Euro 2016 predictions: Time to separate the boys from the men


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Ten days into EURO2016 and the contenders have begun to separate themselves from the pretenders as the final group matches will confirm to us the sixteen teams that will remain in France to continue their chase for the Henri Delaunay trophy. Pre-tournament favourites, France, and Spain have already secured their passage into the next round as has Italy, a team that has surprised a few people so far in this championship. We will be looking at other so-called big boys in this competition and their chances of advancing to the next round.

The first team we will be assessing today will be Germany. The Germans started the competition with a tidy 2-0 win over Ukraine and followed it up with a goalless draw against Poland, which brought back the questions about the strength of this German team’s attack. They had no shot on target in the first half against Poland and managed just three on target in the whole match. Besiktas striker, Mario Gomez, is the only out and out striker in this squad and despite having a far better season than Mario Goetze, Joachim Low has picked the Bayern man ahead of Gomez for the first two games of this competition. That might have to change if the World Champions plan on hanging around in France for a while longer.

The worst case scenario for the Germans in this group will be a third place finish, assuming they lose their final match against Northern Ireland and the Poles beat the Ukrainians, a position that will likely still see them progress to the round of sixteen. That being said, I don’t see things happening like that and that was a worst case scenario, so the Germans should qualify for the next stage comfortably.

The next team on our radar will be England. In their opening game they faced the Russians and despite clearly being the better team, a point was all they could muster from that encounter, while in their second game, against Wales, where it could be argued that they didn’t play as well as they did against the Russians, a last-gasp Daniel Sturridge goal handed them a 2-1 win, leaving them with a grand total of four points from two games. The dynamics in this group has ensured that a third place finish will be the worst possible result for the English and given the format of this tournament, where the best four third-placed teams out of six will go through to the round of sixteen, it is safe to say that the English will qualify for the next round, but if they intend to progress further, Roy Hodgson has to find a way to balance the team and give them the identity they are lacking, while Harry Kane has to find his club form quickly.

Belgium hammered Ireland 3-0 in their second match after disappointing fans with that infamous 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Italians in their opening game and with three points from two matches, their chance of progression to the next round is firmly in their own hands as a win in their final group match against the Swedes will guarantee them a second place finish at least. The ‘red devils’ have the personnel to go all the way in this tournament, but do they have the coach to achieve it? That has been the nagging question on the lips of a lot of people and after Marc Wilmots was tactically outclassed by Antonio Conte and his less talented Italian team in that opening fixture, the jury is still out on Wilmots.

The win against Ireland showed us the class and talent in this Belgian team, but the fact that they struggle to break down teams that set out to defend against them is a huge worry and finding ways to do that should be utmost priority for Marc Wilmots. The Italians have already won this group, which means the best finish the Belgians can hope for will be second place while the possibility of them finishing bottom of the group is also there with a loss for them against Sweden and a win for Ireland against Italy.

The match against Sweden would be tough for the Belgians as the Swedes will go into the game knowing that a win for them will likely see them through and if Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who hasn’t displayed his real quality, turns up big for Sweden, Belgium will definitely have a lot to worry about. A draw against Sweden will see Belgium needing the Italians to avoid defeat against Ireland for them to progress.

Cristiano Ronaldo has not had the best of tournaments so far and if Portugal are hoping to win their first European Championship trophy, they need him to start performing at the peak of his powers. The three-time world footballer of the year has had just four shots on target from twenty attempts, while he even ‘managed’ to miss a penalty in the game against Austria. Portugal have amassed a total of two points from two games (same as Iceland) and currently sit third in the group (because Iceland have scored more goals), which still puts them in a position to qualify for the round of sixteen with a win in their final group game against Hungary. They could even top the group if they beat Hungary better than Iceland can beat Austria (this is just a probability). A draw can also help them progress, provided that Iceland and Austria also draw, but Portugal will need to better Iceland’s draw by two goals, that is, if the Portuguese get a 3-3 draw, Iceland will have to draw goalless or get 1-1 draw against Austria, not so complicated right?

My betting tips will be for the matches taking place today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, which will be a total of ten(10) matches and an opportunity for you to win big on I will start with today’s fixtures, which will be played simultaneously. A double chance bet on Wales against Russia will be my tip along with Over2.5 goals, while for England against Slovakia, I would advise a double chance bet on England and Over2.5goals.
There will be four matches tomorrow and my tips for the first set of matches will be Germany to get an outright win over Northern Ireland, with Over2.5 goals and a double chance bet on Poland against Ukraine with Over2.5 goals too. For the 8pm kick offs, a double chance bet on Spain against Croatia and Over2.5 goals, while a double chance bet on the Czech Republic and Under2.5goals look safe.

The final set of matches in the group phase will be played on Wednesday and in the first set, a double chance bet on Portugal looks good with a possibility of Over2.5 goals, while a draw between Iceland and Austria, with a bet of Under2.5 goals, will be advisable. Later in the day, a double chance bet on Italy and Under2.5 goals, while a double chance bet on Belgium and Over2.5 goals would be my tip.

Take advantage of these flurries of matches and visit to win big as we say goodbye to eight teams from EURO 2016.


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