Former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson has tipped France to win Euro 2012 but believes England and the Republic of Ireland will both make the quarter-final stage.
England and France meet in Donetsk on 11 June with the winner likely to progress as Group D winners.
And Lawrenson, who missed the 1988 European Championships for Ireland through injury, believes Laurent Blanc's team could prove to be the surprise package at the tournament.
"Overall, Spain, Holland and Germany are the obvious choices to win the tournament but for a value-for-money each-way bet I'm going for France," Lawrenson told the Liverpool Daily Post.
"Their coach Laurent Blanc has done an outstanding job because at the World Cup two years ago they were a real mess - in fact they were a disgrace.
"He's got some real talent in the squad now though, especially attack-wise and I don't just mean a couple of players, there's seven or eight of them.
"I'm tipping them and England to get out of Group D and they could both have a major impact."
England go into Monday's clash without Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard, Gary Cahill and Gareth Barry but Lawrenson believes Roy Hodgson's men will be tough opposition.
"For the last few months, all we've heard is how expectations have never been so low but I tell you what, nobody at the finals will be looking forward to playing England," the ex-Liverpool centre-half said.
"Roy Hodgson's men are very difficult to play against and therefore they're very difficult to beat.
"It's not like Spain where we say 'Let's all get around the telly and watch because it's going to be a football fiesta' but whoever plays against England they know it's going to be a hard game."
Hodgson's preparations for the tournament have been hampered by suspension and injury, while Blanc's France travel to Poland and Ukraine unbeaten in their last 22 matches.
But Blanc expects to be pushed all the way by England and believes Hodgson's side will be favourites in Donetsk.
"They are not full strength but what concerns me is that England will play a certain style," Blanc told BBC Sport.
"We are going to have to be extremely strong physically. That is going to be a difficult match.
"England will give everything because, when there are French against English, it raises the game above the normal international match."