England look to win their first ever European Championships while Wales return to the tournament after 40 years.

Highlights: The Welsh are returning to a major tournament after 40 years but have a team that can easily qualify for the next round, if not as the group leaders. England, the perennial underachievers, also boast a good team but it will be up to the players to finally break their jinx in international tournaments. Slovakia and Russia, while fielding decent teams, can at best hope to qualify as a 3rd placed side.

A group which is marked by promise, talent and excitement, Group B marks itself out as one of the most intriguing contests in the tournament. Even though Russia and Slovakia carry the tags of underdogs, but to discount them would be to the detriment of England and Wales.

Interest in this group will be more than normal due to the number of players who ply their trade in the English Premier League, arguably the most watched and most popular league in the world. To see these players join with their club rivals and play for a common cause is certainly one aspect which adds a new dimension to this tournament.


Possibly the most discussed and analyzed team of every international tournament, England has a fans and critics unlike any other in the world. It is impressive that despite all their disappointing performances for decades, their loyal legion of fans haven’t reduced. In fact, it keeps growing as the English players continue to keep attracting fans from all around the world. When major tournaments arrive, everyone wants England to do well, but they never seem to have that perfect recipe to take their team far in the tournament.

England vs France

However, things are different this time (or so they say). A young and vibrant team which knows no failure and are new to the international stage are expected to launch a fresh attempt at winning the Euro 2016 in France. A team led by an experienced Wayne Rooney who seems to have to midfield, and ably supported by young guns with pace and ability like Barkley and Alli can prove to be a very potent threat as a whole. The rise of non-traditional big clubs like Spurs and Leicester City last season has provided a rise of English talent like Danny Rose, Jamie Vardy and Danny Drinkwater.

Squad :

Goalkeepers: Fraser Forster, Joe Hart, Tom Heaton
Defenders: Ryan Bertrand, Gary Cahill, Nathaniel Clyne, Danny Rose, Chris Smalling, John Stones, Kyle Walker
Midfielders: Dele Alli, Ross Barkley, Eric Dier, Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, James Milner, Jack Wilshere
Forwards: Harry Kane, Wayne Rooney, Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge, Jamie Vardy, Marcus Rashford

Path to Euro 2016:

The path to Euro 2016 for England was a really impressive one as they managed to reach the tournament by winning all 10 of their qualifying games and conceding a mere 3 goals in all of the qualifiers.


England have an advantage of having plenty of strike options in Rashford, Kane, Vardy, Sturridge and Rooney. If Roy Hodgson gets his formations right, England could manage to score goals more freely than they ever have been able to in the big international tournaments.

Many of the players playing this time around don’t have the fear factor or the burden of previous failures in major tournaments. Players like Jamie Vardy, Harry Kane, Eric Dier, Adam Lallana, Danny Rose and many others are going to make their first appearance at a major international tournament.


Some might feel that Roy Hodgson still doesn’t know what his best formation is. After having tried a number of formations and tactics, players seem to be divided on what seems to be the best way going forward.

With Smalling, Cahill and John Stones the only centre-back options, England are a little light at the heart of the defence.

Key Player: Harry Kane


Led by a man who has multi-tasked his way the entire season, Russia come into this competition with a poor run of form. With the World Cup coming to Russia in a few years, they would certainly like to announce themselves on the international stage as a team not to be taken as underdogs. Leonid Slutsky will have his task cut-out as he faces teams high on confidence such as Wales and England and find a way to churn results that could see their passage to the round of 16.

France vs Russia

After Russia let go of Fabio Capello in July 2015, they appointed a man who was already a coach at CSKA Moscow. However, Slutsky decided to take up both jobs at once. Prior to his appointment, the Russian squad had shown signs improvement, and after he took over, they went on a run of 5 straight victories, raking up impressive wins against Sweden and Portugal. Slutsky’s contract is only till the end of the Euros and he would definitely love to sign off from the Russian team with good memories and a campaign that’ll be respected by fans and critics alike.

Russia will miss their star player Alan Dzagoev as they look to carry on their campaign in France by relying on stalwarts like Igor Akinfeev in the goal and  Sergei Ignashevich and Vasili Berezutski in the defensive line.


Goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeev, Guilherme, Yuri Lodygin
Defenders: Igor Smolnikov, Sergei Ignashevich, Aleksei Berezutski, Roman Shishkin, Georgi Schennikov, Vasili Berezutski, Dmitri Kombarov, Dmitri Torbinsky, Roman Neustadter
Midfielders: Artur Yusupov, Oleg Ivanov, Roman Shirokov, Pavel Mamev, Alexander Samedov, Denis Glushakov, Oleg Shatov, Alexander Golovin
Forwards: Aleksandr Kokorin, Artyom Dzyuba, Fyodor Smolov

Path to Euro 2016:

Russia after initially having a rocky start, asserted themselves in their qualification group and eventually ended up with 6 wins and 2 draws in their 10 games.


