Wales will be looking to get their first major tournament since 1958 off to a winning start when they take on Slovakia in Group B on Saturday.
The Dragons booked their place in France by winning seven and losing just one of their 10 qualifiers, but with three defeats and no victories to their name in four friendlies since then are priced at 9/5 (2.80) with Betway to collect three points in Bordeaux.
In contrast, Jan Kozak’s side come into the tournament on the back of an eight-game unbeaten streak and can also be backed at 9/5 (2.80) to get the better of an evenly-poised game. The two nations drew just one game apiece en route to this competition, but you can get odds of 39/20 (3.95) on them cancelling each other out in this one.
Eight months on from the euphoria of sealing qualification, Chris Coleman must now be feeling concerned by his team’s slightly alarming downturn in fortunes.
The manager was quick to warn against complacency after a final warm-up match saw his side slip to a disheartening 3-0 defeat against Sweden, although that is certainly not the only factor affecting form. Having inspired his nation to their first tournament in almost 60 years, Gareth Bale’s absence from the starting line-up surely played a vital role in those four winless friendly matches.
Responsible for seven of their 11 goals in qualification, the fit-again Real Madrid star will provide Wales with a timely boost at the Stade Matmut Atlantique – as will the return to the squad from injury of Joe Allen, Joe Ledley and Hal Robson-Kanu.
Although Bale’s presence will significantly enhance his side’s goal-scoring threat, it will do little to solve a recent defensive fragility that has seen them leak eight goals in the previous four matches.
With Slovakia having hit the net 18 times in their last eight games, odds of 6/5 (2.20) are well worth a punt on them joining Bale and Co. on the scoresheet in a match featuring goals at both ends.