Ahead of Saturday’s Euro 2016 draw, many of us find ourselves asking two questions.
1) What would make an ideal draw?
2) What would be deemed a nightmare draw?
Thankfully, some clever geek who works for betting big boys Bwin has delved through the stats to find out.
We have rounded up his findings below…
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Firstly, it seems that it is desirable to be drawn in a group alongside a nation making their first ever appearance at a Euro finals.
Since 1980 – when the group stage was introduced – only three of 16 tournament debutants have managed to navigate their way to the knockout phase.
As well as Euro virgins, a Scandinavian nation is also high on the list of what makes a pleasant group-mate.
Since 1996, Scandinavia have been represented nine times in the group stage, but only twice in the knockout round.
Interestingly, history tells us that sharing a group with Russia or Italy boosts a nation’s chances of lifting the trophy.
All of the last five champions have played one of those countries during the pool stage.
So, we’ve told who you who you want to be drawn alongside. What about the teams and groups to avoid?
Well, to start with, Group B is cursed! It’s not had a winner in the past 20 years.
If you can choose to avoid one team, pick Portugal! They always make the quarter-finals.
With Cristiano Ronaldo leading them, they are likely to cruise through their group again.