Group B at the European Championships will feature the world’s number one national side according to FIFA’s rankings in Belgium along with Denmark, Russia and debutants Finland.
Not only are Belgium favourites to win the group at
20/29 but they are available at
5/1 to lift the trophy – making them joint-outright favourites with England. And there is plenty cause for optimism for the Red Devils supporters.
They breezed through qualifying with ten wins from ten matches, scoring 40 goals and conceding only three in the process and that run featured 3-1 and 4-1 wins over Russia – a side they are worthy
20/27 favourites to beat when they meet in their first match of Group B.
No Finals Repeat for Russia
Russia made the most of home advantage at the last major tournament – the 2018 FIFA World Cup – reaching the quarter-final stage, where they were beaten by Croatia on penalties.
A number of players made names for themselves at that tournament, such as Denis Cheryshev and Aleksandr Golovin, but a disappointing showing in the most recent Nations League tournament, which culminated in a 5-0 defeat to Serbia, suggests they could struggle at Euro 2021.
While Kevin De Bruyne’s Belgium will be a difficult obstacle to overcome, Russia could also have their work cut out against Denmark, who have evolved into one of the continent’s most disciplined outfits.
Denmark on the Up
Kasper Hjulmand only took charge of the Danes in July 2020 but has already proved to be a valuable addition, helping them to second spot in League A Group 2 behind Belgium but above England and Iceland.
They claimed the scalp of England at Wembley and while only six goals conceded in eight Euro qualifiers outlines their defensive prowess, they have some exciting players going forwards such as maestro Christian Eriksen and marauding full-back Mikkel Damsgaard.
Completing the group are Finland, who will be competing in a major tournament for the first time in their history.
First Finals Foray for Finland
Despite this, spectators got to see them perform strongly in the most recent Nations League campaign, in which they placed second in League B Group 4 ahead of Ireland and Bulgaria.
They took second spot in Group J of Euro qualifying at the expense of Bosnia and Greece and are heavily reliant on Norwich City marksman Teemu Pukki, who has 27 international goals to his name from 87 caps.
Augsburg winger Fredrik Jensen is another to keep an eye on, having fired three times during the Nations League and although it will be great to welcome a new country to the Euro mix, Markku Kanerva’s men may struggle to make an impact in Group B.
Danes to Follow Red Devils Through
Although a short price, Belgium are difficult to oppose to win the group given their third-placed finish at the 2018 World Cup and qualification for the Nations League finals.
Joining them in the knockout phase could be Denmark, who have adapted well to their coaching switch and a solid defence built around Andreas Christensen and Simon Kjaer should see them advance as section runners-up. That enhances appeal about a Belgium-Denmark straight forecast bet.
*All odds correct at time of writing.