Euro 2024

Group D Stat Pack: Best Bets for France, Netherlands, Austria & Poland

Who is James backing for player of the tournament?

James Eastham gives the lowdown on a thrilling Group D and picks out the top selections, including a big-priced bet on a potential player of the tournament..

Betfair are offering customers a chance to earn a free bet each time the side they back to win Euro 2024 (£10 stake) scores a goal during the group stages. Do you opt for a side who is likely to go deep, like France, or, is your faith in a Portugal side who banged in 36 goals in 10 qualifying matches?

Romelu Lukaku is toward the top of the Golden Boot market after finishing the qualifying campaign as the top scorer with 14 goals - that was 64% of Belgium's 22 goals, so could he and the Red Devils be the side to back with the offer in mind?

Perhaps it is an outsider you fancy to surprise us all - like the much fancied Austria, Hungary or Ukraine, and a few goals in their opening three games could well pay you back for your faith in them before the tournament, and hope their big price takes you all the way!

Make sure you opt-in on the Betfair Sportsbook before the opening game and place a £10 bet (or £5 EW) in the Winner market to qualify!

France - 15/4 to win Euro 2024

Key Player - Kylian Mbappe

The Goalscorer - Kylian Mbappe

The Shooter - Marcus Thuram

The Fouler - Ibrahima Konate

The Creator - Antoine Griezmann

The Dictator/Passer - Adrien Rabiot

The One to watch - Theo Hernandez

It's hard to argue with France's status as second favourites behind England to win Euro 2024, but it would be wrong to think Didier Deschamps' side will stroll unchallenged towards the final in Berlin on July 14.

For all the talk of talent and strength in depth in their ranks, there are some obvious weaknesses. Owing to a lack of truly world-class performers, Jules Kounde and Marseille's Jonathan Clauss are France's somewhat inconsistent right-back contenders. Opponents would do well to target this position to get some joy against les Bleus.

There are other defensive concerns. France's no.1-rated centre-back Dayot Upamecano has endured a testing season at Bayern Munich, to the extent that Deschamps is considering breaking-up the former Valenciennes man's partnership with Ibrahima Konate. Such last-minute uncertainty is far from ideal, especially as behind the back four goalkeeper Mike Maignan is a relative newcomer on the international stage.

At the other end of the pitch, are France really as good as their backers would have you believe? For all Olivier Giroud's seemingly ageless qualities, it's an indictment of the lack of proven alternatives in the France squad that the 37-year-old MLS-bound target man remains a strong option for the no.9 slot.

Any side with Kylian Mbappe in its ranks, however, cannot be ruled out. By his own standards, Mbappe under-performed at Euro 2020 (played in 2021), but that will simply ensure sky-high motivation from the serial winner in Germany this summer. Mbappe is 7/18.00 favourite to win the UEFA Player of the Tournament award and 9/25.50 favourite to clinch another Golden Boot after securing that prize via his eight-goal haul at the last World Cup.

While France may be less than perfect, they ought to reach the semi-finals without too much difficulty. An exit at the quarter-final stage or before would be a major surprise. For that reason, having scoured all the odds, our strongest selection on Deschamps' boys is to back les Bleus to make the last four at odds of 4/51.80.

In the player markets, look out for Marcus Thuram in the shooting stakes, The Inter striker - slight favourite ahead of Giroud to claim the centre-forward spot heading into the tournament - was the top-performing player in this market across all sides in the Euro 2024 qualifiers, managing 7.2 shots per 90 minutes (including 2.8 shots on target per 90 minutes). A prolific goalscorer he may not be - he's managed just two goals for France at a rate of a goal every 386 minutes - but he's bold when it comes to trying to find the net.

The man knitting this side together is Antoine Griezmann. A Euros legend - he was six-goal top scorer and player of the tournament on home soil at Euro 2016 - he remains as important as ever for les Bleus. Look out for him taking most of their corners and indirect free-kicks, plus being the main source of chances for Mbappe and the other attackers in open play, too. We think he's underrated at 22/123.00 in the UEFA Player of the Tournament betting. At those odds, we're willing to make a small investment in him.

