The results are in, the calculations are done. As the EURO 2021 is about to get underway, Sportcompass is presenting the predictions for how the tournament will shape up. We can get one thing out of the way first – there is no clear favourite to win it. Nonetheless, we can identify the frontrunners and underdogs with our analytical approach to calculating probabilities. After 50,000 full tournament simulations based on the Sportcompass Ranking, accounting for home field advantage and all tournament rules such as tie-break criteria, we have the full story.
Spain, England and Netherlands most likely to go through to last 16
Not all groups are created equal. While Group F is stacked with Germany, Portugal and France, other teams can expect an easier way out of the group stage. With the competition format allowing four of the six third-placed teams to pass through to the next round, even the outsiders must not be dismissed. Let’s get into the weeds and examine the teams’ chances to reach the knockout stage.
Group A: Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, Wales (in order of the pot allocation at the
To nobody’s surprise, the Sportcompass prediction favours Italy to reach the Round of 16 at 95.5% likelihood. Not only do they have home field advantage for all three group matches, but they are clearly the strongest team out of the four too. Behind them, Switzerland (72.5%) can be expected to qualify too, while it is pretty much a toss-up for Wales (51.4%) and Turkey (47.5%).
Group B: Belgium, Russia, Denmark, Finland
Belgium, the strongest team in the tournament according to the Sportcompass Ranking, comes out just behind Denmark at 93.3% and 93.7% chance to advance from the group respectively. That is down to Denmark playing their group matches at home. Russia (55.7%) can expect a tough fight, Finland (23.9%) even more so.
Group C: Ukraine, Netherlands, Austria, North Macedonia
This group has a clear favourite with Netherlands at 97.5% chance to move on to the knockout stage. Ukraine (65.9%) is the best of the rest, but Austria (59.7%) is also in good shape to advance. Even the debutant North Macedonia (40.8%) is surely in contention as well.
Group D: England, Croatia, Czech Republic, Scotland
In Group D, the pressure is on England to deliver, as they are expected to go to the Round of 16 with a probability of 97.7%. Croatia (61.1%), Czech Republic (54.1%) and Scotland (50.2%) are all more likely to proceed than not – but of course at least one of them will have to go home early.
Group E: Spain, Poland, Sweden, Slovakia
Spain is the most likely to play in the last 16 with a 98.2% likelihood. Ranked 2nd out of the Euro participants, they are playing all group matches in their own country. Poland will fancy their chances of 63.4%, just like Sweden (60.5%). Slovakia (40.4%) is the clear underdog but making it out of the group is well within the realm of possibility.
Group F: Germany, France, Portugal, Hungary
This one has an aura of late-stage tournament classics. Germany’s home field advantage narrowly gives them the best chances of making it out alive at 89.1%. Portugal (82.1%) will not go down easily either. It would be a surprise to see France go out early facing off against their semi-final and final opponent of 2016. They have an 81.5% chance to proceed. The beauty of this group is that none of these three giants can be too sure of themselves, as one of them could easily drop out at the end of the group stage. Oh, and don’t forget Hungary, doing everything to capitalise on their 24.5% chance.
Round of 16 will see favourites knocked out
Once the knockout stage starts, anything can happen. That’s what makes big tournaments exciting and hard to predict. Still, some events are more likely than others. With our simulations, we can prepare you for some potential upsets.
As the most likely winner of Group D, England can expect a tough match-up against the second-placed team from Group F with Germany, Portugal or France. However, the fact that this match would take place in London will give England an advantage.
If the third-placed team of the famous Group F advances to the Round of 16, they will play against the winner of Group C – most likely Netherlands – or Group B, which will probably be Denmark or Belgium. In any case, this is a match to look out for.
High stakes in the quarter-finals
Just in case the previous fixtures weren’t already enticing enough, the quarter-finals will surely do it for you. Six teams have more than 50% chance to get this far: Spain (71.7%), Belgium (63.3%), Italy (61.9%), England (60.2%), Netherlands (54.6%) and perhaps surprisingly Denmark (52.9%). Germany, Portugal and France are all just below 50%, so whoever makes it out of that group will be among the favourites for the rest of the Euro.
England, Belgium and Spain top favourites to be crowned champions
Finally, the answer you have been waiting for: England has the highest chance to be the next European champion! Home advantage in the semi-final and final are nothing to be scoffed at. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the experience from international qualifiers without fans or a limited number of them has shown that the home team still has a very real advantage. That being said, other teams are almost as likely to come out in front. These are the teams with the highest probability to become champions: