Albania failed to score against a disappointing Switzerland in its UEFA Euro 2016 Group A opener and that may have been its best chance of rustling the onion bag in the tournament.
The cynical defending of Lorik Cana did not help the cause of the Albania team that he captains, collecting his first yellow card for a unnecessarily late tackle and then being expelled for a handball while he was lying on the ground. A terrible goalkeeping blunder was all that split Albania and Switzerland at the final whistle but one thinks that the Albanians were fortunate to run into a Swiss side that is at UEFA Euro 2016 to make up the numbers. A better team than Switzerland may have run up a cricket score versus Albania after the latter’s key defender and skipper was sent off.
France is a better team than Switzerland and, rid of its first night nerves, it should book its place in the UEFA Euro 2016 knockout phase with a comfortable victory over Albania on Wednesday. France has discovered its shooting boots since last year’s friendly in Elbasan resulted in a shock 1-0 win for Albania – the French have taken out 10 of their subsequent 11 games and one understands why they did not perform well against England in London just a few days after the terrorist attacks in Paris. France has scored at least two goals in nine of its last 12 matches and, with Albania shorn of its defensive lynchpin and incapable of breaching a Switzerland rearguard that is not top drawer, one fancies the French to post a wide-margin success.
Available at odds of -128 with BetVictor to cover an Asian handicap line of one and a half goals, France is the best bet as the second batch of UEFA Euro 2016 group games kicks off. You can strike wagers at odds against about France really taking Albania to the cleaners but the aforementioned bet at not a great deal worse than even money appeals more.
Russia and Switzerland are the favourites for Monday’s other UEFA Euro 2016 matches but one cannot have anything to do with the Russians and the Swiss at those kind of prices.
Before UEFA Euro 2016 began one was of the view that Russia was the worst side in Group B and one did not see anything in that pool’s first set of games to convince one that the Russians are superior to Slovakia. Russia stole a UEFA Euro 2016 Group B point in the 92nd minute of its match against England, a game that the English ought to have won by at least a couple of goals. Slovakia was not great in losing 1-2 to Wales but Russia does not have someone as good as Welsh forward Gareth Bale is over a dead ball. Slovakia, which must view its UEFA Euro 2016 Group B match versus Russia as a must-win game given the state of the section, looks overpriced at odds of +240 with several bookmakers, including BetVictor, Ladbrokes and Unibet. Remember, Russia has beaten only Lithuania in its last six matches, whereas Slovakia defeated Germany 3-1 in Augsburg last month.
Romania’s need for three UEFA Euro 2016 Group A points is not as desperate as that of Slovakia in Group B so one is inclined to pick the Romanians on the draw-no-bet market against Switzerland, an option that is trading at odds of +147 with Marathonbet. Romania was handful of minutes away from holding UEFA Euro 2016 host France to a 1-1 draw last time out, whereas Switzerland was unconvincing with the manner in which it posted a 1-0 triumph over Albania.
France -1.5 to beat Albania
Wednesday 15th June, 20:00 GMT
Slovakia to beat Russia
Wednesday 15th June, 14:00 GMT
Romania Draw No Bet to beat Switzerland
Wednesday 15th June, 17:00 GMT