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Summer 2019: Fans set for a football extravaganza

Fans are in for a treat this summer with five major tournaments taking place across the world over the next few months.

The inaugural UEFA Nations League Finals kick things off in Portugal on June 5, while the Women’s World Cup gets underway in France a couple of days later.

The Copa America in Brazil is next on the agenda the following week, with the Africa Cup of Nations joining in the fun on June 21.

Attention switches back to club football on July 16 as the International Champions Cup takes centre stage ahead of the 2019/20 season. Read on as we take a closer look at 2019 summer football.

Nations League gets the ball rolling

The Nations League was introduced to reduce the number of meaningless friendlies played by international teams in Europe and the concept appears to have been successful.

England, Netherlands and Switzerland will join hosts Portugal in the first finals event during June and each side has a genuine chance of lifting the trophy.

The Three Lions can be backed at 9/4 to win the tournament and punters can get a free bet to take advantage of what appear to be generous odds.

Gareth Southgate’s side performed well at last summer’s World Cup and can continue their progress by winning the Nations League.

Women’s football in the spotlight in France

The 2019 Women’s World Cup promises to be one of the most exciting tournaments ever staged in the female version of the game.

The United States are bidding to win the trophy for the fourth time and can be backed at around 7/2 to do just that.

However, the likes of France, Germany and England are all prominent in the betting and will provide a stiff test to the US this summer.

Netherlands look lively outsiders having won the 2017 European Championships, while it would be unwise to underestimate Japan and Australia.

Brazil aiming for boost on home soil

It has been a tough few years for Brazil and they will be eager to put things right by winning the Copa America on home soil.

The Samba Kings are 5/4 to lift the trophy, despite their disappointing showing at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Argentina are next in the betting at 7/2 and will be eager to go one better this summer having been beaten in the last two finals.

Colombia, Uruguay and Chile are also prominent in the betting, although Brazil look a solid wager to claim the title for the first time in 12 years.

Africa set for epic battle

The Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tends to be one of the most competitive international tournaments around and the 2019 edition promises to be no different in that respect.

Egypt are 4/1 favourites to win the title for an eighth time, but that looks a short price about a team who rely heavily on Mohamed Salah.

Ivory Coast have reached the final twice in the last four AFCON tournaments and are decent value at around 8/1 to make their mark this summer.

Senegal, Algeria, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana and Morocco are also worth noting in what looks a wide-open field.

ICC adds sparkle to pre-season

The International Champions Cup has generated a more competitive feel to pre-season matches, giving top clubs a chance to properly test themselves against tough opposition.

There will be 16 venues for the 2019 edition of the ICC, with matches taking place in the United States, Europe and Asia.

There are 12 teams in this summer’s tournament from England, Italy, Portugal, Germany, Mexico and Spain.

The Madrid derby between Real and Atletico at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on July 26 is the standout game, marking the first time the fixture has been played outside of Europe.

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