After a year-long delay, this weekend saw the much-anticipated start of the European Championships, with a feast of football and an abundance of goals given the opening round of fixtures is normally awash with caution.
For the many fans picking Roberto Mancini’s Italy as their tournament winners, Friday’s tournament opener will have made for enjoyable viewing as they powered three goals past Turkey to secure a solid start to their campaign.
Lazio hitman, Ciro Immobile also moved to as short as 12/1 to land the tournament Golden Boot as he notched up Italy’s second goal and moved to establish himself as one of the contenders for the striking accolade.
A heavy defeat for Turkey provided both Wales and Switzerland with an opportunity for force ahead as key contenders for second spot, however in a game the bookmakers were backing to be low scoring, a late Kieffer Moore goal rescued a point for Wales.
An unlikely 2/1 shot on over 2.5 goals in the game was on the brink of landing before VAR ruled out a late winner for Mario Gavranović.
Italy are currently heavy favourites to win the group, nonetheless, the battle for qualification remains beautifully poised as Switzerland are just fancied over Turkey and Wales – two sides the bookies are struggling to split.
In a game overshadowed by tragedy, as Christian Eriksen collapsed after suffering cardiac arrest in the first half, Finland were unlikely winners against Denmark.
In a move widely condemned by the football world, the game restarted and a shellshocked Denmark side struggled to perform before succumbing to a one-goal defeat at the hand of 11/1 underdogs Finland.
Belgium underlined why they are one of the tournament’s most hotly-picked teams as they dispatched Russia in a convincing 3-1 win, with Romelu Lukaku cementing his status as golden boot favourite by bagging a brace.
On Sunday, the attention turned to the Three Lions, with Gareth Southgate’s side as short as 1/2 to defeat a Croatia team that ended their World Cup run three summers ago.
In a hard fought battle, a Raheem Sterling goal was the difference as England emphasised why they are such a short price for the championship.
Ukraine and Holland will have arisen the attention of those that love betting overs, as they both pushed forward and produced a five-goal thriller, with Frank de Boer’s side edging the clash 3-2 thanks to a late goal from full-back Denzel Dumfries.
In spite of a reported dispute in the camp between Olivier Giroud and Kylian Mbappe, France remain tournament favourites, however, England and Belgium are hot on the tails of the world champions after impressive opening round displays.