This week we continue Betarena’s special about the European Championship by talking about Group B of the competition. The group includes the current leader of the FIFA World Ranking, Belgium, which is also one of the main favorites to win the tournament. In addition to the Red Devils, the group is composed of Denmark and Russia, which should fight for second place, and Finland, which is the underdog.
Despite the Belgians’ total favoritism in the group, the only member of the group that has already won the tournament in Denmark. Eriksen and company know that it is almost impossible to repeat the feat, so the focus is solely on qualifying for the playoffs stage. Belgium, on the other hand, is trying to overcome the runner-up spot they won in 1980 and finally win their first UEFA Euro trophy for the gallery.
Belgium seeks the country’s first-ever title
Considered by many the strongest team of the present time, Belgium tries to leave behind the fame of Flash in the pan for good. Runners-up in the 1980 European Championship, the Red Devils are counting on the good soccer of Lukaku, De Bruyne, and company to finally win the title for the first time. It is possible to say, after all, that this is the tournament in which the team arrives with more confidence in history.
However, according to Bet365, the Belgians are the third favorites to win the competition. England and France appear as the two main contenders for the trophy, while the Red Devils have odds at 7.00 to take the cup. To overcome these rivals, Belgium hopes to repeat their qualifying campaign, when they beat all their opponents, and take the trophy home in style.
The only winner of the group, Denmark tries to advance
In the 1992 edition of the European Championship, Denmark surprised everyone on the Old Continent and won the title of the continental competition. Even with a much smaller squad and lower ambitions, the Danes hope to have another good campaign. Qualifying for the round of 16 would already be a big step. In other words, Kasper Hjulmand’s team can only hope for more from then on.
Eriksen and his team will face Russia, who are expected to fight with the Danes for second place in the group. However, a good win against Finland, for example, could be crucial to secure a place in the next round, even if it is via a playoff. The odds for Denmark to advance to the playoffs stage are currently at 1.33, according to Bet365.
Russia wants to repeat the feat of 13 years ago
In different proportions compared to Denmark, Russia has also made a surprise appearance in a European Championship. In this case, it was in 2008, when led by midfielder Arshavin, the Russians reached the semifinal of the tournament. The good run at the 2018 World Cup, for example, when the team reached the quarterfinals, also encourages and shows that the team of coach Stanislav Cherchesov can advance in the Euro.
As already mentioned, the big fight in the group should be between the Russians and the Danes, for second place in the group. But just like the main competitors, for the Russian team, a place via playoff would not be bad at all. The team has already shown to have decisive power when it eliminated Spain from the last World Cup and almost knocked out Croatia. The odds, according to Bet365, for the team to advance to the quarterfinals are at 1.40.
Group B’s duckling, Finland arrives without expectations
While Belgium, Denmark, and Russia fight for the qualification to the round of 16, Finland arrives at the European Championship without great expectations. Debuting in the competition, the Finns have already achieved a great feat by qualifying, and leaving behind, for example, the winner of the 2004 edition of the tournament, Greece.
Any point taken will be of great value and historic for Markku Kanerva’s team. To give you an idea of how little risk Finland must offer its group rivals, only Hungary and North Macedonia are less likely to advance to the round of 16, according to Bet365 odds. The odds for a huge underdog and a Finnish qualification are at 2.62.
The first round of Group B will feature the Denmark-Finland clash and the big clash between Belgium and Russia. As soon as the tournament gets closer, we will provide the predictions for these and all other Euro matches. In the meantime, keep an eye on Betarena and don’t miss a single chapter of our special report on the competition. Next week, the topic will be Group C!