Theo Hernandez is another name for your player betting shortlist. The long-term ligament injury his brother Lucas suffered in May has sealed Theo's place in the starting line-up. He scored the winner in France's 1-0 World Cup semi-final victory over Morocco in Qatar 18 months ago, and ought to consistently get into similarly advanced positions while on duty in Germany this summer. The AC Milan full-back's tremendous left-flank understanding with Mbappe will be key to France making progress.

Netherlands - 18/119.00 to win Euro 2024

Key Player - Virgil Van Dijk

The Goalscorer - Wout Weghorst

The Shooter - Georginio Wijnaldum

The Fouler - Memphis Depay

The Creator - Cody Gakpo

The Dictator/Passer - Joey Veerman

The One to watch - Xavi Simons

By a peculiar twist of fate, France and the Netherlands were in the same Euro 2024 qualifying group, and have now landed together in Group D as well. From a betting point of view, this helps us assess the strengths and weaknesses of Ronald Koeman's side.

France breezed to a 4-0 home triumph over the Dutch in the qualifiers, before winning 2-1 when the sides met in the return fixture in Amsterdam in October 2023. On both occasions the Netherlands were second-best. This suggests the market has called things correctly: it would be far-fetched to expect the 1988 victors to challenge to win the trophy this summer.

As clear 11/43.75 second favourites to win Group D, however, they ought to reach the Last 16 with the minimum of fuss. They're a good odds-against price to finish as runners-up, and we're willing to back them to do so.

It would be foolhardy to expect too many swashbuckling performances, however. In the qualifiers, even when they won, the Netherlands didn't really impress: they could manage only single-goal victories in both meetings against Republic of Ireland (2-1 away, 1-0 at home), and the same in one of their two meetings against Greece (1-0 away win). Depending on the odds there may be some value in opposing the Netherlands on the Asian Handicap when they face Austria and Poland.

There are certainly few reasons to believe Koeman's men will run up big winning margins. The low-scoring nature of the qualifying wins listed above may make Under 2.5 Goals the value pick on the Unders/Overs market. The fact they may need to rely on defensive qualities to collect points merely emphasises Virgil Van Dijk's status as their key player.

In attack, Cody Gakpo ought to play a starring role. He scored three times in the qualifiers but mainly excelled as a creator: with 5.3 chances created per 90 minutes, he was comfortably the side's stand-out performer in this category. Expect plenty of service from the Liverpool man, predominantly from wide attacking positions.

Memphis Depay and Wout Weghorst may find themselves competing for the lone striker's spot in the side's expected 4-3-3 formation, although Depay can also play out wide. The pair will rightly attract plenty of attention in the goalscorer stakes, although interestingly Depay is also worth considering to commit the most fouls for the Netherlands. He averaged 1.8 fouls per 90 mins during the qualifiers, a statistical record that may make him an underrated contender to pick up yellow cards during the group phase.

Other names worth considering in the player markets include Georginio Wijnaldum. He managed 2.0 shots on target per 90 minutes during the qualifiers, a tally that placed him second in that category behind Depay. If the ex-Liverpool and Barcelona man gets game time, look out for his efforts on goal when he gets into advanced midfield positions.

With a total of five, Denzel Dumfries was comfortably the Netherlands' top assists provider during the qualifiers. The Inter man will be a marauding presence on the right flank, and he should pose an attacking threat, allowing One to watch Xavi Simons to move into central positions.

Austria - 80/181.00 to win Euro 2024

Key Player - Marcel Sabitzer

The Goalscorer - Marko Arnautovic

The Shooter - Michael Gregoritsch

The Fouler - Patrick Wimmer

The Creator - Marcel Sabitzer

The Dictator/Passer - Philipp Lienhart

The One to watch - Kevin Danso

Should Austria be considered the Dark Horses of Euro 2024? The main supporting evidence would be their impressive showing in the qualifiers.

