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England’s group winner odds halve after scraping a draw with Ukraine

| 12.09.2012

England’s unconvincing performance at home to Ukraine has curbed wild, patriotic notions that the Three Lions were going to storm Group H like a powerhouse of European football.

It’s now 2/5 that Roy Hodgson’s men will win their group – it’s halved from the 1/5 offered post Moldova win – after coming perilously close to having their applecart upset by a plucky Ukrainian side who will feel aggrieved not to have taken all three points from Wembley.

England’s set up – with three attack-minded central midfield players and no anchor man – smacked of underestimation of the opponent, which they were almost made to pay the penalty for.

This is not a detriment to the Ukrainians, however, who showed they have the quality to be considered genuine qualification contenders and can be backed at 4/1 to beat England to top spot in Group H.

Two disappointing results for Wales and Scotland have all but ended their already faint hopes of winning Group A.

A 6-1 mauling at the hands of the Serbians suggests that any progress the Welsh made in their Euros qualifying campaign has been scuppered under Chris Coleman; they’re now 200/1 to win their group.

The Scots are 33/1 to achieve the same feat following their disappointing draw at home to hapless travellers, Macedonia.

Having only taken two points from two winnable home matches, they will do very well to end up in the shake up for a playoff spot when next November rolls around, they can forget about automatic qualification.

Ireland’s group contains the might of Germany so a price of 8/1 for them to win it is incredibly short and this is without taking into consideration the kafuffle they had beating the Kazakhs in their only game so far.

Northern Ireland, alike Wales, now face an impossible task if they are to qualify for the World Cup, let alone win Group F.

A home draw with Luxembourg indicates they neither have the ability to compete at international football’s top table, nor the attitude that may warrant them a ticket to Brazil in two years. Their 200/1 price to win the group is reflective of this.

Staying in Group F, one of the best prices offered by Ladbrokes in the group winners market is 13/10 for the Russians to secure an automatic berth for Brazil 2014.

Fabio Capello’s men showed their superiority in a thumping 4-0 win in Israel. This now takes their goals scored tally to six and keeps their goals conceded tally at zero after two games played.

Their only challengers for this mantle are Portugal, but their dodgy qualification records suggest Russian have the upper hand.

They’ve started well on paper with two wins from two. However, a 2-1 win over Luxembourg, in which they went a goal down, does not inspire a great deal of faith in Paul Bento’s side.

They’ve also required play-offs to make it to the past two major tournaments which suggests their tendencies for complacency in qualification – namely a 4-4 home draw with Cyprus – will work in favour of Russia in the race to make it to the 2014 World Cup.

All odds and markets are correct as of publication

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Author

James Middleton