Euro 2016: Group C Preview

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Football fans will be pleased to know we have full previews for each Euro group including Group C.

Europe's Premier International football tournament gets underway on Friday the 10th of June. Football fans will be in for an absolute treat with Europe's finest 16 sides going all out to be crowned champions of the continent.

Our European football scribe has been hard at work composing his preview. After weeks of intense research, he has come up with a full preview for each group.

We'll take a look at Group C below.

Group C
Germany | Northern Ireland | Poland | Ukraine

Fixtures
Sunday 12 June: Poland vs Northern Ireland / Germany vs Ukraine
Thursday 16 June: Ukraine vs Northern Ireland / Germany vs Poland
Tuesday 21 June: Northern Ireland vs Germany / Ukraine vs Poland

Germany
To Win Outright: 4/1 | To Win Group: 4/10
Joachim Louw has had to negotiate a myriad of retirements in the wake of winning 2014’s World Cup. He has opted for an exciting blend of youth and experience while suffering a few injury setbacks.

Reus unbelievably misses out again in a major tournament after being considered a risky injury prospect. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mats Hummels have however both made the cut despite lingering fitness issues.

Leverkusen’s Brandt and Bellarabi have both been excluded while Louw shows faith in the likes of Kimmich and Wergel.

Stars like Gotze, Kroos and Schurrle are in plentiful supply in Louw’s squad.

Germany are always going to be a competitive side in tournament competitions and they have again assembled an exciting side, one which simultaneously harkens back to their World Cup win while keeping one eye on the future.

Key Player: Thomas Muller
The inspirational Munich striker has a flair for the big occasion and will look to add to his impressive international goal tally.

Player to Watch: Julian Draxler

The exciting winger will provide the necessary width for this exciting German side.  

Northern Ireland
To Win Outright: 350/1 | To Win Group: 20/1
Michael O’Neill’s Northern Ireland are truly the fairy-tale narrative that will dominate the press going into this year’s tournament. And haven’t Leicester City brought the whole underdog story back into fashion. One can only imagine how rentals of Rocky have escalated in the country that is second only to Iceland in terms of lowest population in the competition.

They play an exciting brand of football which relies heavily on the goal-scoring exploits of Kyle Lafferty.

Team captain Davies is the propulsive heartbeat in midfield and truly encapsulates the ethos of the side. Jonny Evans and Gareth McCauley are an impressive central defensive partnership that will be tested in an extremely difficult group.

Northern Ireland - for all their endeavor - are going to struggle in this group.

Key Player: Steven Davis
The midfield general epitomizes the pugnacious spirit - and undeniable quality - of the entire squad.
Player to Watch: Kyle Lafferty
The opportunistic striker will likely be starved of significant opportunities and will need to capitalize on any shrapnel that comes his way.

Poland
To Win Outright: 45/1 | To Win Group: 7/2
Adam Nawalka’s side only lost once in qualification and were prolific in front of goal. Clearly, having Robert Lewandowski in your side will give any side a fighting chance.

This is Poland’s third appearance in the European finals and funnily enough their third consecutive appearance.

Arkadiusz Milik is another exciting young striker who takes some of the heat off Lewandowski. There are definitely weaknesses afoot, however.  They don’t have a settled centre-half combination and their usually dynamic wing pairing, Jakub Blaszczykowski and Kamil Grosicki, have been off the boil of late.

The White Eagles will probably battle it out with Ukraine for the second guaranteed qualification spot and I fancy Lewandowski’s side to prevail.

Key Player: Robert Lewandowski
The Bayern Munich superstar has that intangible quality that can help Poland win games that they are poor in.  

Player to Watch: Arkadiusz Milik
The young striker will prove indelible should Poland wish to go deeper than the final 16.

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Ukraine
To Win Outright: 100/1 | To Win Group: 17/2
Mykhaylo Fomenko’s side didn’t exactly set the world on fire during their qualification campaign. They are still coming to grips with life in the post-Shevchenko era and this will be the first time that they are competing in the tournament as an independent nation.

The Synyo-Zhouti are in a tough group and will be hoping that they can capitalize on lowly Northern Ireland’s presence in the group, thereby securing a possible third spot qualification should they grind out a point against either Poland and Germany.

Yeuhen Konoplyanka and Andriy Yarmolenko provide width for the side and will be their major threat. Also, watch out for teenager Oleksandr Zinchenko, who became Ukraine’s youngest ever scorer, scoring in their 4-3 victory over Romania and significantly besting the previous record held by Andriy Shevchenko.

Key Player: Andriy Yarmolneko
The dynamic winger will be at the creative nexus of much of what Ukraine do.

Player to Watch: Oleksandr Zinchenko
The potential teenage prodigy has the Ukrainian footballing world at his feet and this tournament could be his launching platform.

Who will Progress?
Germany are the clear favourites and should top the group. Poland have the Lewandowski factor and should secure second place over Ukraine.  As much as everyone loves the Northern Ireland story, I can’t see a Leicester City narrative materializing here. The runner-up here will also enjoy a fairly comfortable draw, having to play the runner-up of a group A dominated by France. So Poland, should they finish second, will feel fairly comfortable if they secure that certain second place.

Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets.

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