France are hot on Germany’s heels at just 37/20 to win Euro 2016 following the hosts’ 5-2 thumping of Iceland in the last quarter-final, with Joachim Low’s World Cup winners hanging onto favouritism at 9/5 ahead of the historic rivals’ semi-final clash in Paris.
With three of the top five scorers in the tournament, including red-hot Antoine Griezmann, within Les Bleus ranks, bwin.com even make Didier Deschamps’ men marginal 9/5 favourites for the win against 19/10 Germany at Marseille’s Stade Velodrome, the draw 41/20.
Good omens have been sought for the home fans, such as the last time they scored five at a Euros (1984) they went onto win the whole thing, Michel Platini racking up the goals that summer with a record haul of nine.
If you’re feeling that high then look away now because the big, bad omen is coming…no side in European Championships history has followed up that kind of quarter-final victory with semi-final success.
Euro ’96 was the first such championships to feature a last-eight round, with previous eight-team tournaments seeing semis following straight on from the groups.
Only two previous sides had won Euros quarter-finals by three or more goals prior to the Stade de France thrashing of Lars Lagerback’s side – Czech Republic’s 3-0 victory over Denmark in 2004, and Netherlands’ 6-1 thumping of Yugoslavia four years earlier.
Neither made it past semi-final clashes with Greece and Italy respectively.
Another trend weighing in Germany’s favour, as Deschamps will know well, is the recent form of European nations while basking in the glow of World Cup victory.
France followed up taking the big prize in 1998 with Euro 2000 success, while Spain miraculously managed to retain their 2008 title last time out, with World Cup 2010 triumph sandwiched in between.
Only Italy, who lost to Spain as world champions in the 2008 quarters, disrupt this run, and two out of three ain’t bad.