Could Being Host Nation Enhance England’s Chances of Winning the Euros?

Gareth Southgate England
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Could Being Host Nation Enhance England’s Chances of Winning the Euros?

In this article, we take a look at the recent news that England could take over as the host nation of the Euro 2020 in 2021, as due to the recent Covid-19 Pandemic the initial plans of hosting the European Championships in several different nations is set to be scrapped, as it is deemed safer to host the prestigious tournament in one specific nation due to safety reasons.

England have only hosted two major tournaments in football history, one being the 1966 World Cup final where the Three Lions beat West Germany 4-2 in the final via a Sir Geoff Hurst hattrick, and Euro 1996, where Terry Venables’ side narrowly lost to Germany on penalties in the semi-finals.

England have Previously Shown That It Could be an Advantage

The semi-finals and final of Euro 2020 was set to be held in London at Wembley Stadium, but the question is, how big of an advantage could it be that the whole tournament is held in England?

Well, putting it into perspective, although England’s last Nations League group stages didn’t go as well as planned due to some poor results against the likes of Denmark which weren’t enhanced pre-match via a series of off the pitch incidents, England made the previous Nations League semi-finals against the Netherlands at Estádio D. Afonso Henriques in Guimaraes in the summer of 2019, having progressed through a tricky group consisting of Spain and Croatia with seven points from four games.

What must be noted about England’s Nations League group is that they earned a clutch 2-1 home win against Croatia at Wembley via late goals from Jesse Lingard and Harry Kane which essentially saw England qualify instead of the Croatian’s, relegating the Croats in the process.

England have also previously shown in Euro 1996 that home advantage can be a factor, as despite having a good team, they were written off by many of the press, but went on to beat the likes of Holland 4-1 at Wembley, as well as Spain in a penalty shootout on their way to narrowly losing the semi-finals.

Euro 2021 England Tips

skybet betting tip

ENGLAND TO WIN EURO 2021 @ 9/2

Which Nations Have Profited from Home Advantage in Tournaments Over Recent Years?

Obviously, there are host nations that don’t have the quality to progress as far as they would like, as South Africa found out in 2010, despite beating France 2-1 in their final group stage game. But, the likes of Germany in 2006 made a big impression when hosting a tournament, as despite losing the 2002 World Cup Final to Brazil 2-0, they failed to qualify from their group at the Euro 2004 finals prior to finishing third place in the 2006 World Cup.

In 2006 they missed out on a place in the final having narrowly being beaten 2-0 in the semi-finals by two late strikes from Fabio Grosso and Alessandro Del Piero for eventual champions Italy, which was a credible effort by Jurgen Klinsmann’s men, as the Italian’s only conceded two goals in the whole tournament, via an own goal by Cristian Zaccardo in the group stages, and a Zinedine Zidane penalty in the final against France.

Russia also managed to make the 2018 World Cup quarter-finals despite some believing that they wouldn’t even make it through a group consisting of Uruguay, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

They beat the latter two mentioned with ease, scoring eight goals over the two games, before recording a shock penalty shootout win against Spain in the round of 16. This was topped off by Russia only being beaten on penalties by eventual runners-up Croatia, in what turned out to be a tournament for the Russian fans to be proud of.

In the Euros, there are some examples of big overachievers, such as Portugal in 2004 having made it to the final of the competition that they hosted, despite being beaten in the final by shock winners Greece. Despite this, they had memorable games along the way even though they weren’t one of the favourites going into the tournament, although opinions of their side were enhanced following FC Porto’s shock Champions League win that year.

Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side beat the likes of Spain, England and Netherlands on the way to reaching the final, having failed to progress from a group containing South Korea, USA and Poland in the 2002 World Cup.

England Euro 2021 Specials

skybet betting tip

HARRY KANE TO BE NAMED AS PLAYER OF THE TOURNAMENT @ 14/1

If England are to go far Harry Kane Must Take Inspiration from Alan Shearer

In Euro 1996, Alan Shearer won the Golden Boot with five goals, beating the likes of Klinsmann, Hristo Stoichkov and Davor Suker who all managed three goals each. Despite Kane finishing as the top scorer as England made it to the World Cup semi-finals in Russia with six goals, of which three were penalties, whilst the others were tap ins and deflections against Tunisia and Panama, he needs to take inspiration from those who he is compared to the most in Shearer.

Kane’s goalscoring record at Spurs is undisputed, alike Shearer’s, as the Tottenham man is a world-class striker as his record suggests, as he has found the back of the net 210 times and made 44 assists in 321 games. But he must step up in big matches in the major tournaments, as he went quiet against the likes of Colombia where he was bailed out by a penalty, as well as against Croatia in the semi-finals of the World Cup, and against the Netherlands in the semi-finals of the Nations League.

Shearer was the last English player prior to Kane to win a Golden Boot at a major tournament, with the then Blackburn Rovers striker scoring 5 goals in five matches, despite not having a good record for England prior to the start of the tournament. The Newcastle legend scored a brace in a crucial 4-1 win against Holland, as well as goals against Scotland, Switzerland and Germany, and despite England being outplayed by Spain in the quarter-finals in a 0-0 draw, he stepped up as the first penalty taker and scored.

England will need Kane to perform to the high standards Shearer set all those years ago when bearing the weight of expectations as the main marksman of a home nation striker, and fingers crossed the Spurs man can do that if football finally comes home for the first time since 1996.

Euro 2020 / Euro 2021 Golden Boot Winner Tips

skybet betting tip

HARRY KANE TO WIN THE EURO 2021 GOLDEN BOOT AWARD @ 5/1

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