France leads the charge at the EURO 2016 this summer and sportsbooks are cornering Group A in their camp wholeheartedly. Here’s a look at the entire Group field, soccer picks, and how teams stack up.
Group A Preview
France lead Group A into EURO 2016. The tournament hosts hope to continue a tradition of success on home soil after winning the European Championships in 1984 and the World Cup in 1998 in France. France also won the European Championships in 2000 and were World Cup runners-up to Italy in the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
Predictably, France enter Group Betting Markets as the soccer pick and team to beat, but Switzerland could potentially give them a run for their money as the second favorites. Longshots of the group are Romania and Albania.
Table 1: Group A Betting Odds at Pinnacle Sports
France -350 to win Group A
Not only can Didier Deschamps' side revel in its role as the favorite to win Group A at -350 at William Hill, they also go down as one of the top tournaments favorites at EURO 2016 across all sports betting platforms with soccer odds ranging anywhere from +275 (Stan James) to +350 (Paddy Power).
With some exchanges, their outright odds better even those of World Cup Champions Germany, which is somewhat interesting and must really be down to home soil advantage more than anything else. As hosts of the competition, Les Blues received automatic entry and avoid the whole qualification malarkey the rest of the competing nations had to endure.
Karim Benzema may be unavailable to play for France this summer but Deschamps has plenty of talent at his disposal if it comes to that with the likes of Alexandre Lacazette, Olivier Giroud, Anthony Martial, Antoine Griezmann and, potentially even, Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery as first-team choices. France are coming off a quarterfinal loss to Germany at the 2014 World Cup, which is a decent result but doesn't come close to the expectations they'll face at home this summer.
Fortunately, they have a winnable group to contend with and they can at least expect to make the knockouts. How far they go from there onwards though will depend largely on the draw and the team itself – a penchant for drama and distraction prevalent on the Les Bleus squad has been their undoing in past competitions and if Deschamps doesn't reign in his divas it could very well be their undoing when push comes to shove.
Must Read: Predictions For EURO 2016
Switzerland +400 To Win Group A
Switzerland are coming off a R16 exit at the 2014 World Cup, underscored by a respectable 1-0 loss to a Messi-inspired Argentina. Interestingly, they were culled into the same group with France (Group E) then and finished second in the standings after going 2-0-1. The only loss coming to France, an unmemorable 5-2 loss.
The Swiss strike an unassuming pose amongst most soccer bettors – so easy it is overlook them at the expense of the continent's established heavyweights in the tournament proper even as dangerous floaters to the best current price of +7000 at 888sport. But with the likes of Romania and Albania making up the rest of the section, the Swiss can fancy their chances of going through to the knockouts once again. From there on, anything can theoretically happen.
It was a relatively successful qualifying EURO 2016 for Vladimir Petkovic's side, finishing second behind England in Group E with a 7-0-3 mark – two losses to the Three Lions and one to Slovenia marred their campaign. Impressively, they scored the second highest tally of 24 goals, which rivals Germany and Belgium and puts them in good company – and conceded just 8 through ten qualifying fixtures.
Is it any wonder why the Swiss are matched as the second overall favourites in Group A at +400 at Pinnacle Sports? Winning Group A at the expense of Les Bleus is going to be a tough ask, but they are a definite consideration as the -400 bet to advance into the knockouts.
Romania and Albania
Both Romania and Albania are longshots not only in Group A but the broad spectrum of the competition. Color the world shocked if either pair advance at the expense of one or the other two, France and Switzerland, expected to advance. Romania finished second in Group F qualifying behind Northern Ireland and with a 5-5-0 mark while Albania finished second in a watered down Group I behind Portugal and with a 4-2-2 mark.
It's safe to suggest neither side faced nations of the quality of France and Switzerland in qualifying, so it would be quite the monumental upset if either made it into the knockouts.
Group A Predictions: France and Switzerland to advance