Euro 2016: The guide to the group betting – Group D
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, we’ve laid out some handy group guides for this summer’s continental classic.
So here’s what you need to know about Group D, home to the reigning European champions plus a trio of tricky teams hoping to get in their way…
The lack of pre-tournament hype around Spain is quite remarkable given they’re the reigning champions, having destroyed Italy 4-0 in the 2012 final, and of course claimed the 2008 tournament too.
Vicente del Bosque’s men may lack an out-and-out goalscorer in a Robert Lewandowski or Ronaldo mould, but Spain boast a midfield which is still the envy of world football.
The 2010 world champions went eight qualifying games without conceding, eventually topping their group with ease, and a deep run into the latter stages is heavily expected.
The talents of Andres Iniesta, Jordi Alba, David Silva and the rest ensure they cannot be ruled out for a third straight European Championships success.
They may have topped their group in qualification, but many would say the Czech Republic were merely the best of a poor bunch, and a defence which was beaten 14 times – and in all ten games – would be testament to that.
Pavel Vrba’s squad is not of the quality which reached the 1996 final, and few of their players ply their trade at the highest level.
Petr Cech remains one of Europe’s best keepers, but he has little protection in front of him, so we should see one thing in Czech games – goals. Eight of their 10 qualifiers saw over 2.5 scored.
As seen in their friendly with England in Manchester, Fatih Terim’s Turkey will be going whole-heartedly to France, with a few crunching tackles too.
Turkey made it to France as best-placed third finisher in the same group as the Czechs, but failed to win half of their games, losing heavily to Iceland while drawing home and away with Latvia.
In Arda Turan and Burak Yilmaz, the Turks have top-class quality, and both teams to score or over 2.5 is the way to go here.
Well organised under Ante Carcic, Croatia conceded just five times in qualification, holding Italy to two 1-1 draws.
Best placed to finish second to Spain, Luka Modric and Mario Mandzukic are as good as any in their respective positions but they’ll need to avoid the performances that saw them draw 0-0 at Azerbaijan and lose 2-0 in Norway.
Top Theme: This could be one of the highest-scoring groups, as a result of dodgy defending rather than attacking quality.
Best Bets: Spain to top the group at 8/13 is a good acca bet, and they should negotiate their three opponents with room to spare. It’s also worth backing them for 7 or 9 group points at 5/2 and 3/1 respectively.
Behind them, Croatia should come out best, leading to a Spain/Croatia straight dual forecast at 13/5.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.