European league football is on a break after a long and exciting season but football fans around the world need not fret as there would be plenty of international football on the menu this summer.
All eyes will be on France from June 10, 2016 when the European Championship will kick off as 24 teams vie for the cup.
Though many are tipping defending champions, Spain to repeat the feat, they might not get past the semi final as the team is yet to gel with many new faces on board as the old guard is being gradually replaced.
Here are the top four teams you are likely to see in the semi final as France goes all the way to lift the cup in front of their fans.
- France: Apart from the fact that they are hosts and will be cheered passionately by their fans, the Les Bleus boast the best range of quality players in Europe. From newcomers, Ngolo Kante, Dimitri Payet, Kingsley Coman and the supremely talented Anthony Martial to mainstays like Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann Morgan Schneiderlin and Laurent Koscielny. The squad is perfectly balanced and even the absence of talismanic striker, Karim Benzema wouldn’t affect them too much as there is enough firepower in the team.
- Germany: Closely following France is the German team. After winning the 2014 world cup expectations are high as they have the best goalkeeper in the world and a mobile, intelligent midfield. Yet recent results suggest that the team is far from perfect. They lost to Poland and Iceland in qualification. They have also lost two of their last three friendly matches (against England and Slovakia). Their lack of a world class center forward might also limit them.
- Spain: After their capitulation in Brazil two years ago, Coach Vicente del Bosque is a man with a point to prove in France. The change in era is not going as smoothly as he would have liked and he is now faced with the question of whether to stick with the older heads like Iker Casillas over De Gea, David Silva or Thiago Alcantara. If the team can find a balance, its filled with so much talent and with the in-form Morata banging in the goals, Spain could go all the way in France.
- Three teams take up the fourth spot as they have equal chances of springing surprises. England, Italy, Belgium are all well positioned to challenge effectively with their young, dynamic squads. At least one of these three would be in the last four all things being equal but my some fine margin, France is the team most punters will stake their bucks on.
- Daniel Fayemi for encomium.ng