Germany (-175) vs Ukraine (+525), Draw (+310)
The reigning world champs, Germany, will start their quest for another major trophy tomorrow when they kick off Euro 2016 against Ukraine at Grand Stade Lille Métropole in Lille, France (3:00 PM Eastern).
Germany haven’t won the Euro since 1996, but they’re one of the favorites for this year’s edition, which is the first to feature a 24-team field. They sit at 7/2 in the odds, just behind host france (11/4) and slightly ahead of defending champion Spain (5/1).
Germany were the outright favorites not long ago, but a couple surprise friendly losses – including a 3-1 setback to Slovakia – plus an injury to playmaker Marco Reus saw their forecast get a little gloomier. Without Reus, Thomas Muller will feel a great deal of pressure at the offensive end. But that’s something the Bayern Munich striker is comfortable with; he’s shown a knack for scoring important goals on the international stage.
The most important thing for the Germans is to stay true to their style. They have had problems when they try to play long ball. The team’s success in the 2014 World Cup was thanks to a more measured passing style.
Ukraine likely come into tomorrow’s game hoping for a draw. With easier tests against Poland and Northern Ireland up next, a single point would be enough keep their hopes of advancing high.
The Ukrainians may be more ready than most for what Germany have to offer. They were grouped with Spain in the qualifiers, whose tiki-taka style bears some resemblance to Germany’s attack. That said, Spain got the better of Ukraine with a pair of 1-0 wins.
Germany have yet to lose to the Ukraine in five tries (2-3-0). But they haven’t met since 2011 when they played to a thrilling 3-3 draw.
Pick: Germany (-175).
(Photo Credit: Steindy (talk) CC BY-SA 3.0 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0], via Wikimedia Commons)
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