As 2015 became 2016 and we arrived at the year of the latest European Championship, it was not Brazil, Germany or Argentina who topped the FIFA rankings but Belgium. A land best known for chocolate, beer and mussels, with a population of just 11 million, was officially the best at the world’s most popular sport. And indeed it is Belgium who are favourites for Group E at this year’s Euros, ahead of Italy, Sweden and Ireland. However, football is decided on the pitch, not by FIFA’s arcane algorithms and so read on as we take a look at Group E. We’ve got predictions, odds comparison, betting tips, analysis and a closer look at the various betting options at Euro 2016 so read on for the lowdown on Group E.

Let’s start with football’s most fashionable (in terms of Premier League signings, not haircuts, Fellaini) nation, Belgium. With a squad set to feature hundreds of millions of pounds of Premier League talent, not to mention a host of top players who ply their trade in the other top European leagues, Marc Wilmots’ men are priced at best betting odds of 5/4 to win Group E.

Perennial tournament performers Italy are next, priced at odds of 7/4, with Zlatan’s Sweden next at 13/2 and the Republic of Ireland bringing up the rear at 12/1. Ireland are huge outsiders, but not totally out of the running and having taken four points from Germany in qualification they will know they can mix it with anyone.

That said, Ireland’s recent results haven’t been the best and realistically we feel they are fighting it out just to qualify. If you think Martin O’Neill’s men can make the next round they can be backed at odds of 14/5 to qualify. If they are to do that then their game against Sweden on the 13th June is sure to be crucial. Ireland are priced at odds of 11/5 for that one, with the draw on offer at 43/19 and Zlatan and co favourites at 20/13.

Moving to the other end of the group, as stated in the title of this feature, we feel Belgium are worth opposing when it comes to the Group E outright winner market. Odds of 5/4 look a shade short given they lack tournament experience and there are doubts over some key players, not least captain Vincent Kompany, key creative force Eden Hazard and striker Christian Benteke.

Those players and others seem certain to be, at best, hindered by bad form and/or injuries and given Belgium hardly shone at the World Cup in 2014 when classed as dark horses by anyone you asked, we don’t think they will prosper at the Euros with even greater expectation on their shoulders. Yes, they have the experience of Brazil now but ultimately we feel they don’t quite have a defined way of playing, nor the team spirit, nor the depth of experience of a team like Italy.

Italy went unbeaten in qualification Group H and, as ever, are hard to break down. Some recent results in friendlies mean their group winner odds have drifted and on balance we feel the price of 7/4 now represents good value. Chelsea-bound Antonio Conte is a top, top coach, whilst Gianluigi Buffon, the Azzurri captain, has over 150 international caps. Throw in experienced campaigners such as Juve’s Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and young talent such as Marco Verratti, and Italy clearly have a good balance.

They look a little short on creative class and a world class goalscorer but they will look to keep things tight and win games by the odd goal. They rarely under-achieve at a major tournament and we feel they can get at least a draw and possibly a win against Belgium.

The two group favourites meet on the 13th June and it is Belgium who are favourites, priced at 8/5. Conte’s men are out at 24/11 and that looks like excellent value, although many are sure to prefer the odds of 43/19 on the draw, with 0-0 a decent option at long odds.

Whatever you want to bet on at Euro 2016, be it the outright winner of Group E or any of the other groups, the winner of an individual match or indeed who will triumph in the final in Paris, our odds comparison is an invaluable tool. It brings you all the best Euros odds from all the best football betting sites, allowing you to access the most value as quickly and simply as possible. More money and more time – what more could you ask for?


Bet €10
Get €15
18+, Welcome Bonus: New Players only, 1st Deposit, Min Deposit: £10, max £10 free bet valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at odds of 1/1 or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement. System bets no eligible.T&Cs apply.