Spain (1/6) play Finland (12/1) on Friday knowing that not since Uruguay in 1934 have the World Cup holders failed to defend their title at the following tournament. OK, so that stat can be mainly attributed to the rule which allowed defending champions to qualify automatically, but it was dropped after 2002.
The Group I table-toppers travel to Helsinki knowing a win against the Fins essentially ensures automatic qualification and consigns France to the play-offs.
And with show-offs like Barcelona star Pedro you’d be mad not to fancy Spain (the draw is 6/1, just in case you are).
- Stuck in the office? Catch Finland v Spain live on Paddy Power TV from 19.30 on Friday