Ralf Rangnick's players reached the finals by finishing second in Group F. Their excellent D6-L1-L1 record put them just one point behind group winners Belgium, and their run of impressive results included a creditable 1-1 draw away to Belgium in Brussels in June 2023.

A good showing in the qualifiers doesn't always guarantee success at a major tournament, however, and there are certainly reasons to question Austria's chances of doing well. One is the absence of David Alaba, who misses the tournament through injury. The loss of his experience is a serious blow for a squad of players relatively short on big-tournament know-how.

With Alaba out, the names for bettors to pay most attention to are Marcel Sabitzer and Michael Gregoritsch. The Germany-based pair - they turn out for Borussia Dortmund and Freiburg respectively - are set to play prominent roles in Rangnick's line-up.

With four goals, Sabitzer was Austria's top scorer during the qualifiers. Meanwhile, Gregoritsch topped the shots stats for his team: he managed 13 shots on target in six appearances (2.4 shots on target per 90 minutes).

Sabitzer was the stand-out chance creator: he fashioned 2.7 chances per 90 minutes during the qualifiers. Without Alaba, however, there's the potential for Austria to give away possession more cheaply than they would like. Others will need to step-up and provide the progressive passing that Alaba would have supplied, and there are question marks over whether this will happen.

Austria are ranked as the third-strongest team in Group D, so their odds of 8/52.60 to finish third will appeal to plenty of bettors. Those odds are certainly more appealing than the 4/61.67 on Austria to qualify for the knockout phase. With three teams potentially going through they stand a reasonable chance, but we'd rather leave them alone. There are too many uncertainties over a side that qualified impressively but still have plenty to prove.

Poland - 125/1126.00 to win Euro 2024

Key Player - Robert Lewandowski

The Goalscorer - Robert Lewandowski

The Shooter - Robert Lewandowski

The Fouler - Damian Szymanski

The Creator - Piotr Zielinski

The Dictator/Passer - Piotr Zielinski

The One to watch - Przemyslaw Frankowski

It may be a surprise to some bettors that Poland are 14/115.00 rank outsiders to win Group D. Behind France and the Netherlands in the betting? Sure, but behind Austria as well? Yes, indeed: Poland are the 6/42.50 outsiders to qualify from Group D, and 5/61.84 favourites in the Group D Bottom Place market.

For an explanation, look no further than how poorly Poland performed during the qualifiers. They could finish only third behind Albania and Czech Republic in Group E with a deeply unimpressive W3-D2-L3 overall record. They then only made it past Wales thanks to a 5-4 penalty shoot-out play-off win in Cardiff in March.

While their dismal qualifying performance counts against them, however, Poland's tournament experience may work in their favour. This is their seventh consecutive major tournament appearance, which should make them wily group-stage performers. And manager Michal Probierz can call upon a number of high-profile players to guide the lesser names in the line-up.

We make no apology for naming Robert Lewandowski in three of the player categories listed above. It would be disrespectful to the other players to call Poland a one-man team, but few sides are as reliant on one big-name performer as Poland will be on their talismanic marksman this summer.

Lewandowski was his nation's three-goal top scorer during the qualifiers. He also managed more shots on goal per 90 minutes (4.1) than any other Poland player. Adam Buksa is a competent compatriot in attack, and the bigger odds that will be available on Buksa in the scoring and shooting markets throughout the group phase will attract interest, especially as Lewandowski has been ruled out of Poland's opening game through injury. But if the Barcelona striker is able to regain fitness for Poland's other two group games, he's the player most deserving of attention in the individual player markets.

Napoli's Piotr Zielinski is a skilful playmaker, showing as much when topping the Chances Created (24) list for Poland during the qualifiers. Look out, too, for Przemyslaw Frankowski. A consistently impressive performer for Lens in Ligue 1 over the past two seasons, he can play as a wing-back or conventional winger on either flank. Instinctively direct and positive in possession, he should provide plenty of final-third entries and a genuine threat when he gets there.

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Now read our Group C stat pack here!

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