Euro 2016 Soccer Group A Predictions and Expert Free Betting TipsPosted on 27/05 by Joe Gann
Euro 2016 Group A tips
Weekly Expert Betting Tips - Join our free mailing listEuro 2016 - Group A predictions and betting tips
Host nation France are short priced favourites for Group A - followed by Switzerland and Romania. Albania are the huge outsiders to top the table.
Euro 2016 Group A odds
Manager - Didier Deschamps
The draw has been kind to the tournament hosts as France find themselves in amongst some of the competition’s weaker qualifiers. They will no doubt be striving to take full advantage of staging the competition on home soil; past winners twice, this will be the second time that the French nation have welcomed the European footballing elite and they will be hoping to repeat the success of Euro ’84 and World Cup ’98 where they went on to lift both trophies.
Current Coach Didier Deschamps was the captain on that memorable night when Les Tricolores became world champions and he has an abundance of options to choose from within a squad packed with quality. News that Franck Ribery is considering a sensational return to the national team has emerged recently, in what would undoubtedly be a boost to a group containing such established names as Antoine Griezmann, Blaise Matuidi and Raphael Varane.
Regular watchers of the English Premier League will look on with interest as the likes of Dimitri Payet, Anthony Martial and N’golo Kante attempt to take their excellent club performances into the international arena.
Named Best Young Player at the 2014 World Cup, Paul Pogba is the undoubted jewel in the crown of what is a sublimely talented playing pool, speculation regarding his future is apt to ramp up yet again should he produce the kind of eye catching performances he has been putting in for his club Juventus.
The return to club football of Karim Benzema will be a source of frustration for the fans of the French national side, still suspended indefinitely from the national team due to allegations of involvement in a blackmailing plot against teammate Manuel Valbuena, the FFF have now announced that the Real Madrid striker will not be considered for selection for Euro 2016.
The last tournament success came back in Euro 2000 but with the backing of a partisan home crowd, a semi-final appearance should be the minimum expectation for Deschamps. They will be looking to eradicate memories of an egregious showing at the 2010 world cup; however, the improvements made at Euro 2012 and the 2014 World Cup – in which they made the quarter final stage in both -have been encouraging signs that the team is back on the right track.
Due to the fact that ‘Les Bleus’ are only team to receive automatic qualifying status, the French haven’t been involved in the intensity of a qualifying campaign, a situation which may pose questions as to how ‘battle hardened’ the squad is collectively at international level. However, the adrenalin and big game spotlight should ensure that when the action begins, they will be able to hit the ground running.
France Euro 2016 Odds - joint favourites with Germany at
Manager – Vladimir Petkovic.
Co-hosts of Euro 2008 alongside neighbours Austria, Switzerland are no strangers to this competition. Having made their tournament debut at Euro ’96, it wasn’t until their third finals appearance that they finally won a game.
World Cup quarter finalists twice (1934 and 1938), the record of the nation in the global tournament is actually superior to that of the Euros.
Despite such an undistinguished history, Vladimir Petkovic’s side qualified quite comfortably, finishing second to England with 21 points having scored 24 goals shared among 14 players.
The campaign got off to an inauspicious start, losing the first two games before a strong run of five consecutive victories paved the way for qualification to the finals in France, clinching their spot with an emphatic 7-0 victory over San Marino with a match to spare.
Euro 2016 will mark the fourth finals appearance for the nation and supporters will be desperate to advance from the group stage for the first time, although anything beyond a last 16 appearance would probably be a bridge too far.
Star man for the Swiss is Stoke City’s Xherdan Shaqiri – the man with more than his fair share of nicknames – the slightly unflattering ‘Magic Dwarf’, the more flattering ‘Alpine Messi’, and strangely complimentary ‘Power Cube.’
Well-travelled around some of the continent’s prestigious clubs such as Inter Milan and Bayern Munich, he has enjoyed a positive debut season in England’s top league and with 17 goals in 51 international appearances, he will be an important man for the Rossocrociati.
Switzerland Euro 2016 Odds
Manager - Anghel Iordãnescu
Manager Anghel Iordanescu is now in his third spell as Romania manager. He was in charge during the famous golden years of the early to mid-90’s, when he had the pleasure of being able to call upon the services of the likes of Gheorghie Hagi, Ilie Dumitrescu, and Florin Raducioiu.
During this period, it is not unreasonable to accuse the Romanians of underachievement on the main stage; a quarter final appearance in USA ’94 being the highlight of this vintage era. His second term at the helm resulted in a failed attempt to qualify for Euro 2004, followed by the announcement of his retirement and foray into the world of Romanian politics, where he was elected to the Romanian Senate.
In November 2014, he was coaxed back into the sporting arena, resuming his role as head coach of the national team. He managed to guide the team unbeaten for the remainder of the campaign, finishing in second place behind Northern Ireland.
A frugal defensive mentality is the hallmark of this side, – they conceded only two goals during the qualifying phase, on the downside no team scored fewer – a far cry from Iordanescu’s cavalier team of 1994 but one that has served them well so far. The key figure behind those formidable defensive displays was Fiorentina goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarasanu, the current Romanian Footballer of the Year, who is being tipped as a possible star of this tournament.
Ciprian Marica may provide the main attacking threat for the Romanians, with 25 goals in 72 games he sits joint fourth on the list of the country’s top goal scorers of all time.
The Tricolorii will certainly be aiming to improve on previously dire outings in this competition; in 1984, 1996 and 2008 – they were knocked out at the group stage and left each tournament without a win. Euro 2000 was a better campaign, finishing runners-up in the group stage before exiting meekly at the quarter final stage to Italy. Still, it would be a surprise if they were to progress at the expense of France or the Switzerland.
Romania Euro 2016 Odds
Manager – Gianni De Biasi.
Making history with their first taste of an International finals tournament, Albania arrive in France spurred on by the support of a proud nation. The fact that manager Gianni De Biasi and his team received the nation’s highest civil honour, ‘The Honour of Nation Order’ for navigating their way to this summer’s European Championship speaks volumes for how highly regarded the achievement is in the Balkan nation.
Prior to this summer’s event, the 1982 Under-18 and the 1994 U-16 European Championships constitute the full extent of the Black Eagles' tournament experience.
They were involved in possibly the most talked about incident of the qualifying process when in October 2014, the match against Serbia was abandoned after a brawl between both sets of players sparked by a drone flying overhead carrying an Albanian flag which claimed ownership of Kosovo. The Court of Arbitration subsequently awarded a 3-0 forfeit victory in favour of Albania and the Eagles capitalised on this good fortune to clinch their qualification from the group 12 months later, courtesy of a 3-0 win in Armenia.
The gloss was applied to their remarkable qualifying campaign, in which they finished above former winners Denmark, with the 1-0 victory over European heavyweights Portugal in Lisbon.
The Italian coach has fine track record for developing youth and three of his protégé’s - goalkeeper Etrit Berisha, defender Elseid Hysaj and forward Rey Manaj- now ply their trade in Serie A, for Lazio, Napoli and Inter Milan respectively. Stalwart of the side is Captain Lorik Cana, the former Sunderland centre half is now playing for Nantes after spending four years in Rome at Lazio.
His experience and leadership will be vital in helping to mentor an inexperienced squad who are about to enter the unknown territory of finals football. With no weight of expectation upon their shoulders squad, they will be free to enjoy this special occasion without too much pressure, if they finish above the bottom of the table, it will be considered a success.
Albania Euro 2016 Odds
Euro 2016 Group A Table Prediction: 1 France. 2 Switzerland. 3 Romania 4. Albania.
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