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This is the official “group of death” of the Euro Cup 2016. One of the three great teams, including Belgium, Italy and Sweden will not proceed to the knockout stage of this attractive football spectacle. The Republic of Ireland will be under a serious pressure and we can already state that their Euro adventure in France will not be a long a one, nor it will be a pleasant one. This group may include the next Euro Champion.
Belgium was the “dark horse” two years ago in Brazil. They have their best generation of football players they had in recent history. Football stars like Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and top notch players like Christian Benteke, Romelu Lukaku and the goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois are the backbone of the Belgium squad. With no doubt, Belgium has the means to take the trophy and they look like a champion team. The group stage of the Euro Cup is the perfect test for them, to prove they are the rightful owner of the Euro Cup trophy.
The 23-man squad called up by Antonio Conte looks promising. There are world class midfielders, strikers, defenders and an experienced goalkeeper, Ginalugi Buffon. Despite the team’s quality we still cannot guarantee they will move on to the next stage of the tournament. With Sweden and Belgium as two of the candidates for the 1st and the 2nd position, Italy has to put in a great effort to successfully finish the group stage. The Italian squad will be without Andrea Pirlo after a long time. He will be missed since his skills were crucial for the success the Italians had in recent years.
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Due to the new 6 group format, in this Euro Cup we’re going to see 24 teams. Furthermore, this is the reason why the Republic of Ireland, although ranked as 3rd in the qualifying group they got their ticket to the group stage of the final tournament in France. Even the group stage was a bumpy ride for them. Robie Keane is their captain and Martin O’Neil is the man in charge of the success of the Republic of Ireland. This is the underdog. Betting on them doesn’t’ seem like a smart decision to make.
We expected to see more goals scored by Sweden, especially since one of the best world class strikers, Zlatan Ibrahimovc is part of this squad. They’ve managed to score only 15 goals and conceded high 9 in the 10 games they played. They booked their ticket to France despite being ranked as 3rd due to the new format. As a part of the group of death, they have to go the distance if they want their stay in France to be longer than just the group stage.
With the exception of the group E of the Euro Cup all others have their own favorites and underdogs. We can’t make a clear prediction regarding this group. However, this group will offer the most attractive matches, at least during the group stage. Italy is the arbitrary favorite in the group, but Belgium looks rather promising as well.
Betting on Belgium to take away the trophy comes with odds of 11/2 or 6.50. Italy is considered as worse than them, therefore the higher odds of 16/1. The Sweds despite being a high quality team are considered to be as one of squads with the least chances of winning the tournament. Placing a bet on them promises a prize of 100/1. Believe it or not, the Irish are at the same level the Swedish are.