Following the conclusion of a thrilling few weeks of European football action as the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship came to a tense close at Wembley, bettingexpert’s The Big Stage reflected on the competition and made their predictions for the 2020/21 Premier League season.
As two huge England fans, former national team player Wayne Bridge and YouTube football commentator Rory Jennings were understandably disappointed with the Three Lions penalty defeat at the hands of Italy last Sunday.
“I think everyone was sad,” Bridge remarked. “At the end of it, wherever you’re watching it, it killed the vibe a bit, because we all thought it was happening.
“I think you’ve just gotta sit back and look back at it, and the lads really did do well but there was so much sadness after the game. We watched it at home and I couldn’t watch them lift the trophy, no matter how proud I was of the boys and everything.”
However, the duo did acknowledge that they had picked Italy out as a ‘potential dark horse’ team at the start of the tournament.
Bridge commented: “They’re unbeaten, the team unity, the two centre backs and the experience they’ve got, and them as players and they’re intelligent – the way they play, defend as a team and keep shape. They definitely have team spirit, and they’re goalkeeper was fantastic. The way they went about qualifying, everything stood out.”
Discussing the draw throughout the tournament, host Joe Ryan noted that it is something all football bettors should consider when making their choices for a competition, before asking Jennings what his opinion was on England’s chances, should their opponents have been different.
“I think we’ve proved in this tournament that we are capable of beating anyone,” he responded. “I think we’ve proved that we can do have it in us to turn over the big teams, and at one point, regardless of we ended up playing, people we’re worried about England and saying we should maybe potentially throw a game so that we didn’t finish in the positions that we played someone in the Group of Death.
“We finished top of the group, played the team that we were meant to be terrified of, and actually played them off the park. That was an example of a Southgate masterclass, he got it spot on that day. I don’t think we have anything to be fearful of.”
From a fan’s perspective, Jennings also spoke positively of the return of fans to stadiums, and emphasised what this means for the sport and what this could mean for the coming season.
“It’s a wonderful thing, it’s beautiful news. Going to football matches is a rite-of-passage for some people. It’s such an enjoyable thing to do and there are friendships that are established via football.
“I believe fans directly impact the result of the game. I don’t think there are certain things that would happen that did happen if fans were there and equally vice versa. Having fans back in stadiums for the new Premier League season is the best news we could hope for, apart from England winning the Euros of course!”
Moving on to making their predictions for next year’s Premier League campaign, both Bridge and Jennings backed Chelsea – perhaps with some bias as a former Blues player and a life-long supporter.
For the forthcoming Bundesliga season, the duo again agreed on an outright winner, describing Bayern Munich as simply ‘too strong’ for any other team to oppose, including rivals Borussia Dortmund following the exit of Jadon Sancho and possible departure of Erling Haaland.
The duo finally found some disagreement when discussing the Spanish league, Jennings decided to back Atletico Madrid to retain their La Liga title, although Bridge was hopeful that Messi’s new contract with Barcelona could help them regain the trophy after two years.
Finally, Bridge offered a shock prediction for the Serie A – one which would result in many payouts should punters follow through – placing his faith in Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma to have a surprise victory in the tournament, whilst Jennings went with the safer bet of Juventus.
Source – bettingexpert YouTube Channel