During the quiet months of the year, we are starved of that World Cup or European Championship, but unfortunately when the year ends in an odd number – we are not given that privilege.
Despite this, there is abundance of football this summer, more than you can shake a stick at. There is the Copa America, which is the oldest international tournament in existence. Then, we have the African Cup of Nations, where the likes of Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane will feature.
In addition to that, the Women’s World Cup which has generated a lot of buzz, and has already kicked off with a World Cup record breaking score line of 13-0 – anything can happen! Here, I will provide you odds on who will win these tournaments, and my personal prediction.
I have already correctly picked Portugal to win the UEFA Nations League this summer, so I hope my winning trend continues throughout the rest of the off-season.[geot exclude_country="US" ][/geot]
Start Date: June 14th
Final: July 7th
Odds to win;
Brazil – 11/10
Argentina – 7/2
Uruguay – 13/2
Colombia – 9/1
Chile – 12/1
Peru – 20/1
Brazil kick off the tournament in their home country against Bolivia on June 14th and have a huge weight of expectation resting on their shoulders. Despite failures when hosting the World Cup seared into their minds, they have actually won the Copa America every time that they have hosted it – no pressure then!
Star man and captain Neymar will not be involved in the competition, but they still boast the best squad at the championships. Argentina are tipped to be the closest challengers, as Lionel Messi will want to finally win a senior trophy with his national team. With the likes of Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria supporting him, they have a menacing attack that cannot be unfancied by anyone. Elsewhere, Uruguay always provide a stern opposition with first-rate experience through the core of their team – spearheaded by Luiz Suarez.
Colombia, managed by Carlos Queiroz, will be the dark horses of the competition, as they hope James Rodriguez can put on a similar show to his display in Brazil for the 2014 World Cup. Chile are the two-time defending champions, having won on penalties in 2015 & 2016, but their aging squad has declined, with some of their star performers regressing in their career. I have a feeling that Argentina will get that long-awaited Copa America victory, with Lionel Messi being instrumental. Otherwise, I’d recommend backing Colombia to surprise and get their 2nd every Copa America title.
Africa Cup of Nations
Start Date: June 21st
Final: July 19th
Odds to win;
Egypt – 9/2
Senegal – 11/2
Ghana – 13/2
Ivory Coast – 8/1
Nigeria – 9/1
Morocco – 11/1
This year’s edition of the African Cup of Nations is different for two reasons. First of all, it’s being played in the summer, instead of its usual January/February timeslot, meaning temperatures will be between 25 and 40 degrees for most of the matches. Secondly, the tournament will be its biggest ever with the amount of teams expanding from 16 to 24. Egypt are the hosts, and favourites for this year’s African Cup of Nations, with most notably Mohammed Salah looking to finish his summer in style following the Champions League success.
He’ll have to fend off club team mate Sadio Mane, who represents Senegal who are 2nd favourites to lift the trophy. Cameroon are current holders, but are way down the list of favourites to win the tournament. Ivory Coast and Ghana, who always seem to perform so well at the World Cup, are the dark horses to win the African Cup of Nations, but between them, have only won once on the last 27 years.
The safest bet would be to back Egypt to win, but if I had to pick one team, I’d back Senegal. In recent years, they have been the most fearful side in Africa, with Sadio Mane in attack, and defender Kalidou Koulibaly looking to be one of the most-wanted in world football. After an impressive World Cup 2018 showing, they should really go for the jugular here. My money’s on them.
FIFA Women’s World Cup
Start Date: June 7th
Final: July 7th
Odds to win;
France – 5/2
USA – 5/2
England – 13/2
Germany – 7/1
Netherlands – 12/1
Australia – 16/1
The Women’s World Cup has already started, and it has been a really captivating tournament so far. VAR, own goals, record breaking score lines, sublime solo goals, and brilliant comebacks – and that’s all in the first week! Hosted in France, the tournament looks set to continue to entertain us as we are eager to see who will be crowned champions.
France, as hosts, will want to emulate what the men’s team did last year, but the considered bet would be on USA who are at the same odds. USA are three time winners, current holders, and have already won 13-0. Alex Morgan is their prolific striker, and it will be tough for any other team to stop them. Elsewhere, I believe England and Germany will come up short again, but I’d happily be proven wrong if the former wins![geot exclude_country="US" ][/geot]
Under-21 European Championships
Start Date: June 16th
Final: June 30th
Odds to win;
England U21 – 7/2
Spain U21 – 4/1
France U21 – 9/2
Germany U21 – 11/2
Italy U21 – 11/2
Denmark U21 – 16/1
The European Championship for the under 21’s has been increasingly popular of the last couple of decades, as in reality, it’s the first time we see potential world-class stars on one of the grandest stages. Previously, we have seen Petr Cech, Toni Kroos, Andrea Pirlo and more win this tournament before becoming elite players for their nation. The tournament is hosted in Italy and San Marino, with Luka Jovic of Serbia being the one to watch.
His impressive season at Frankfurt has earned him a lucrative switch to Real Madrid. England are the favourites, but the usual suspects of Spain, France, Italy and Germany are never too far behind. Germany are the current holders and Spain have won it twice in the last decade, as well as being the strongest teams in the qualification stages. It’s a tournament with a lot of unpredictability, so be bold with a few options – mine would be Germany and Spain.
Let’s hope the summer of football can keep us entertained, and all the best with your outright winner bets![geot country="US,CA" ]
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