Euro 2016 betting: Wales to tread carefully in Group B finale

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Updated: June 20, 2016

Euro 2016 Group B featured betting preview: Russia v Wales, Stadium Municipal de Toulouse, Toulouse, France; Tuesday, June 21, 5am

 

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Group B scenario: Leaders England (4 points) are assured of a top-three finish and will secure the top spot with a victory over Slovakia. A point against Slovakia would also seal first position if Wales fail to beat Russia. Wales (3 points) must beat Russia to be certain of a top-two place. A draw would also seal second place if Slovakia fail to beat England. Wales can top the group only by beating Russia and England losing to Slovakia. If Wales lose to Russia, they can finish no higher than third and would finish bottom if Slovakia claim a point against England. If both Wales and Slovakia lose, then Wales would finish third on head-to-head and would have to hope three points is enough to progress. A Slovakia (3 points) win over England would secure their passage, and that would be as group winners if Wales do not beat Russia.

A draw with England would mean Slovakia can finish no lower than third in the group, and they would finish second if Russia beat Wales (since Slovakia beat Russia in the group meeting). Russia (1 point) have to defeat Wales to stand any chance, and would be guaranteed at least third place with that result. The only way they can finish in the top two is if England beat Slovakia, or if England lose and goal difference swings in Russia’s favour. If England and Russia finish level on goal difference, it will come down to fair play – at present England and Russia are level on one disciplinary point so moving to UEFA national team coefficient ranking would be possible (England are higher than Russia).

 

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With England making up to six changes and a swag of Slovakian players on yellow cards, we’re steering clear of the Group B match-up scheduled for Saint Etienne this morning, with our focus shifting to the southern city of Toulouse where Wales take on Russia. Despite all the permutations detailed above, it’s a pretty basic scenario for the Russians – win or bust. Despondency seeped into the Wales’ camp after their last-gasp loss to England but they should be taking a ‘glass half-full’ take after coming within seconds of a famous result against their Home Nations rival. Joe Ledley was substituted in the second half of their defeat by England after suffering from a tight calf, but is likely to be available so Chris Coleman (pictured above) is expected to pick the same XI that started against England.

Russia, for one reason or another, have disappointed in these finals, both on and off the pitch. Coach Leonid Slutsky has said the distraction of their hooligans hitting the headlines has had absolutely no impact on his side’s performance against Slovakia. But, it took them about 70 minutes before they hit their straps in Lille and it was a case of too little, too late as they lost to two fine goals from Slovakia’s Marek Hamsik and Vladimir Weiss. Oleg Shatov is struggling with a groin problem and is in doubt. Russia have won each of their past three meetings with Wales, outscoring them six goals to two. Wales’ only win in five games against the USSR/Russia came in a 1966 World Cup qualifier. A 3-0 victory over Lithuania in March is Russia’s only win in their past seven internationals (D2, L4).

 

Today’s other game

Group B: Slovakia v England, Stade Geoffroy Guichard, Saint-Etienne, France; Tuesday, June 21, 5am

 

 

Confirmed betting (card finalised)

Russia v Wales -1.5 goals total (one unit @ $2.47) – Chris Coleman will be monitoring the score in the England game and if Roy Hodgson’s team are winning, don’t expect Wales to push forward when a point would secure second place. Despite Russia’s desperation for a goal, Wales conceded just four goals in qualifying and should be able to weather anything the tepid Russian attack can serve up.

 

Yesterday’s result: 1-0, +1.5 units; overall finals record: 12-8, +16.09 units; qualifying record: 34-10-26, +13.40 units

Romania v Albania DNB (one unit @ $2.50) WIN (0-1)

• Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Time (AET); prices with thanks to Bet365 (except where markets are not available), correct at time of publication. Results/comments on today’s games/races will follow in the next post.

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