Another group of interest to football fans in the UK. Can Northern Ireland do the impossible and win this group as they did in qualifying? Will Germany sail through as predicted? To find out what the experts think, here’s our guide to Euro 2016 Group C…
- Poland vs. Northern Ireland (Sunday, June 12, 5pm)
Venue: Stade de Nice)
Ladbrokes odds: Poland win: 17/20 | Draw: 9/4 | Northern Ireland win: 7/2
- Germany vs. Ukraine (Sunday, June 12, 8pm)
Venue: Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille)
Ladbrokes odds: Germany win: 11/20 | Draw: 14/5 | Ukraine win: 11/2
- Ukraine vs. Northern Ireland (Thursday, June 16, 5pm)
Venue: Stade de Lyon
- Germany vs. Poland (Thursday, June 16, 8pm)
Venue: Stade de France, Paris
- Ukraine vs. Poland (Thursday, June 16, 5pm)
Venue: Stade Velodrome, Marseille
- Northern Ireland vs. Germany (Tuesday, June 21, 5pm)
Venue: Parc des Princes, Paris
West Germany did the double when they won the Euros and the World Cup in 1972 and 1974 respectively. Could the reigning World Champions equal this success in Euro 2016?
Well, there have been a few changes since 2014. Inspirational captain, Philipp Lahm, has retired from international duty.
His successor as captain, Bastian Schweinsteiger, is beginning to look past his best. In addition, Germany were beaten by both the Republic of Ireland and Poland during qualifying.
Despite this, the German national team is not short of exciting young players. Coach Joachim Löw also has Dortmund’s Marco Reus – who missed the World Cup success through injury – to use during this campaign.
Then there’s Thomas Müller. He is enjoying his most prolific season ever at Bayern Munich and many consider him to be the consummate tournament player.
As such, we reckon Müller is most likely to be top goal-scorer in the competition. Yet at 7/1, you still get great odds on Müller claiming the Golden Boot.
Germany will be confident of making the final again, as they did in 2008. They are second-favourites to win the tournament at 10/3, behind hosts, France at 3/1.
With odds of 4/11 to win Group C and 1/50 to qualify, we expect Germany to sail through to the Round of 16.
This is the first time Ukraine have made it to a European Championship through qualifying; they qualified automatically for Euro 2012 as co-hosts.
To get to the finals of Euro 2016, they needed to win a playoff against Slovenia, during which a stoppage-time goal in the second leg sent them through.
Ukraine should not to be underestimated. They ran double-champions Spain close away in Seville and then at home in Kiev where, were it not for Spain goalkeeper David de Gea, they might have got something from the game.
Andriy Shevchenko’s retirement makes them less dangerous. Yet no defender will relish playing against wingers Andriy Yarmolenko and Yevhen Konoplyanka.
We’ve given Ukraine odds of 6/1 to the win the group and 1/2 to qualify. We have them at 66/1 to win the tournament.
Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski is widely considered to be the best centre-forward in the world at the moment. Not since Zibi Boniek have Poland had such a star name in their ranks: Lewandowski is renowned for his brilliant mix of elegance and technique.
This has led to favourable comparisons to Marco van Basten: a player largely responsible for the Netherland’s Championship victory in Euro ’88.
Here at Ladbrokes, we make Lewandowski fifth-favourite to be the top goal-scorer of Euro 2016, with odds of 11/1.
Poland are facing odds of 50/1 to win the tournament, but they are by no means a one-man team. Torino captain, Kamil Glik, is a star of Serie A, while Grzegorz Krychowiak has been a rock in midfield for a Sevilla side that has won back-to-back Europa League titles.
In addition, Lewandowski did not score in Poland’s 2-0 win over Germany during qualifying – it was Sebastian Mila and Arkadiusz Milik who netted during that game.
Other teams will underestimate Poland at their peril.
Northern Ireland’s 30-year wait for a major tournament is over. This was an astonishing feat by the lowest ranked team ever to win a qualifying group – a real fairy-tale story.
And it wasn’t the fact that the Euros have been expanded to include 24 teams that allowed them through; Northern Ireland would’ve made it under the old 16-team format!
Yet while they’ve come far since losing to Luxembourg in 2013, they don’t look likely to progress beyond a group featuring Germany, Poland and Czech Republic.
As a result, we give them odds of 22/1 to win the group. However, we also know that anything is possible, especially when you consider their brilliant form of late.
For this reason, we offer short odds of 2/1 on Northern Ireland qualifying for the Round of 16, and much longer odds of 500/1 to win the tournament.