England favourites to start Euros with a win over Croatia

England kick start their Euros adventure with a tough test against Croatia on Sunday at Wembley, a venue they hope to revisit again on July 11 to bring football home.

By Sports reporter
Friday, 11th June 2021, 3:16 pm
Updated Friday, 11th June 2021, 3:25 pm
England manager Gareth Southgate
England manager Gareth Southgate

Gareth Southgate's side are 6/1 to win the tournament and there's an expectation that the Three Lions will be featuring in the later stages of the competition.

A recent survey by bettingexpert found that most supporters (40%) said that reaching the semi-final would be the earliest stage England can exit the tournament and it be considered a success, so hopefully Sunday's match is the first of many this summer.

The last time the Three Lions played Croatia in a group stage of an international competition was in Euro 2004 in which a side inspired by a teenage Wayne Rooney won 4-2. Fans will also have recent painful memories of that Extra Time defeat in the 2018 World Cup semi-final but England did fare better when they met Croatia in their Uefa Nations League group in which they won Wembley 2-1 after a 0-0 draw in Rijeka.

England are slight favourites at 4/6 but will be cautious ahead of the match playing a good Croatia side at 9/2. Historically England have drawn 1-1 in their opening games of the past two Euros and a repeat result is valued at 7/1.

A lot of focus will be on who Southgate picks for his opening game with the contingent of Chelsea and Manchester City players who featured in the Champions League Final finally available. Mason Mount has been a regular whenever needed for Southgate so he’s likely to start after his excellent end to the season and is at 7/2 to score anytime.

Despite not having the talents of Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzuckic like they did in 2018, Croatia still possess a dangerous starting eleven. Ivan Perisic is one who will be on the radar of most fans after his goal helped knock England out of that 2018 World Cup semi and he’s 4/1 to score anytime. Ante Rebic comes off a season in Italy in which he helped AC Milan reach the Champions League and has 11 goals and nine assists in all competitions so he’ll be a similar threat to Perisic and is therefore also valued at 4/1 to find the net over the 90 minutes.

At 5pm on Sunday, Austria vs North Macedonia follows the England match and will be the opener of Group C. Minnows North Macedonia are playing at their first ever tournament and will have the underdog tags going into every game with a 5/1 odds for their Euros debut.

Austria didn’t win a game at Euro 2016 finishing bottom of their group so this is the dream scenario for them to bounce back and are favourites at 13/20. They rely on the versatile David Alaba who plays further forward for his country than his club side Bayern Munich and is at 7/2 to score at any point. RB Leipzig’s Marcel Sabitzer is designated penalty taker prior to the Euros so could be a reliable option at 9/4.

Netherlands vs Ukraine in Amsterdam ends the day and sees the Dutch finally return to the international spotlight after two tournaments where they failed to qualify. At 3/5, they are favourites in what is deemed to be the two strongest sides in Group C but Ukraine now managed by Andriy Shevchenko will be looking to cause an upset in which they’re valued at 11/2.

Memphis Depay is 13/10 to score anytime and is the Dutch’s main creative source and will be hoping to showcase his talent ahead of proposed moves to either Juventus or Barcelona. Ruslan Malinovsky for Ukraine finished the season in Italy for his club side Atalanta in tremendous form picking up player of the month awards. He has a wondrous left foot and is always keen to shoot from deep meaning he’s 11/2 to score throughout the 90 minutes.

Tips and analysis via bettingexpert.com.