Wales' first game of the tournament will be against Slovakia who are ranked 32 in the current FIFA World Rankings whereas Wales are currently ranked in 24th.
These World Rankings are probably about right considering all of the distorted ones we've seen so far, both teams are similar in ability so if one does not turn up, it could be a long night in Bordeaux.
The strangest thing about these 2 teams is that they did meet in the Euro 2008 qualifiers, where the away team won each leg and scored 5 goals, Wales lost 5-1 in Cardiff and won 5-2 in the Trnava return game, we don't expect a 6 and 7 goal thriller this time.
This game is going to be very interesting as it will be the first time either of these teams has played in the European Championship Finals so the nerves of the fans and the players will be immense, can they both handle the pressure or will one team buckle under the sheer weight of it?
Chris Coleman took over the Welsh job from the late Gary Speed in January 2012 and managed to keep the togetherness and intensity that had been instilled in them. Speed starting this journey and Coleman has managed to make it bear fruit.
Wales scored a lot of late goals and won lots of games 1-0 during qualifying, does this mean they have been a bit too much dependant on Gareth Bale? You could take from that, that Wales have a strong, disciplined defensive unit which when your manager is a former centre back has to be a given really.
Slovakia qualified impressively from Group C behind Spain and ahead of Ukraine, Jan Kozak has an impressive 58% win percentage since taking over and are a tough team to beat on their day, which seems to be coming more often than not these days.
Both of these teams have 2 or 3 players that can cause the opposition problems and help their defence remain solid. Wales scored 6 less goals than Slovakia in qualifying but they did concede 4 less. Wales have Bale and Slovakia have Hamsik, both of their teams major attacking threat comes through these 2 players. As we said earlier these teams are very similar in ability and it will be a very interesting battle from a playing basis and tactical basis and we expect them to cancel each other out and the match to finish in a hard fought draw.
Bale was the top goalscorer for the Welsh during qualifying with 7 goals in just 10 games, whereas Hamsik bagged 5 for the Slovakians. They're both a midfield talisman with essentially a free role, and capable of scoring absolutely world class goals. Don't be surprised to see both of them on the scoresheet for their countries.
Both of these teams finished 2nd in their qualifying group and both had a main man to thank for most of their goals. They also have very good Premier League centre backs in Martin Skrtel and Ashley Williams who can organise a mean defence. I can see them cancelling each other out, but not with a 0-0 as they're both such great goal scoring teams, that is why 1-1 is a very likely result.
Based on how these 2 teams performed and when they scored they're goals, We think Slovakia could race into an early lead against the Welsh as they scored most of their goals in the first half of games and then defended what they had, whereas Wales were the complete opposite often looking like seeing out a 0-0 with a player (usually Gareth Bale) winning it late on. Slovakia should score first with Wales rescuing a point late on.
Hamsik plays in Serie A for Napoli and has plenty of experience. He also likes to score a goal or 2. He will be the focal point of everything that Slovakia does in an attacking sense and is not afraid to have a long shot; he's a cracking shout for first goalscorer against Wales and don't be shocked if the goal is assisted by former Manchester City youth product Vladimir Weiss.
With players like Gareth Bale and Robert Mak on the field of play, there's always a chance of them bamboozling defenders to a point that they may lunge in and concede a penalty. Some bookmakers take this kind of bet and remember this isn't the Premier League, with referees on the continent more likely to give free kicks and penalties for minor indiscretions it's a decent bet to take.