Euro 2016, round one review

So we’ve had our first round of group games and the Euros is in full swing.

According to 888sport Euro odds France are still the favourites to lift the Euro 2016 trophy after their win over Romania on the opening day. Spain, who brushed aside a disappointing Czech Republic, are second favourite,s with the Germans in third place after their win over Ukraine.

England, who face Wales in a mouthwatering clash on Thursday night, are fourth favourites, but at 10/1, can’t really be considered a ‘favourite’ at all. Although they dominated a poor Russia side, their inability to see out the game when leading 1-0 has lead to a number of questions being asked about the mentality of Roy Hodgson’s men and if they have what it takes to go deep into this tournament.

People stand at a fan zone near the Eiffel Tower in Paris on June 14, 2016 during an Euro 2016 football tournament match. / AFP / PATRICK KOVARIK
People stand at a fan zone near the Eiffel Tower in Paris on June 14, 2016 during an Euro 2016 football tournament match. / AFP / PATRICK KOVARIK

In terms of underdogs, Northern Ireland are now the rank outsiders at 1000/1 thanks to their opening game defeat at the hands of Poland. It doesn’t help that they’re also in the same group as Germany.

Albania, who take on the French on Wednesday evening, are 500/1, while Slovakia, Hungary and Romania are all 200/1. Turkey, Czech Republic and Republic of Ireland are all at 150/1.

It’s hard to pick out a clear ‘shock’of the first round.

Hungary were supposed to be awful but dismantled neighbours and rivals, Austria, 2-0.

Iceland, who are the footballing equivalent of a large town competing against nations, grabbed themselves a 1-1 draw in the final game of the first set of fixture. They were excellent, but Portugal have a habit of this sort of slip-up and with Cristiano Ronaldo far from 100% fit, they didn’t have enough to push past the strong team ethic of their so-called ‘lesser’ opponents.

As we move into the second round of games, teams should feel a bit more settled than they did for their openers. For many it was the first time their country were competing on such a stage. Nerves should have settled.

Should have. It remains to be seen if they actually have.

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Lee Hurley

Writer specialising in good football and bad relationships. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.