Possibly the best thing about the European Championship is the standard of football, with half the teams of the World Cup at the expense of only two top sides missing, and Group C is a great illustration of just that this time around. Not labelled the group of death, this is still a group containing Spain, Italy, former third-placed side from the World Cup Croatia and perennial giant-killer Ireland, with no whipping-boy in sight.
In terms of the group winners, Spain were always going to be favourites, and at 8/13 with BoyleSports that is very much the case, but PaddyPower have 7/2 on that Italians being overall Group C champs. Surprisingly the Spanish are on at around 4/1 with VictorChandler to not make it out of their group, showing that while the undoubted quality still exists in their ranks nobody is certain they will come through unscathed.
For value you need to go to VictorChandler and ask about Ireland or Croatia as group winners, with the Croats a 9/1 shot and Ireland 18’s, but even the slicky-Vickys won’t try and tell you that is likely to come off. To be honest, the make-up of the Italy and Spain sides is such that I can’t really see this group being won by an outsider, but of the two I’d give the Irish more chance simply due to the extra experience both on and off the pitch they can call upon.
BoyleSports have 1/7 on Spain and 4/6 on Italy just to qualify, with PaddyPower offering 1/1 on the pair going through together. If you like the odds of Croatian and Irish voices raised in celebration because they’ve gone through and put out the Champions you can get 55/1 with SkyBet, but you’d be a much braver man than me to back such an unlikely eventuality.