the competition.
Euro Cup 2016
The Euro Cup, set to kick off on Friday, June 10th, at Stade de France in Paris, promises to be one heck of a competition. With all the European powerhouses wanting to make their mark, you can be sure that fans are in store for plenty exciting matches throughout all the dates. Let’s take a gander at the groups.
Group A: France, Romania, Albania and Switzerland
The hosts, France, have it fairly easy in this draw and have historically done well (winning the 1984 European Championship and the 1998 World Cup) when playing on their home soil. Switzerland is probably the biggest threat to France, with Xherdan Shaqiri among its ranks as an able midfielder capable of setting up plays. Romania and Albania are pretty much scratch offs in this competition.
Group B: England, Russia, Wales, and Slovakia.
The story here is between England and Wales, two teams with great talent that did well in the qualifying stages. It’s the first time Wales makes it to a major tournament in 58 years, now with Gareth Bale leading the attack.
As for Russia and Slovakia, they are two dangerous squads which could make a vie to make it to the next stage.
Group C: Germany, Ukraine, Poland, and Northern Ireland.
Germany is the clear favorite in this group. Although the World Champions had some problems in qualifying, they are nevertheless one of the best teams in the world for a reason. Both Ukraine and Poland have a fair shot at placing second and third in the group, though Northern Ireland can pose a big threat.
Group D: Spain, Czech Republic, Turkey, and Croatia
Spain leads the favorite table in this group and will attempt to snatch their third straight European Championship. Though their effectiveness has declined in recent years, they certainly are not without talent and possibly will make it out on top.
Croatia also has a solid team with Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, and Mario Mandzukic leading the attack. Both Turkey and Czech Republic are also dangerous and could surprise even the best of teams.
Group E: Belgium, Italy, Republic of Ireland, and Sweden.
This is an evenly matched group with Italy arguably leading as favorites, though Belgium is statistically the world’s best team according to FIFA rankings, having Kevin de Bruyne and Eden Hazard in their ranks.
Group F: Portugal, Iceland, Austria, and Hungary
Of course, one cannot speak about Portugal without mentioning Cristiano Ronaldo. After having bagged the 2016 UEFA Champions League title with Real Madrid, the legendary striker will undoubtedly hungry to put his national team in the books. Austria is likely to finish second in this group with David Alaba leading his team. As for Iceland and Hungary, they’ll be fighting for the third spot.