As EURO 2016 waits for the summer and we’re dissecting soccer betting markets. Here we look at Group C which includes Germany, Poland, Ukraine and Northern Ireland.
Group C Betting Preview
Germany’s pedigree in Europe is second to none: winners in 1972, 1980 and 1996 in Europe and, runners-up in 1976, 1992 and 2008. Only Spain have as many titles, tying Germany with three titles when they lifted their second straight European title in 2012 behind a 4-0 win over Italy.
Die Mannschaft, current World Cup Champions, are also claimants of the global prize four-times (1954, 1974, 1990 and 2014). Hardly surprising they come into this competition as one of the teams to beat outright.
It’s not an easy group per say, but few expect Germany to stumble in the group stage, despite drawing Poland, Ukraine and Northern Ireland. Although Polska beat Germany in qualifying, their European pedigree leaves something to be desired. They first qualified for the grand event in 2008 and, then, were co-hosts with Ukraine in 2012.
Both instances saw Polska finish bottom of the group. This is only the third appearance overall for Poland, but a successive one nonetheless which is an indication of the nation’s development in the game.
Ukraine was integral to the Soviet Union and the country’s success in football, but since the break-up they’ve been unable to qualify on their own merit. Their first independent appearance came in 2012 as co-hosts.
This is their first-appearance on their own qualifying merit. Finally, Northern Ireland are making their first-ever European Championship after a sensational qualifying campaign.
Given the lack of pedigree in this section it would be shocking if Germany didn’t advance. Quite rightly they are the runaway favorites in Group Betting markets and the top soccer pick in many soccer betting circles.
Table 1: Group C Betting Odds at Pinnacle Sports
Germany Favored Across the Board
Defending World Cup champions Germany and one the most successful nation in Europe (joint with Spain on three titles) enters EURO 2016 amidst high expectations. Naturally, they are amongst the favorites to win it all in France, anywhere from +300 to +350 depending on your choice sportsbook.
Curiously, though, some sports betting markets serve up host nation France ahead of Germany in pre-tournament markets, largely down to home soil advantage for the French and, as well, a rather less than stellar qualifying campaign by Germany (less than stellar by their lofty standards that is, mind).
Although Germany won their qualifying group, the case against them is that they didn’t do so with their usual intrinsic aplomb and flare. They went 7-1-2 in group play for 22 points, finishing just a point ahead of Poland with a 6-3-1 record and 21 points. Perhaps, more shockingly, Germany lost to both Poland and Republic of Ireland (both times away) and, even, settled on a 1-1 draw to the Green and White Army on home soil.
Indeed, both Poland and Republic of Ireland gave Die Mannschaft quite the chase for top spot in Group D – and it’s not without some irony that Poland have been once again drawn with Germany in the competition’s group stage this time [insert dramatic shiver]. .
Most recently, Die Mannschaft dropped the ball in International friendly fixtures. They were upset by England last month and, prior to that, lost to France 2-0. Still, they did bounce back with a strong showing against Italy at the Allianz Arena, closing the March International break with a 4-1 win over the Azzuri.
No team comes to international competition more prepared than the Germans do, their record of success and tradition of winning is second to none. A couple of hiccups, therefore, is nothing to start hitting the panic button over, is it?
Die Mannschaft are still a side to contend with and they are in prime position to do what no nation has ever done before: win a fourth European title. Don’t be surprised if they do pull off the feat at +350 with Paddy Power and William Hill.
It bears mentioning they also have a chance to emulate Spain’s achievement of holding both World Cup and Euro Cup titles at the same time (Spain won 2008 and 2012 EURO as well as the 2010 World Cup, a period dubbed Spain’s golden age) if all goes to plan in France, which is an added incentive but also more pressure.
Poland Second Faves at +450 To Win Group C
After a standout qualifying campaign in a tough group with Germany, Poland may well fancy their chances of pulling off the unthinkable and winning group C as the second faves, albeit a good chunk larger with +450 soccer odds than odds-on Germany. Propelled by the sensational Robert Lewandowski, top goal scorer in qualifying, Polska is worth the tickle as the -120 bet to qualify for the last 16.
However, Ukraine and Northern Ireland may well fancy their chances too for one of the two coveted spots in the knockouts and so it’ll be imperative that Polska get off to a flying start in their opener against the latter.
Ukraine and Northern Ireland may well fancy their chances
By and large, Germany are expected to advance into the knockouts of EURO 2016 – only once in the European powerhouse’s history did it fail to qualify in either UEFA European Championship or FIFA World Cup, and they’ve made the semi-finals or better of their last two tournaments. In 2008, they finished runners-up to Spain. That leaves theoretically one spot up for grabs in this section, one that the three remaining sides will be vying for in earnest.
Obviously, the market leans towards Poland, but Northern Ireland were group winners in their qualifying campaign and could have designs grander than they're being given credit for as the +700 soccer pick. Similarly, Ukraine, arriving via the playoffs, can’t be overlooked.
Their qualifying campaign pit them against Spain and Slovakia and only three points separated them from a runners-up finish in Group C. Indeed, they’re not far off of Poland in Group Betting markets as the -110 soccer pick at Pinnacle Sports to qualify for the knockouts and that’s most telling.
Group C Predictions: Germany and Ukraine