14.00 Russia v Slovakia (Group B)
Matters off the pitch have once again dragged Russia’s footballing name through the mud (they’re not the only country in that regard, of course) so their team will be hoping that with this match, they can change the script and redirect attention back to the national side. They will have to seriously up their game though as, late equalizer aside, they didn’t pose any real threat to England and should consider themselves lucky to have come away with a point.
Slovakia find themselves bottom of Group B courtesy of defeat to Wales and need some points from this match if they are to have any hope of progressing to the last 16. Although far from impressive in round 1, they certainly look like a better team than Russia.
If the manager and captain can rally the troops effectively, Slovakia should have the beatings of Russia although it may well be a dour match, short on quality. It should be noted that the bookmakers don’t concur with this sentiment and have Russia as favourites. The best price for the Slovakia win comes from BetFred at 5/2.
17.00 Romania v Switzerland (Group A)
Romania surprised many with their battling display against an ultimately victorious France team in the opening game of the tournament. In the end, it took a large dollop of home magic courtesy of the left boot of Dmitri Payet to deny the Romanians their share of the spoils.
Having dealt with their initial disappointment, the Romanians have likely refocused and will know that they are yet again expected to be the cannon fodder of this tie. For a gutsy and determined team like, the tag of underdog suits them just fine.
Switzerland won a somewhat fractious game against Albania 1-0. The result was expected but they still made relatively heavy work of what should have been a straightforward affair. They dominated possession without really fully committing to the attack and such innate conservatism will not benefit them in this tie.
The worry is that if they couldn’t ‘let go’ against Albania, they’re not likely to do so against Romania. The Swiss are favourites with the bookies but this column reckons Romania might surprise them. BetVictor have Romania to win at 12/5.
20.00 France v Albania (Group A)
At times in the tournament’s opening game, the hosts looked weighed down with the pressure of an expectant country and found Romania to be tough going. Still, they got the win late on and much of the pressure will have been lifted from the team. Manager, Didier Deschamps, showed that no player is bigger than the team by substituting an off-the-pace Pogba and Griezemann relatively early in the second half; such changes can have the effect of shaking any lethargy from those substituted but also give those not starting the belief that they may get a sniff of action thereby increasing competition for places – a win/win situation.
Many assumed that Albania, although tough and resolute, would be the weakest team in the group in terms of skill and the most generous by way of points given away. They were disciplined and hard-working in their opening game but ultimately showed little in the way of a goal threat and you wouldn’t expect them to do so in this match either.
Having navigated the potential banana skin of an opening game against Romania, France should play with a measure more confidence and purpose in this tie and that should be more than enough to account for Albania. Best price for a France win comes from BoyleSports amongst others at 2/9.ro 2