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Host nation must beat England or France to qualify from Group D

| 12.06.2012

After completing a sensational comeback to beat Sweden on Monday, joint-host nation Ukraine are in pole position to advance from Group D, as 4/7 chances.

The hosts top the group, as an Andriy Shevchenko brace secured victory for them, in the aftermath of Zlatan Ibrahimovic giving Sweden a second half lead.

Ibrahimovic and co., who appeared impressive at times, now have a mountain to climb, and realistically must hope to achieve maximum point hauls against England and France to justify a 5/1 price for progression.

Meanwhile, Ukraine success came in the aftermath of a score draw between England and France, in which both sides appeared to show enough about themselves to suggest they would go through.

France remain shortest in the market to reach the knockout stage, afforded a 4/9 price to do so, whilst England, more resilient under Roy Hodgson, are 4/7 shots.

Judging by the nature of either side’s performance in their tournament openers though, both the Three Lions and Les Bleus would seem to be a cut above their group opposition.

With that in mind, the 6/5 odds about Ukraine failing to qualify from Group D look a steal, and many punters will lap up that generous price.

Although veteran striker Shevchenko rescued them last night, the Ukrainians looked lethargic at times against Sweden, and susceptible to counter attacks with pace out wide.

The encouraging displays of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner, and Franck Ribery of England and France respectively suggest there will be more of that to come in the host nation’s final two group games.

It is also worth noting that Oleh Blokhin’s men have lost three of their last four outings against England, whilst they have never won a match against Laurent Blanc’s France.

Indeed, the most recent renewal of acquaintances between those sides ended 4-1 in France’s favour last year, and there are several indications that the 6/5 price for Ukraine to fail to advance from Group D should be snapped up.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



John Klee