Guest Post from betadvisor
The fat lady has cleared her throat and the domestic football season is all but over. We know the identities of the league champions across Europe’s biggest leagues – well done to Bayern Munich, about it Juventus and of course Leicester City, there and while the La Liga title race goes to the wire, abortion we also know who will be plying their trade in the Champions League next season too.
Normally, football fans and punters would be feeling a bit melancholic at this time of year, but 2016 is different: we have the European Championships to enjoy!
So here’s a quick overview of Groups A-C, and any betting tips that arise from them. We’ll tackle Groups D-F next week, but in the meantime the good news is that there is plenty for punters to work with…
France qualified automatically as tournament hosts, and you only need to look at the quality in their squad to realise how far they could go in this competition. Having won Euro 2000 and World Cup ’84 on home soil, the scene is set for them to go the distance here. They should win Group A at a canter.
Albania shocked the football world when they qualified outright for Euro ’16, and while the three points they gained from that forfeited match with Serbia helped, mathematically they would have qualified in their own right anyway. Write them off at your peril.
Romania didn’t lose a match in qualifying and conceded just two goals, but their group was easy compared to Switzerland’s, who have the likes of Granit Xhaka, Gokhan Inler and Breel Embolo to call upon. They should have the class to finish second in the group; which is available at 2.50. We’ll add that to today’s betting tips.
There was a perfect ten for England in qualifying; they won all of their matches to waltz through to the tournament proper with ease. This is the most exciting time to be an English football supporter in decades, with pace and guile meeting good form and sensible management from Roy Hodgson. This could be the Three Lions’ best chance in years to win a major tournament.
You would expect Wales and Russia to battle it out for second place in the group, and while the Russians perhaps boast the better, or shall we say better known, squad of players, Wales were hugely impressive in qualifying. They saw off the threat of Bosnia-Herzegovina and finished just two points behind a Belgium side that many have tipped to be dark horses in the summer.
The Welsh can be backed at 1.67 to qualify, and remember that some of the best third-placed teams will make the grade too.
The world champions will make their bow in Group C, and they might be rather perturbed to have been drawn alongside Poland again; after all, the Poles beat them during the qualifying campaign and finished a solitary point behind the Germans to book their place in France. That match could well turn into a battle of the Bayern frontmen: Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski.
Northern Ireland’s topping of Group F was a huge surprise, and they deserve huge praise for that. But when you dig a bit deeper you will note that Greece, the pre-qualifying favourites for that group, were, frankly awful. The fact that the three teams to progress were Ireland, Romania and Hungary let you know of the standard on offer.
Ukraine are capable, but finishing behind Slovakia in qualifying is indicative of their chances here.
And so we will assume that Germany and Poland will win both of their matches, and that their head-to-head clash will determine who will finish top and who will finish second. It would be tough to back against the world champions of course, so we will take them to win the all-important encounter and thus Poland to finish second in Group C. That is available from 2.75, and is clearly the pick of today’s football betting tips from Bet Advisor.