With Euro 2016 fast approaching, you may fancy placing a bet or two. Or you may just want to make sure you don’t miss the important matches.
With this in mind, here’s all you need to know about the Euros in France this summer.
Who has automatically qualified?
As the host nation, the French national team is assured of a place and didn’t need to qualify. Les Bleus are joined by the nine winners and nine runners-up of the qualifying groups:
Group A: Czech Republic, Iceland
Group B: Belgium, Wales
Group C: Spain, Slovakia
Group D: Germany, Poland
Group E: England, Switzerland
Group F: Northern Ireland, Romania
Group G: Austria, Russia
Group H: Italy, Croatia
Group I: Portugal, Albania
As the best third-placed team (18 points), Turkey have also qualified automatically. After winning their play-off matches, Hungary, Sweden, Republic of Ireland and Ukraine will also be at the tournament.
Where will the games take place?
Matches at Euro 2016 will take place at 10 venues across France.
The final will take place at the Stade de France, while the other matches will take place at the following nine venues:
- Matmut Atlantique (Bordeaux),
- Stade Vélodrome (Marseille),
- Parc des Princes (Paris),
- Stade Pierre-Mauroy (Lille),
- Parc Olympique Lyonnais (Lyon),
- Stade Bollaert-Delelis (Lens),
- Stadium Municipal (Toulouse),
- Stade Geoffroy-Guichard (Saint-Étienne),
- Allianz Riviera (Nice).
When will the matches take place?
The group fixtures involving the home nations and the Republic of Ireland during Euro 2016 are:
Russia (Saturday, 11 June, 8pm) venue: Marseille
Wales (Thursday, 16 June, 2pm) venue: Lens
Slovakia (Monday, 20 June, 8pm) venue: Saint-Etienne
Slovakia (Saturday, 11 June, 5pm) venue: Bordeaux
England (Thursday, 16 June, 2pm) venue: Lens
Russia (Monday, 20 June, 8pm) venue: Toulouse
Poland (Sunday, 12 June, 5pm) venue: Nice
Ukraine (Thursday, 16 June, 5pm) venue: Lyon
Germany (Tuesday, 21 June, 5pm) venue: Paris
Republic of Ireland
Sweden (Monday, 13 June, 5pm) venue: Saint-Denis
Belgium (Saturday, 18 June, 2pm) venue: Bordeaux
Italy (Wednesday, 22 June, 8pm) venue: Lille
How is the knockout draw decided?
Even though no matches have yet taken place, the outcome of the Euro 2016 knockout phase is, to some extent, pre-determined. UEFA has arranged the match-ups for the Round of 16 as follows:
Match 1: Runner-up of Group A vs. Runner-up of Group C
Match 2: Winner Group of D vs. Third Place in Group B, E, or F
Match 3: Winner of Group B vs. Third Place in Group A, C, or D
Match 4: Winner of Group F vs. Runner-up in Group E
Match 5: Winner of Group C vs. Third Place in Group A, B, or F
Match 6: Winner of Group E vs. Runner-up in Group D
Match 7: Winner of Group A vs. Third Place in Group C, D, or E
Match 8: Runner-up of Group B vs. Runner-up in Group F
The actual match-ups depend on which four third-placed teams qualify for the knockout phase. The four best performing third-placed teams take these places.
Who are the favourites to win the competition?
Despite not winning a major competition since 2000, France have the home advantage and are favourites to win the tournament at 3/1.
World Champions Germany are second favourites at 10/3, while reigning kings of Europe, Spain, have odds at 5/1 to repeat their 2012 victory.
With regard to the home nations, England are fifth-favourite behind Belgium at 11/1. Wales are considered unlikely to win the Euros at 80/1.
Northern Ireland are even less likely to be crowned European Champions at 500/1. Meanwhile, the Republic of Ireland are in with a better shot at 150/1.
With the plethora of teams competing for European supremacy at Euro 2016, from German giants to the minnows of Iceland and Northern Ireland, a few shock results could well be on the cards.
Of the four home nations competing, England are expected to fare the best, but will any team be able to dislodge the hosts, France, who last lifted the cup back in the year 2000? This year’s eventual champions are far from easy to predict.