We’re well excited about the start of Euro 2016 – the feast of football which kicks off tonight in France!
The tournament is a great way of bringing people together: footy and non-footy fans alike. And if football’s not your bag, allow us to explain who’s likely to win through the medium of dog.
We tasked Winnie, the loveable NCS cockapoo, to predict the results for the first round of games (more on that later). But first, a little by way of explanation… Euro 2016 is a 24-team tournament featuring national teams from throughout the continent. It starts with a group stage, where each team plays three matches (in England’s case, that’ll be against Russia, Wales and Slovakia) followed by knockout rounds all the way to the final in Paris on 10 July.
There’s little to choose between the main contenders; hosts France will fancy their chances on home turf; the holders Spain will hope to…reign…while world champions Germany are always there or thereabouts. The home nations are well represented; England are strong outsiders (and hopefully won’t break our hearts in a penalty shoot-out defeat), and of course Wales and Northern Ireland will be hoping to upset the odds.
Just like Paul the Octopus whose sage-like predictions lit up the 2010 World Cup – and the Microsoft algorithm which has predicted that England will crash out at the semi-finals this time around – Winnie the NCS cockapoo has her sights set on Nostradamus-style immortality. Will she favour the underdogs? Does she know her full-time scores from her Labradors? Check out the Winnie's Winners on Twitter throughout the tournament so you can act like you totally know what you're talking about this summer.
Keep an eye on NCS’s social channels to see how Winnie gets on throughout Euro 2016!