Euro 2016 Gameday 12 Preview
Euro 2016 Group E & F Final Day Predictions
By Matt Pitt
Italy go into their final Group E game against Republic of Ireland knowing they have already secured a place in the knockout stages, and can afford to take their foot off the gas in preparation for the next round.
Republic of Ireland, however, know they have to beat Italy and hope Belgium lose to Sweden if they are to go through automatically, and need a win regardless of that other game if they stand any chance of progressing.
The Italians have looked like a good team so far, and should make short work of Ireland who looked very poor in their 3-0 defeat at the hands of Belgium in their last outing.
Early odds of +140 on an Italy win seem ridiculously long, and seem to suggest the bookmakers believe Italy will field a weakened side for this game.
A 1-0 Italy win is priced at +600 and the most likely result, although a 0-0 draw is at +700 and a 1-0 Ireland win +750, so there is little to split the teams according to the bookies.
We think the Italians, even a second string team, will be too strong for Ireland and will be betting at +140 that the boys in blue claim all three points.
Pick: Italy (+140)
Sweden (+400) versus Belgium (-120)
If Sweden want to stay in Euro 2016 they have one task, and that is they have to beat Belgium. One point from their two games has left Sweden in this position, and the odds reflect what the public and bookmakers think about those in yellow.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic was tipped to be the star of Euro 2016, but he and his team mates have failed to impress thus far. The veteran striker, who if he scores will become the only player in history to score at four Euro finals, is +650 to open the scoring and +220 to score at any point.
Belgium demolished Republic of Ireland 3-0 last time out, and looked a strong team for the first time in this tournament.
Much has been said about there being unrest between the Belgian players and playing staff, but that was brushed aside as they dominated the Irish, and looked very worthy of all three points.
A draw, priced at +380, would be enough to see Belgium through, yet I believe they will be going for all three points as it is still possible for them to finish top of the group and have a potentially easier fixture in the next round.
Belgium to win 2-1 looks good at +800 and is the bet I will be placing.
Pick: Belgium (-120)
Hungary (+1100) versus Portugal (-275)
Following their 0-0 draw with Austria, where Cristiano Ronaldo had 10 attempts on goals and didn’t score, including missing a penalty, Portugal simply have to win against Hungary of their Euro 2016 quest is over.
A win or a draw would see Hungary safely through, a win priced at +1100 and the draw +360.
As they simply have to win, Portugal are at a ridiculously short -275 to claim all three points despite looking very average in their opening two games.
After his horror show against Austria, Ronaldo is +210 to open the scoring and -143 to score at any point during the 90-minutes; he is going to have a point to prove, and that spells bad news for the Hungarians.
You can find odds of +210 on Ronaldo scoring first and Portugal going on to win, and that looks the best bet here in my opinion. Ronaldo loves the big stage, and it doesn’t come much bigger than this must-win game.
Pick: Portugal (-275)
Iceland (+275) versus Austria (+110)
Either Iceland or Austria can go through to the knockout stages of Euro 2016 if they win this fixture and Portugal fail to beat Hungary, which would be a huge achievement for either of them.
Iceland have two draws to their name so far, both 1-1, while Austria have only a single point having drawn 0-0 with Portugal last time they played.
On paper, this doesn’t seem like the most exciting game on the schedule, and it may have escaped the attention of the media, but I fully expect this game to have goals in it because both sides ideally need all three points to progress to the next round.
Both teams to score is -105 with the over 2.5 goals market priced at +120, perhaps a parlay of these two bets would yield some value to bettors?
Everyone loves a fairytale ending, barring Austria supporters, so let’s go big or go home and pick the team with all the momentum.
Pick: Iceland (+275)