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Euro 2024: Group E betting preview

In this article, we take a look at the contenders in Group E at Euro 2024 and try to make some predictions.


Who will be the two qualifiers from Group E at Euro 2024 ?


Euro 2024: Goup E


BELGIUM


To Win the Group: 1.45

To Win Euro 2024: 19.00


Whatever else is written in this preview, the simple fact is that Belgium should stroll through Group E. They were ranked as the third-best team in the world in April, with this being the only group of Euro 2024 to contain two countries who are outside the top 40.


Domenico Tedesco’s side also made relatively light work of qualification, winning six and drawing two of their eight games while conceding just four goals.


Their record was identical to England, who they almost beat in March and who are the outright tournament favorites.


In Romelu Lukaku, the Belgians possess the top scorer in qualifying. He scored 14 times, while Cristiano Ronaldo bagged 10 and nobody else hit double figures. None of Lukaku’s teammates scored more than twice but there is no shortage of quality, particularly from the Premier League.


Kevin De Bruyne is the third all-time assist provider in that competition, while his Manchester City teammate Jérémy Doku poses a dribbling threat from wide areas. Arsenal’s Leandro Trossard has enjoyed a fine season too.


There are valid concerns at the back. Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois hasn’t played this season due to injury and may not be fit, while Wout Faes has been playing in the Championship and Jan Vertonghen is 37 years old.


Belgium’s good defensive record from qualifying is unlikely to be tested in Group E but the questions about their quality could receive harsh answers in the knockout phase.



UKRAINE


To Win the Group: 5.85

To Win Euro 2024: 67.00


The likely battle for second place in the group gets underway in the group’s opening match, with Ukraine facing Romania. Serhiy Rebrov’s team are second favorites despite being the lowest-ranked team in the group and the only nation in Group E who came through the playoffs.


However, there’s no shame in finishing third in a qualifying group behind England and Italy, particularly when finishing level on points with the Italians (but losing the head-to-head). Ukraine held both nations to a draw on home turf too.


Their record on the road is a slight worry though. Seven of the eight goals they conceded in the qualification group occurred in away games and they went behind in both Malta and North Macedonia. While Ukraine recovered to win both games, stronger opponents won’t yield so easily.


They didn’t have a reliable goal threat in qualifying either. On one hand, it’s good that 10 different players scored (including the playoff matches), but only Viktor Tsyhankov, with three goals, and Artem Dovbyk (two) got more than one.


Ukraine have won their previous three matches with Romania, albeit the last of them was eight years ago. They may need three points against them in Munich on June 17 if they are to reach the Round of 16.


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ROMANIA


To Win the Group: 7.55

To Win Euro 2024: 251.01


Romania will be at a major tournament for the first time in eight years, having not qualified for Euro 2020 or any of the last six World Cups. The class of 2000 were the last Romanians to make it through a group stage, so can the current crop end a near quarter-century wait?


They emerged from Pot 3 in the qualification draw to win Group I without suffering a defeat. A strong defense lay at the heart of their success, with the five goals they conceded in 10 matches less than half as many as any other team in the group.


The backline is held together by center-backs Radu Drăgușin, who joined Tottenham in January, and Andrei Burcă, both of whom started all 10 matches in qualifying. While Romania conceded three times to Colombia in a friendly loss in March, they were unbeaten for 12 matches prior to that.


The trio of captain and midfielder Nicolae Stanciu and forwards Denis Alibec and Valentin Mihăilă each scored three goals in qualifying, while focus will always fall on Ianis ‘son of Gheorghe’ Hagi to some extent. But as the lowest-scoring team in the top 22 nations in the qualification ranking (which determined the pots for the Euro 2024 draw), Romania will need their defense to be on point if they are to progress.



SLOVAKIA


To Win the Group: 11.06

To Win Euro 2024: 501.02


If history is any guide, Slovakia will finish third in this group. That was their position at Euro 2016 and again at the following edition.


However, in the former, they took that spot with four points and were the best performing third-place side, whereas at Euro 2020 they earned one point fewer and finished bottom of those teams. With no World Cup appearance since 2010, these examples provide their most relevant tournament pedigree.


There is no real head-to-head record at play here either, as Slovakia last faced Ukraine in 2018 and the other sides in this group five years earlier. But a look at their qualification route shows why the Slovakians will struggle here.


Finishing second to Portugal, and losing only to them, was an excellent outcome having been seeded fifth in the group. The other sides in the group were Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg, though, none of whom were as strong as the opponents waiting in Group E in Germany. A loss to Austria and a draw with Norway in March friendlies didn’t encourage optimism either.


Ondrej Duda scored the equalizer against the Norwegians and two in qualifying, while Lukáš Haraslín got three in the qualification process. At the back, Paris Saint-Germain defender Milan Škriniar and Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dúbravka will need to be in top form.



PREDICTION


Belgium will win the group with ease. As they should inflict a defeat upon Slovakia in the first round of fixtures, the outsiders will be in immediate trouble and look destined to finish bottom of the pile.


Ukraine may have an advantage over Romania as they play the Belgians last, when qualification may have been secured and their manager Tedesco could make changes. The Romanians’ strong defense could give them a slight edge, though, and they could be a good value play to take second in the group.


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Thursday, June 13, 2024

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