Someone may want to impress your friends with your knowledge, or they might want to choose the best fantasy football picks or betting lines. Whatever the motivation, there is a load of places where people can research footballers and teams and try to predict the outcome or just be clued up before they watch.

Having a bit of background knowledge can sometimes help people to know more about the sport or to just get to grips with the team and how it works. Will England’s defense be good enough? Is Belgium finally going to win something?

The sportsbook gambling options may also provide a way for people to do research, even if it is just a case of looking at upcoming fixtures. Many sports markets at Thunderpick are put online well in advance, and there are markets for each team and even individuals. People spend a lot of time checking out the stats that players boast so they can work out who they think is going to score or what the outcome will be. 

Football (soccer) is still the most-watched sport in the world, and sportsbooks reflect this. Research on the markets doesn’t have to be limited to teams and whether they tend to score a lot of goals or win their games, individual players may have records on shots on target or even tackles. It all plays a part in the tapestry of what some call “the beautiful game”.

Always Check the Squads

Before tournaments and fixtures, there are international squads named. You can usually check on the international team’s Football Association website. Euro 2024 has the teams listed on its official site and you can see exactly who is in every squad.

You might not think it makes a huge difference, but it does. Kevin De Bruyne is one of the best players in the world, so if he was suddenly unavailable for Belgium their team would be much weaker. 


The form of the teams involved is a clue to what will happen, and recent performances provide a snapshot of a team’s current state, whether they’re riding a wave of success or struggling to find their rhythm. Always try to work out the team’s recent fixtures and what’s been causing this.

People betting on specific markets might not even be looking at who wins their games more often than not, but they might be exploring things like how many goals a team scores as this can impact the over 2.5 goals market.

Check injuries as well, as a team might be in excellent form, but if their star striker is nursing a hamstring injury or their midfield maestro is out, it could change the balance.

Check the Fixtures

Fixtures don’t just tell us who is playing against who: a World Cup qualifier versus a friendly game have different levels of intensity and stakes and international teams often play these friendlies, where teams might rotate their squads in less critical fixtures, giving fringe players a chance and possibly affecting performance levels.

Not much is at stake for the teams involved in friendlies, but a team needing a win to qualify for the next stage will likely approach the game with more urgency than one already assured of progression.

Home vs away fixtures also play a part. Home advantage is a well-documented phenomenon in football as home teams have their fans and familiar surroundings. Home advantage can be particularly big in international fixtures, where travel fatigue and unfamiliar environments play a bigger role as some teams have to travel a long way for a fixture. Bolivia is a notoriously tough place for teams to go because of the fact that it has a high altitude and some players struggle with this whereas Bolivian stars might be a bit more used to it.

H2H (Head-to-Head)

Some football fans think that there’s such a thing as a “bogey team” that their country performs worse against – we’re not sure about that. However, head-to-head records between the two teams can reveal patterns. Some teams have a psychological edge over others, consistently performing well against their opponents.

If two teams are meeting you can check out how they usually get on against one another and see if you think this will change things.


Football is often unpredictable, and nobody knows exactly how it will pan out. 2004 saw Greece win the Euros when nobody expected it, and now in 2024, they did not even qualify for the tournament.

As we alluded to, it can be more entertaining to watch football with a bit of background knowledge – who are the big rivals, and which games are likely to provide lots of goals? Research is easier than ever in the modern age with thousands of matches analyzed and stats collected online.