Which group will rack up the goals at Euro 2016?
Simon Sinclair | June 7, 2016
The waiting is all-but over with Euro 2016 finally upon us, as 24 teams have descended on France in their hopes of clinching the crown.
Stars from every competing nation will be desperate to make an impact and guide their side to glory, starting in the group stage.
Here, Coral look at which of the six pools could boast the largest number of goals during the first phase of the tournament…
Group A (4/1) – France, Romania, Albania, Switzerland
The host nation will be determined to ease through the opening stage of the competition, and have been handed a good platform to mount their charge for the title.
Les Bleus have plenty of goalscorers in their squad to rack up the strikes in Group A, with Atletico Madrid hotshot Antoine Griezmann leading the way, while Olivier Giroud, Anthony Martial and Dimitri Payet are also in their attacking ranks following strong seasons in the Premier League.
Didier Deschamps will be targeting three wins and, due to the strength of France’s team they could be comfortable victories, making the 4/1 bet an enticing option.
However, there are sparse options elsewhere in the group for goals to flow as Albania and Romania lack quality in the final third, while much of Switzerland’s striking burden resting on the shoulders of Stoke City’s Xherdan Shaqiri.
Group B (5/1) – England, Wales, Russia, Slovakia
There is potential for this group to provide a lot of goals, mainly due to the fact that all of the sides are seemingly weak at the back.
Although there is more than enough talent with England’s Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy notching 49 goals between them in the Premier League last season.
Their partnership failed to fire in the friendly matches, but should they click into the gear it could be a fruitful one for Roy Hodgson and his team.
Gareth Bale is Wales’ best hope to rack up the goals, leading the way with seven strikes during their qualifying campaign.
He has the ability to cut open any defence at will as proven over the past season with Real Madrid, which could see a lot of goalmouth action during the Dragons’ matches.
Russia lack experience among their frontline, although Artem Dzyuba did shine during qualifying with eight strikes, but he will have to translate that form on to the major stage.
Group C (3/1) – Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Northern Ireland
The favourite at 3/1 to produce the most goals in the group stage due to the presence of firepower in the final third.
Thomas Muller has won the Golden Boot and Silver Boot in his past two appearances at the World Cup with five goals apiece in 2010 and 2014, proving his credentials on the major stage.
It would be prudent to expect the 26-year-old to continue his rich vein of form following another successful season in front of goal for Bayern Munich, putting him in prime condition.
Germany are blessed with a number of outstanding players in the attacking third as Mario Gomez, Mario Gotze and Andre Schurrle are also ready to chip in with strikes when needed.
Robert Lewandowski got the most goals during the qualifying campaign, notching 13 strikes for Poland. Like his Bayern teammate Muller, the 27-year-old has been in incredible form over the course of the Bundesliga season with 30.
Adam Nawalka’s men also have Ajax’s Arkadiuz Milik, who has impressed during his brief international career, to play alongside their skipper in attack, making goals a certainty for the Poles.
Meanwhile, Northern Ireland’s Will Grigg could mount a surprise following his fine season at Wigan Athletic, along with Kyle Lafferty in attack.
Group D (7/2) – Spain, Czech Republic, Turkey, Croatia
Spain head into the tournament without their leading goalscorer from qualifying, as Paco Alcacer was left out of their 23-man squad by Vicente del Bosque.
However, they have more than enough talent in the final third with Alvaro Morata and Nolito expected to lead the line, while Cesc Fabregas, Andres Iniesta and David Silva will provide more than enough ammunition.
Neither Morata or Nolito were prolific for their club sides last season, while they have little experience of international football, which could raise doubts over whether to back Group D.
Mario Mandzukic will carry the weight of expectations for Croatia due to his impressive goals-to-game ratio at international level, while he notched 10 times for Juventus last term in Serie A.
Czech Republic head into the tournament without the presence of a recognisable threat in the final third, while Turkey’s best striking option comes from 30-year-old Burak Yilmaz, making the group unlikely to be a goal-fest.
Group E (6/1) – Belgium, Sweden, Republic of Ireland, Italy
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the man to watch in this group as he has the ability to take apart any team at the back due to his physical presence and clinical edge in the penalty area.
The 34-year-old notched 38 goals for Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 and despite his advancing years shows no signs of decline.
This may be his last tournament, so he will be determined to go out on a high note at international level by firing his side into the latter stages of the competition.
Belgium boast a potent attack lead by Everton’s Romelu Lukaku, fresh off an 18-goal campaign with the Toffees in the Premier League.
Marc Wilmots’s men have an embarrassment of riches in the final third as Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard will make up their attacking trio, with Dries Mertens also available.
Meanwhile, Divock Origi, Christian Benteke and Michy Batshuayi may not get much of a chance to feature if Lukaku continues his fine form from last term.
Italy and the Republic of Ireland could hold the group back due to their lack of firepower, with both teams lacking experience and quality among their forward players.
Group F (5/1) – Portugal, Iceland, Austria, Hungary
Portugal’s hopes of reaching the latter stages of the Euros will rest on the shoulders of Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 31-year-old can blast away the competition in Group F to guide his side into the knockout phase should he maintain his form from the past season with Real Madrid.
Ronaldo notched 35 goals in La Liga, capping another fine campaign, while his 16 strikes in the Champions League played a crucial role in his team’s 11th triumph in the competition.
He is far and away the best striker in Group F, and should the group end with the most goals it will most certainly be down to his efforts as Portugal lack depth behind him.
Elsewhere, Austria’s Marc Janko notched nine goals during his side’s qualifying campaign, and boasts a fine record at international level.
The 32-year-old also found the net 16 times for Basel in the Swiss Super League last term, and will have the support of Stoke City’s Marko Arnautovic in attack.
Iceland and Hungary’s attacking options on thin on the ground, leaving a lot on the plate of Janko and Ronaldo to deliver for Group F.