Since Russia has been plagued with injuries and a few players from the midfield and attack have missed out on the European Championships, their core strength lies in solidity at the back after having conceded only 5 goals in the entire qualifying campaign.


The absence of Alan Dzagoev will hurt the Russian team as they try to recover from a lack-luster final few games leading on to the Euros.

Key Player: Artyom Dzyuba


Often the team that carries the least expectations in a group tend to surprise the big guns in a major tournament. Jan Kozak carries an impressive and well-drilled Slovakian squad capable of big things. As Slovakia have shown before, they have the capability to surprise big teams as they shocked the holders Italy in the 2014 World Cup by beating them and qualifying for the Round of 16 in the tournament.

Ireland vs Slovakia

Slovakia arrive in this tournament on the back of a very impressive 8-match unbeaten run in which they won 5, including a very impressive win against the World Champions Germany. Wales and England will have their task cut-out as they attempt to navigate past this feisty and tricky Slovakian squad.


Goalkeepers: Ján Mucha, Matúš Kozáčik, Ján Novota
Defenders: Martin Škrtel, Ján Ďurica, Tomáš Hubočan, Kornel Saláta, Dušan Švento, Nórbert Gyömbér, Peter Pekarík, Milan Škriniar
Midfielders: Marek Hamšík, Stanislav Šesták, Juraj Kucka, Viktor Pečovský, Miroslav Stoch, Vladimír Weiss, Róbert Mak, Ondrej Duda, Patrik Hrošovský, Ján Greguš
Forwards: Adam Nemec, Michal Ďuriš

Path to Euro 2016:

Slovakia had a very respectable qualifying campaign as they won 7 games and drew 1 out of their 10 qualifiers.


Marek Hamsik is the key for Slovakia as his performance with the international squad has been more impressive than his contributions at Napoli. His agility and goal-scoring ability can take Slovakia to new heights in the competition.


Slovakian players are heavily reliant on their famous players such as Hamsik and Skrtel for inspiration on the pitch and having an off-day isn’t an option for them if Slovakia are to proceed to the next round.

Key Player: Marek Hamsik


A campaign that has caught the imagination of many. A story of a manager who’s taken a tiny team from the brink of obscurity to the heights of international royalty. A team that was ranked as low as 117 in 2011, has brilliantly qualified to the Euro 2016 by topping their group and eventually reaching a world ranking of Number 8. Chris Coleman has inspired not only a squad, but a generation of Wales fans and footballers. Ask any person in Wales, and they’ll only sing praises elevating the Welshman to a near god-like status. He’s proven his critics wrong, managed his team with precision and graft and guided his team towards a golden period in Welsh Football.

Wales vs Israel

Yes, arguably Wales has seen possibly their best squad over the years with the presence of a certain Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey, but two players can never carry an entire squad of 23 into a European Championship. Wales having finally found their preferred formation in 3-4-2-1 and go into this tournament with loads of confidence and with self-belief. After having beaten the likes of Belgium and Israel, Wales have proven their worth to join the elite as they battle it out to become champions of Europe.


Goalkeepers: Wayne Hennessey, Danny Ward, Owain-Fon Williams
Defenders: Ashley Jazz Richards, Ben Davies, Chris Gunter, James Collins, James Chester, Ashley Williams, Neil Taylor
Midfielders: Joe Allen, David Edwards, Joe Ledley, Aaron Ramsey, David Vaughan, Jonathan Williams, Andy King, George Williams
Forwards: Hal Robson-Kanu, David Cotterill, Simon Church, Gareth Bale, Sam Vokes

Path to Euro 2016:

Wales’ path to France was nothing short of a dream as they managed to win 6 and draw 3 of their 10 games and eventually topping their Group to earn a preferential seeding in the Draw.


Quite obviously, their number one strength is Gareth Bale. If the Real Madrid star gets going, there’s no saying how far Wales can go in this tournament.

Team unity is another quality that this unit has shown. Often international teams don’t get along too well as they’ve been too involved with their respective clubs. But this lot coming from Wales want to do it for their country and their team-mates.


Lack of big tournament experience to any of these players as often we see pressure shows on even the best players when the entire world is watching.

Key Player: Gareth Bale


England are favorites for the bookies to top the group with Wales finishing a close second. Russia and Slovakia are expected to slug it out for the 3rd spot but are unlikely to qualify as 3rd place finishers

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