The coronavirus pandemic is causing mayhem with the sporting schedule in 2020 and we have already seen many casualties, with further to come.
One of those is the football European Championship. Euro 2020 will now become Euro 2021, with the tournament taking place on the same dates and from the same venues but a year later than originally planned.
This makes the two years of 2021 and 2022 huge for European footballing nations, with back to back chances for glory.
Some teams will benefit from the push back a year, while others will see their players arrive at the tournament a year older.
What about England? Is this a good postponement for them, and will they benefit from the move by winning the tournament? The bookmakers seem to think so.
England’s Long-Term Plan
When England were beaten in the World Cup semi-finals of 2018 in Russia, Gareth Southgate was proud of his squad’s achievements.
The main reason behind all of this was because his plan as manager was for the peak of his team to be in 2022. They were still learning, and used that competition as a stepping stone, rather than targeting it as one they could win.
The closer we get to 2022, the closer we are to England’s peak.
It may only be one year but playing the Euros in 2021 rather than 2020 gives England a far better chance of winning.
Players will have one more year in them in terms of experience, both domestically and internationally. There is no one who will age much, and certainly no one who currently looks at the Euros as being their last tournament that is considered a regular player.
This all leaves England in the perfect position moving forward, with the wait until next year fine for them.
What do the Bookmakers Think?
England are generally the 9/2 favourites with bookmakers ahead of the Euro 2021 tournament scheduled for next year.
This puts them just ahead of current World Cup champions France and Belgium, who have been threatening to win a tournament for years.
There are many casino and betting sites with free bet and no deposits offers available, these are a great way to have a wager without using funds of your own. These can help you build a betting bank up ahead of the tournament.
While betting is quiet at the moment, this will certainly increase as the tournament draws nearer, and many bookmakers will have offers available for those looking to wager.
The Netherlands, Germany and Spain all follow, but it is a sign of how respected and well thought of this England team is to be ahead of countries like that.
Two Tournaments in Two Years to Define a Generation
For many of those currently in the England squad, their defining tournament was always going to be the 2022 World Cup.
If they were going to shine, this was the time when they would do it, with most being at their peak and a lot of younger players ready to make a big impact.
Now England don’t have one tournament to aim at with this squad at the right time, but they have two.
The 2021 European Championships is the first, and a fantastic chance for England to record a tournament win. This may not be the very best England team we have ever seen, but it is full of quality and many star players will be in their prime at that tournament.
Then we have the original main target, the 2022 World Cup and a chance to shine on the biggest stage of all.