Viewing Guide: Football Is Not Going Away This June
The stars have aligned (for a number of reasons) to make it a bumper summer of football, especially in June.
End of the Premier League and European domestic season? Not a World Cup year? Considering something drastic like reading a book? Don’t worry about it: The stars have aligned (for a number of reasons) to make it a bumper summer of football, especially in June. In fact, there is so much going on that there is actually a lot of overlap of the matches. Here’s a guide to an unexpectedly intriguing summer of football:
FIFA Women’s World Cup (7th June – 7th July)
Only a philistine would dismiss women’s football these days, and the 2019 World Cup looks like it could be a cracker. The BBC will be covering every game, with kick-off times (the tournament is in France) in the afternoon and evening. Obviously, a lot of attention will be on the England team, who have been excellent under Phil Neville. The Lionesses are 7/1 in the betting with 888sport, behind USA (11/4), hosts France (7/2) and Germany (7/1). Anything less than a semi final spot would be a disappointment for England, and, make no mistake about it, they really, really could bring football home.
African Cup of Nations (21st June – 19th July)
Premier League clubs have finally got their wish, with the AFCON being moved to summer from it’s traditional January spot. Of course, that means players will have to face the extreme temperatures of the Egyptian summer. Moreover, it’s asking a lot of top players like Mo Salah and Sadio Mane to play after a long season. Salah’s Egypt are the 4/1 favourites to win the competition, but there are a lot of good African sides on the up at the moment. Keep an eye on 7/1 shots Algeria, who boast a young squad with some potential superstars of the future.
Copa America (14th June – 7th July)
Brazil will host the 2019 Copa America, with the eight-time winners also the hot-favourites at odds of 23/20 to lift the trophy in the Maracanã on 7th July. Broadcasting rights haven’t been announced yet for the UK, but a fine evening’s viewing is ahead with the Women’s World Cup Final on the same evening. The hosts really have an embarrassment of riches to call upon, with Neymar undoubtedly playing centre stage once again. However, expect to see a little bit of Brazil’s next big thing, Vinicius Junior. The Real Madrid man has been called up to the Brazil squad, but is yet to get a full cap. It will be good to see what all the fuss is about.
UEFA Nations League Finals (5th June – 9th June)
It’s hard to know what to make of UEFA’s new baby. Should we be excited for this finale, which sees England take on Netherlands in one semi-final and Portugal host Switzerland in the other? Regardless of how you feel about the tournament (and it feels like a loose use of the word), it will be interesting to see if Gareth Southgate’s England team can continue with the progress made over the last couple of years. England have grander designs over the coming years, but being the inaugural Nations League champions will be a step in the right direction for this exciting young side.
The CONCACAF Gold Cup will be played from 15th June – 7th July (another final on that date), with Mexico and USA the big favourites. England are the 3/1 favourites for the UEFA U21 Championships, which will be held in Italy from 16th-30th June. The FIFA U20 World Cup will take place from 23rd May-15th June, with France favourites to triumph.
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