Group D's games will complete the first matchday at Euro 2012 and Willie Duncan is expecting a winning start to the tournament for Laurent Blanc's Bleus and Erik Hamren's SwedesGroup D of Euro 2012 will finally get underway on Monday and for supporters of England, France, Sweden and co-hosts Ukraine, a nail-biting evening looks to be in store as Laurent Blanc’s side take on Roy Hodgson’s charges in the 18:00CET kick-off before Oleg Blokhin’s team play host to Erik Hamren’s men.
Monday’s opener against France will be Hodgson’s first competitive match in charge of England but the former West Bromwich Albion and Liverpool manager may need to wait a little longer to taste victory for the first time, as they will be up against formidable opposition in the shape of Laurent Blanc’s Bleus.
It is necessary to go back to September 2010 to find France’s last defeat as Blanc’s side have strung together a hugely impressive 21-game unbeaten run.
That streak includes notable friendly victories over Brazil and Germany plus a 2-1 win against England at Wembley, and they look to be in fine shape heading into Monday’s match.
England, by contrast, have had their preparation rocked by injuries to Gary Cahill, Gareth Barry and Frank Lampard while the Three Lions will also need to cope without talismanic striker Wayne Rooney, who is suspended for the opening two games of the tournament.
With Blanc likely to call upon in-form attacking talent such as Karim Benzema and Franck Ribery, France are outstanding value to get the better of Hodgson’s men on Monday at 6/4 (2.50) with Sportingbet.
France to beat England at 6/4 (2.50) with Sportingbet
Co-hosts Ukraine will look to get their campaign off to the best possible start by claiming victory over Sweden but it is Hamren’s men who represent the value from this clash.
Ukraine’s preparations were hit last week by a bout of food poisoning in the camp while coach Oleg Blokhin has admitted that the burden of expectation may weigh heavy on the shoulders of his side.
Sweden, by contrast, are vastly experienced on the big stage, having missed just the 2010 World Cup 2010 the turn of the century and with enigmatic striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic coming into the tournament in fine form, Sweden will feel confident of spoiling Ukraine’s party and should be backed to do so at 37/20 (2.85) with Sportingbet.
Sweden to beat Ukraine at 37/20 (2.85) with Sportingbet
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Willie Duncan is a freelance sports journalist. Willie, from Edinburgh, has covered Scottish football for over 10 years and he specialises in football betting markets from across Europe. You can also follow Willie on Twitter
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