How did England fare in the official Euro 2016 draw?

After experiencing a less than successful 2014 World Cup campaign in Brazil two summers ago – whilst also failing to fare much better at Euro 2012 two years earlier – Roy Hodgson and the England national team now face their upcoming Euro 2016 duties with a whole manner of differing expectations on board.

Some defiantly believe that the Three Lions will suddenly up their game at the competition next summer, displaying a fresh injection of daring youthful ambition that could potentially turn England’s fortunes completely around on the international scene.

Others meanwhile view the tournament as nothing more than a brief summer adventure, in which England evidently have no real chance of winning when all is said and done. Whatever way you look at it, public opinion surrounding the Three Lions squad hasn’t been this split in quite some time truth be told…

So then, in light of the recent Euro 2016 draw that saw England placed alongside three other budding hopeful nations within Group B – do Roy Hodgson’s boys ultimately have what it takes to succeed in France next summer, and just how satisfying was the recent fixture selection purely from a Three Lions perspective?

 

RUSSIA

All in all, England now find themselves with a rather desirable range of competition on offer in Group B. Although the likes of Italy, Croatia and Turkey could have well been pitted up against the Three Lions next summer, relevant Euro 2016 betting tips now place Roy Hodgson’s team as the out-in-out group favourites at this current stage.

Russia shouldn’t arrive as the greatest footballing threat possible after all. Despite regularly displaying a fair amount of defensive organisation across major international tournaments, Leonid Slutsky’s team only just scraped automatic qualification to Euro 2016 in the first place.

The likes of Alan Dzagoev, Denis Cheryshev and Aleksandr Kokorin could nonetheless test England however – and if the Three Lions fail to give a full account of themselves in France next summer – Euro 2016 predictions may potentially see a draw cropping up in this particular fixture…

 

SLOVAKIA

Jan Kozak’s determined Slovakia outfit also qualified in relatively similar circumstances in the end, but admittedly had the mighty Spain to contend with throughout the initial qualification stages. With Napoli’s Marek Hamsik likely leading the charge next summer, this team may prove a tougher nut to crack than first appearances make out.

Slovakia failed to set the 2010 World Cup alight in South Africa when their chance to impress on the international scene finally emerged however, and without an established core of recognised star players to choose from, Kozak’s side could come up against a fair degree of trouble at Euro 2016 when all is said and done.

Stranger things have certainly happened though…

 

WALES

Yet whilst both Russia and Slovakia provide England with rather forgettable group-stage competition at Euro 2020 next summer, Chris Coleman’s proud Wales team nonetheless arrive in pretty sensational form.

Everyone wanted the Three Lions to come up against one of their British neighbours at the tournament – and as the Welsh go into Euro 2016 full of raw confidence and enthusiasm on the back of a largely successful qualification campaign – this is the match most England fans will hold in the highest regard.

Euro 2020, therefore, represents the first European Championships tournament for Welsh football fans to truly indulge themselves in. If the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale stay fit throughout the entirety of the competition, perhaps Chris Coleman could even witness his team finish as Group B winners in the end, for England simply fail to match the same level of individual quality with all things duly considered.

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