Reigning champions Spain are the headliners in Group D that appears to be the most evenly matched at the Euro 2016 finals. La Furia Roja are no longer as impressive as they used to be, while both Turkey and Czech Republic have shown a great deal of potential of late. And while Croatia are not in the best possible shape at the moment, they’ve got plenty of individual talent, meaning they should not be written off. All things considered, expect plenty of fireworks in most Group D games.
Spain national team have been on a major downtrend since lifting the Euro 2016 trophy and they crashed out in group stage at the 2014 World Cup finals. Despite not exactly impressing, La Furia Roja won the first place in a very strong qualifying group and they are rightly considered the favourites to progress from Group D. Vicente Del Bosque has plenty of dilemmas with regards to the preferred starting line-up, but his decision to omit Diego Costa could prove spot on as the Chelsea star have always struggled playing for the national team, while Alvaro Morata could shine in his absence. Chances are that Spain will not ease off to the top place in Group D, but we do expect them to finish top of the group.
Prediction: Spain to finish in 1st place
Betting Odds: 1.62 (5/8) @Ladbrokes
Turkey tend to struggle in the qualifying campaigns, but they usually save their best performances for the tournament finals, which is definitely a great quality. Milli Takim were far from impressive in the Euro 2016 qualifiers, but then hammered Netherlands 3-0 when it mattered the most, while also defeating Czech Republic and Iceland. Fatih Terim has got quite a few high-quality footballers at his disposal and taking also into account the passion with which Turkey players perform for the national team, we expect this to be yet another successful tournament for Milli Takim. If everything else fails, the individual quality of Arda Turan, Hakan Calhanoglu and Oguzhan Ozyakup should prevail.
Prediction: Turkey to finish in 2nd place
Betting Odds: 4.00 (3/1) @Betfair
Czech Republic surprised everyone by finishing above Iceland, Turkey and Netherlands in their qualifying group, but they will have a tough time repeating the result at the tournament finals. But, even though they do not exactly have star players apart from Petr Cech and fit-again Tomas Rosicky, the Czechs are a strong team unit and they are able to surprise some of the top sides on their day. Having said that, we don’t think they have what it takes to match Spain or Turkey at the Euro 2016 finals, but we believe they can pip Croatia to the third place in the group, although that may not prove enough for a place in the knockout phase.
Prediction: Czech Republic to finish in 3rd place
Betting Odds: 3.00 (2/1) @Ladbrokes
Croatia have experienced all sorts of problems since Slaven Bilic left the post, which is not that surprising considering that his successors were not able to keep the excellent dressing room atmosphere or prevent national team bosses from meddling into team affairs. The fans have also turned their back on Vatreni after the controversial appointment of Ante Cacic, who has banished key defender Dejan Lovren from the squad despite the fact that his side face serious problems at the back. And even though Croatia boasts plenty of individual quality and players like Modric, Rakitic, Perisic and Mandzukic, the poor team spirit and lack of leadership from the bench are likely to prove their undoing.
Prediction: Croatia to finish in 4th place
Betting Odds: 6.00 (5/1) @BetVictor
Group D Fixtures
12th June @15:00 – Turkey vs Croatia
13th June @15:00 – Spain vs Czech Republic
17th June @18:00 – Czech Republic vs Croatia
17th June @21:00 – Spain vs Turkey
21st June @21:00 – Croatia vs Spain
21st June @21:00 – Czech Republic vs Turkey