With ‘Group of Death’ defiantly tattooed on the inner thigh of Group B, would Group D be most appropriately labelled the Group of Possible Minor Injuries?
For compared to a group consisting of Germany, Netherlands and Portugal which is what faces neighbours Denmark, the prospect of meeting Ukraine, England and France doesn’t seem quite so fearsome for Sweden.
Nevertheless, the four teams involved in Group D have all proved rather evenly matched in the past, meaning the group is anyone’s to win.
Sweden’s odds of 6/1 make them outsiders to win the group, with France at 3/2, England at 33/20 and Ukraine at 9/2.
Sweden kick off their Euro 2012 campaign against co-hosts Ukraine, a side they have never faced in a competitive international. The most recent encounter between the two ended in victory for the Swedes but with home advantage often securing progress for hosting nations and with Ukraine having won the only other two fixtures between the sides, Sweden’s easiest fixture intuitively seems far harder than it appears at first glance.
Next come England, and a game in which Sweden’s chances are surprisingly good, having proved a persistent pest to the English on several occasions. Whilst England prevailed in the most recent encounter between the two sides, a 1-0 friendly victory in November last year, Sweden are yet to lose against England in a competitive match.
France are the opponents in Sweden’s final group game and Erik Hamren will be hoping that too much doesn’t rest on his side having to secure victory, for Sweden have failed to defeat France in their last 11 games, including both competitive and friendly fixtures.
But despite their undoubted talents, Laurent Blanc’s France are not quite the force they were when they won the tournament back in 2000 and Sweden will be hoping to spring the surprise they’ll probably need to progress through to the knockout stages. Bwin offer odds of 6/1 on Hamren’s side doing just that by winning the group.
So what are their chances? Sweden’s odds of 6/1 make them outsiders to win the group, with France at 3/2, England at 33/20 and Ukraine at 9/2.
But with a case to be made for all four teams, it would be dangerous to write off the Swedes’ hopes of emerging from Group D with the least damage, meaning they could yet be good outside bets.
New customers can register here to claim their free £25 bet or click here to see all our latest international friendly odds.
Follow us on Twitter @bwinbetting