With the European Championship taking place in France, we thought we'd take the opportunity to assess the field and see which national sides have the best chance of lifting the Euro 2016 trophy.
As ever, this year's Euro is set to be another tight one with the hosts and winners of the 2000 tournament, France, priced at 3/1 at the time of writing to win in their own back yard according to the Paddy Power Euro 2016 odds. Away from the home side, current world champions Germany are another team that will be 'there or thereabouts' when the business end of the tournament gets under way, whilst a 9/1 England side who've had a clutch of players who enjoyed solid domestic 2015/2016 seasons for their clubs could be the competition's dark horses.
Ever since their back-to-back World Cup and European Championship victories in 1998 and 2000, France have been in the wilderness somewhat where major tournaments are concerned. Apart from a 2006 World Cup final appearance, Les Bleus have failed to make it past the group stages three times in World Cups and European Championships, with many of their appearances, including their disastrous 2010 World Cup, usually further overshadowed by disharmony off the field. With a fresh, young side boasting talents such as Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann, this year could be the year where it all changes for France. Home advantage is of course something that tips the odds in their favour but, on paper, France's 23-man squad is as strong as anybody's going into Euro 2016, which is why they will be the team to beat this summer.
Whilst they may have gone off the boil slightly, there's no erring away from the fact that Germany are still world champions and for that reason and that reason alone, they must be taken seriously. The biggest challenge Joachim Low's men will face at this year's tournament is dealing with other countries' expectations. In a world where 'parking the bus' and surrendering possession in exchange for ten men behind the ball are commonly favoured tactics by weaker sides, it will be up to Low to decide the best course of action to take when breaking stubborn teams down on the attack. With striker Thomas Muller, who is always a consistent performer at major tournaments, as well as Mario Gomez likely to lead the Germany attack, the World Cup winners still have a great chance of repeating their 2014 heroics in France this summer.
Despite defensively lacking somewhat, England arguably have the most formidable attacking options in the entire competition. With strikers Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy enjoying prolific seasons for Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City, respectively, the main headache coach Roy Hodgson will have is working out how to accommodate both of them on the field together as well as all-time top scorer and captain Wayne Rooney. With exciting attacking midfielder Dele Alli playing just behind them, too, the Three Lions certainly have the firepower in their squad to cause an upset this summer.