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Euro 2016 Group A betting tips - Back Switzerland to progress with hosts France in weak section

Neil Roarty 1 Jun 2016

France have been handed a straight-forward passage to the last 16 of Euro 2016 and Switzerland look the side best equipped to follow them into the knock-out stages from Group A.

France are the hosts of Euro 2016 and, as hosts, they can expect some privileges. They'll kick off the tournament on June in Paris and every one of their matches will be played in front of an incredibly partisan crowd, which gives them an immediate advantage over all of their opponents.

Les Bleus were also one of the six seeded sides in the Euro 2016 draw, which ensured that they were kept away from the likes of Spain, Germany and England. However, even in his wildest dreams France manager Didier Deschamps can't have wished for quite as generous draw as his side have been handed for this summer's tournament. France have been placed in a group with Romania, Albania and Switzerland, which virtually guarantees that they will be playing in the second round, and when they get there they will face a third place finisher from another group for a place in the quarter-finals.

It is this favourable scenario that has seen France installed as the 3/1 favourites to win Euro 2016 (although Bwin offer a slightly bigger 21/5). They're going to be incredibly difficult to stop, particularly if they can get on a roll early in the tournament and, given their opponents in Group A, that looks a distinct possibility.

Les Bleus are no bigger than 4/11 with Skybet to win Group A and that looks like the kind of bet that big hitters will love. Even if Deschamps side are overcome with nerves in the opening fixture with Romania, they should be strong enough to beat both Switzerland, who qualified for the tournament by finishing a distant second behind England, and Albania, who came second in Group I thanks in part to a 3-0 win awarded to them due to crowd trouble with their match against Serbia.

The real question for casual punters, who won't be backing France in anything other than group winner accumulators, is who will be finishing as the runner-up in Group A? If the proviso is that the hosts win all of three of their matches then it effectively creates a mini-group behind Deschamps men for second place.

Granit Xhaka, Arsenal's new signing, will be looking to impress at Euro 2016
The favourites in the 'To Finish Second' market are Switzerland, who can be backed at 6/4 with Skybet. A France/Switzerland straight forecast is 7/4 with Stan James and that will probably be well backed as the Swiss have several well known Premier League players, such as Xherdan Shakiri, Valon Behrami and new Arsenal signing Granit Xhaka in their squad. They are actually the 10th ranked side in Europe and so would expect to make it through to the last 16 of the European Championships.

It's tough to argue with that actually, due to the fact that the other teams in the section look so weak. Albania, who are playing in their first ever major tournament, scored just seven goals in qualifying and without the aforementioned Serbia result and a lucky 1-0 victory over Portugal would have been nowhere near second spot in their group. Their other two wins in qualifying came home and away to Armenia and it's difficult to escape the feeling that Gianni Di Biassi's men might become the whipping boys in Group A.

The other side in Group A are Romania but, like Albania, they are perhaps a little lucky to have come through qualifying. Anghel Iordănescu's men benefited from being placed in a section with Greece, who were woeful, and neither Northern Ireland, Hungary, Finland or the Faroe Islands are sides with strong recent pedigree. 

Romania didn't even manage to come through that section as group winners, finishing behind Northern Ireland. They were thankful to a last minute goal from Ovidiu Hoban to earn a draw with Finland and even more thankful that Greece beat Hungary in the final round of matches to ensure that they qualified at all.

Iordănescu's men are another that struggle for goals, with just 11 scored in their 10 qualifying matches. Their big positive though is that they conceded just twice, less than any other side in any group. They continued this defensive solidity with a 0-0 draw against Spain in a March friendly but when they've tried to be more expansive this month they've been found out, losing five goals in two matches with Congo and Ukraine. This inability to balance attack and defensive may prove to be their undoing as it's unlikely that they'll be able to beat Albania as comfortably as Switzerland and so may have to rely on beating the Swiss to finish second. In a straight shoot-out you'd back the Swiss, who have far more firepower and also more tournament pedigree, having negotiated the group stages at the last World Cup. That experience should see them through and the straight forecast with France looks the way to go.


Back France/Switzerland Straight Forecast @7/4 with Stan James

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Euro 2016 Group A betting tips - Back Switzerland to progress with hosts France in weak section

France have been handed a straight-forward passage to the last 16 of Euro 2016 and Switzerland look the side best equipped to follow them into the knock-out stages from Group A.

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