Euro 2016: The guide to the group betting – Group B
The 2016 European Championships are within touching distance now, and with domestic football all but over for another year, it’s time to get studying to find the best bets for France this summer.
This year’s expanded format sees 24 teams instead of 16 take part, meaning there will be more opportunities to explore than ever before.
All in all it’s shaping up to be a thrilling tournament, but with six groups to contend with, research is required.
So here’s what you need to know about Group B…
Roy Hodgson’s team were the only side to maintain a 100 per cent record in qualifying, but efficient as they were, the age-old question about stepping up in the finals remains to be answered.
However, the likes of Harry Kane and Dele Alli offer hope for the future – while a 3-2 win over Germany in Berlin was also impressive – and this group hands the Three Lions a very winnable yet challenging prospect.
There’s a very good chance here for England to top the group and build some momentum for the latter stages.
Convincingly beaten by Austria in qualifying, Russia also laboured against the likes of Moldova, but they’re here and have the potential to stifle any side, especially with one of the oldest and most experienced squads in the tournament.
Artyom Dzyuba netted eight times in qualifying, although five came against Liechtenstein, but at 6ft 4in he’ll need to be kept in check, while Aleksandr Kokorin has potential to shine.
Well-organised and disciplined under Chris Coleman, Wales also boast Gareth Bale, who can conjure wondrous magic, while Ashley Williams and Aaron Ramsey possess real quality too.
Under 2.5 goals could be the way to follow the Dragons – it happened seven times from 10 in qualifying – but roared on by a rampant following, Wales aren’t in France to simply make up the numbers.
Victories over Spain and the Ukraine put Slovakia deservedly through to France, but Jan Kozak’s men look set to fight Russia for third in Group B.
They rounded off their campaign with a home loss to Belarus and a leaky 4-2 win versus Luxembourg. If Marek Hamsik can be contained, Slovakia shouldn’t pose too many problems.
Top Theme: Low-scoring matches and one-goal winning margins.
Best Bet: England’s group-topping odds of 5/6 look solid, but it’s Wales who are the value in Group B. 8/13 to qualify looks assured, while the 5/1 on winning the group is very much not to be sniffed at.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.