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Most fans and pundits agree France start the tournament as favourites.

The last time they hosted the tournament in 1984 they won it and most think they can lift the trophy again.

Who are Euro 2016's dark horses?However, who are the dark horses worth a punt?

There have been shocks in the past with Denmark and Greece winning the tournament in 1992 and 2004 respectively, why couldn’t 2016 see another shock winner?

England – 9/1

At 9/1 you could argue that England are not dark horses for this tournament but let’s look at the facts, England have not won a major trophy for 50 years and not only that they have never lifted the European Championship.

There is no doubt that England are dark horses because nobody rates their chances, history is against them because they’re last decent tournament performance came in Euro 96 and since then the team have limped to mediocrity.

However, you cannot write off England because they have the youngest squad in the tournament and it is a squad full of quality and potential. With Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy as strikers anything can happen, there are goals and creativity in this team which makes them a dangerous proposition.

Vardy and Kane should give England attacking firepower but defensive solidity is a huge concern for Roy Hodgson’s men. There is only one problem, the defence is awful and this could lead to England’s downfall and further disappointed for the fans.

Predicted finish: Quarter-finals.

Belgium – 10/1

A squad full of superstars, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne and Thibaut Courtois will grace the field in France for Belgium.

However, great individuals does not always make a great team and this have been the downfall of Belgium in past tournaments.

Belgium were disappointing at the last World Cup despite having a bunch of stars at their disposal. It could be another ‘Golden generation’ such as England’s which never lives up to their potential.

They made the quarter-finals in the World Cup which was a disappointment in reality, the world expected so much more. Could this be their time to shine?

If a team spirit can be developed, there is no end to what this group of players can achieve.

Predicted finish: Quarter-finals.

Croatia – 25/1

Now this team is a real dark horse, they should sweep through the group stage by beating Turkey, Czech Republic and giving reigning champions Spain a run for their money.

One of Croatia’s strong points is their midfield, you would struggle to find three better midfielders in this tournament than Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic and Ivan Rakitic those three could dominate a match and lead their country deep into this competition.

Plus, they don’t have a bad striker either who goes by the name of Mario Mandzukic who has 24 goals in 65 caps for his country.

Even though they do have some truly brilliant players, at 25/1 it is clear the bookies do not think the Eastern-European’s have got a chance of shocking the world by winning this tournament.

Predicted finish: Semi-finals.

Poland – 50/1

One man, Robert Lewandowski makes this Poland team dangerous simply because he is probably the best striker around at the moment.

Although the rest of the squad aren’t household names, Polish sides are notoriously hard to break down and this is a quality much needed to win this tournament.

Also, Poland have had a favourable draw for the Euro’s you would be confident they can beat Northern Ireland and Ukraine. Although, Germany will be a tough proposition it is not beyond the realms of possibility that Poland could take a huge scalp in that game.

If they aren’t worth a cheeky fiver, Lewandowski has to be one of the favourites to bag the golden boot.

Predicted finish: Quarter-finals.

Originally published at oneshotfootball.com

Post written by Scott Francis
for One Shot Football, Blog: One Shot Football, Twitter: @O_S_Football

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