The Euro 2016 draw took place on Saturday evening for the tournament in France starts 10th June.
The format of competition, expanded to 24 teams, sees six groups of four, each seeded into four pots, The top two in each group and four best third placed teams qualify for an extra knockout round, the last 16.
The groups drawn were as follows:
Group B: England, Wales, Slovakia, Russia.
Group C: Germany, Northern Ireland, Poland, Ukraine.
Group D: Spain, Turkey, Czech Republic, Croatia.
Group E: Belgium, Republic of Ireland, Sweden, Italy.
Group F: Portugal, Iceland, Hungary, Austria.
The opening game sees France play Romania 10th June
Due to the competition format, simulations have shown that teams from Group E have an approximately 28% lower chance of reaching the final than teams from group A.
With placings for the last sixteen already decided, this is because
1. The winners of group A, B, C and D get to face third-placed teams, when the winners of group E and F move on to face runner-ups (A clear disadvantage)
2. The runner-ups of group A, B, C and F get to face other runner-ups, when the runner-ups of group D and E move on to face winners (A clear disadvantage).
3. This would in theory mean that teams that qualify from Group E already have a lower probability of reaching the final just by getting drawn into group E. For group D and F this means that they will have a higher probability than the teams from group E, but a lower probability than the ones from group A, B or C
The odds outright, six months in advance of the event, are as follows
Germany 100-30 (Coral)
France 7-2 (Sportingbet)
Spain 6-1 (BetVictor)
Belgium 12-1 (Ladbrokes)
England 12-1 (Ladbrokes)
Italy 20-1 (Bet365)
Portugal 20-1 (Coral)
Croatia 33-1 (Ladbrokes)
Austria 40-1 (BetVictor)
Switzerland 66-1 (BetVictor)
France, with one of the softer looking groups, look an interesting play at this stage as hosts whilst Group E is a very tough draw for all sides, and in addition the format penalises Group E teams and this does not bode well for two teams in the top six of the betting Belgium and Italy