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France and England are the bookies favourites but with Roy Hodgson's team facing problems, Adam Bate fancies a Zlatan Ibrahimovic-inspired Swedish side to sneak through

Group D at Euro 2012 has a very clear split in the eyes of the bookmakers, with France and England odds-on to qualify for the knockout stages.

Indeed, you can get very similar odds for both Laurent Blanc and Roy Hodgson’s men. Les Blues are available with William Hill at 4/9 (1.44) to qualify or 6/4 (2.50) to win the group. England are 7/4 (2.75) to win the group or 8/15 (1.53) to qualify.

It seems a little odd that France are not a shorter price given that Blanc’s side are on a 21-match unbeaten run, dating back to 2010.

Meanwhile, England are under new management and in an injury-hit disarray with just days to go before the start of the tournament.

Throw in the fact that key striker Wayne Rooney is suspended for the first two games and it’s not difficult to make a case for one of the group’s two outsiders to negotiate a path to the quarter-finals.

Sweden are the long-shot pick with the bookies at 11/2 (6.50) to win the group and 7/4 (2.75) just to qualify.

They are astonishing odds for a team that has won 19 of their last 25 games and boast a player of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s quality in the ranks.

The odds for Sweden to qualify for the quarter-finals are an industry-best price with William Hill and the value bet here.

Ukraine are 4/1 (5.0) to win the group and 5/4 (2.25) to qualify but those prices should be ignored - the pick of the bets in this one is to tip Ukraine for failure.

Oleg Blokhin’s men are short on quality and home advantage is unlikely to compensate. They were beaten at home by both Sweden and France last year – their first two group opponents here.

In other words, Ukraine could be eliminated before this even gets to the potential clutch game against England.

Expect a repeat of both Switzerland and Austria in 2008 and for co-hosts Ukraine to be dumped out before the knockout stage at an industry-best 8/13 (1.62) with William Hill.

Ukraine not to qualify at 8/13 (1.62) with William Hill
Sweden to qualify at 7/4 (2.75) with William Hill

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Adam Bate is a professional freelance journalist who specialises in football and betting. He is editor of GhostGoal which can be found here - you can also follow Adam on

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