England huffed and puffed but it did not blow down Russia’s house in the first batch of UEFA Euro 2016 Group B matches. Harry Kane had a disappointing game as England’s striker and Raheem Sterling did not do enough to justify his selection but Wayne Rooney did perform admirably in midfield and he would have scored had it not been for a sensational save.
One remains unconvinced that England boss Roy Hodgson knows his strongest line-up and that would be a major concern if the English had not been drawn in one of the weaker UEFA Euro 2016 pools. England did not scale any great heights against Russia but, even so, the English ought to have prevailed over the Russians by a couple of goals.
Wales was fortunate to kick off its UEFA Euro 2016 Group B campaign with a 2-1 victory over Slovakia. There looked like only one winner after Slovakia equalised midway through the second half but Wales substitute Hal Robson-Kanu stole the show with fewer than 10 minutes remaining. That was Wales’s first win over a decent team since it defeated Belgium 1-0 12 months ago and one is reluctant to rave about the Belgians in spite of their official high ranking.
The format of UEFA Euro 2016 means that Wales has a superb chance of qualifying for the knockout phase following its first-up victory over Slovakia. One more point should be sufficient for Wales to reach the UEFA Euro 2016 last 16 and, therefore, one expects the Welsh to play defensively against England, particularly because the English have to chase maximum points after their 1-1 draw versus Russia.
The UEFA Euro 2016 Group B derby throws up the best bet in Thursday’s three games and it is under two and a half goals, an option that is available at odds of 41/501.82-1220.82-1.220.82 with attention-seeking Marathonbet.
England and Wales have clashed seven times since the 1970s and each of those seven matches has gone under two and a half goals, including both meetings during qualifying for UEFA Euro 2012. One thinks that England will defeat Wales but, at the prices, one would rather back under two and a half at bigger odds than those available about the English.
Northern Ireland froze on its UEFA Euro 2016 Group C bow and its nerves have been blamed for its 0-1 loss to Poland. One thinks that there is more to Northern Ireland’s UEFA Euro 2016 Group C zero points tally than that – the bottom line is that the Northern Irish are out of their depth having qualified from the worst of the nine preliminary sections.
Ukraine and Northern Ireland have had many common opponents, with both sides encountering Belarus, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Wales since this time last year. Most of the collateral form lines favour Ukraine over Northern Ireland and the former is set up well to profit from the latter playing more positively than it did last time out, which is what one expects the Northern Irish to do given the UEFA Euro 2016 Group C ladder. Ukraine’s wide attackers could tear Northern Ireland’s defence to shreds – note that the Ukrainians forced 12 corners kicks against mighty Germany.
Several bookmakers, including 888Sport, Boylesports and SkyBet, are listing odds of 3/51.60-1670.60-1.670.60 about Ukraine getting its UEFA Euro 2016 Group C campaign back on track with a win over a Northern Ireland that should be home before the next stage.
Both teams to score is the way to approach the UEFA Euro 2016 Group C game between the pool’s top two sides, Germany and Poland. As the FIFA World Cup champion, Germany should hit the back of net versus a middle-of-the-range team such as Poland, while the Poles are one of the UEFA Euro 2016 sides with the most impressive scoring statistics. Both teams to score is trading at odds of 91/1001.91-1100.91-1.100.91 with Totesport.
Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.
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