As the Euro Cup 2016 kicks off June 10 in France, expect the usual drama of shocking results and convention-defying outcomes in what is considered the biggest football tournament of Europe.
So, what should you look for in this four-week high-quality football tournament, which is also fraught by security concerns?
Also read: Euro Cup 2016 Group Schedules
How host France performs
France, as the host, is expected to do well in the Euro Cup 2016. Anything short of that will truly be a shock.
The tournament starts with France playing against Romania at the Stade de France on opening day. France is expected to win this match, the BBC reports.
Losing to the Romanians will be a jolt to the French.
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Spain’s early exit
An early exit by defending champion Spain, which is aiming to defend its title and get three Euro Cups in a row, will be a big shock.
Spain though is facing tough challenges from reigning World Cup Champions Germany, Italy, France and England.
Spain’s group is likewise considered as the toughest, along with Czech Republic, Turkey and Croatia, the Straits Times reports.
Football squads from Northern Ireland, Albania, Iceland, Slovakia and Wales are all joining the Euro Cup 2016, and results beyond what is expected from these teams will certainly come off as shocking.
“It will be tough, but we’re capable of springing a surprise,” Albania forward Shkelzen Gashi told World Soccer.
“We’re going there to enjoy the occasion, but we also want to give a good account of ourselves.”
Wales, with Gareth Bale, who has led the team to their first finals since the 1958 World Cup, is looking to have a good tournament as well.
England’s first international title
England is seeking its first international success since the 1966 World Cup, and the squad winning Euro Cup 2016 will surely qualify as a surprise. The English are among the favorites though.
Another disappointing tournament for Ronaldo
For Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, who had a disappointing World Cup and is seeking his first title for his country, another disappointing result will be a shock.
“What I want is a good start to the Euros and an even better finish. It is a difficult competition to win, you have to go step by step,” he said.