Euro 2016 Gameday 7 Preview
Euro 2016 Game Odds & Predictions
By Matt Pitt
England (-175) versus Wales (+550)
England kept up their unwanted record of having never won the opening fixture of a European Championships game when they drew 1-1 with Russia on June 11, putting more pressure on them getting three points from the match against their home nation rivals.
The Three Lions deserved to take all three points against a lacklustre Russian team, but they lacked a ruthlessness in the final third, which meant their dominance was essentially for nothing.
Manager Roy Hodgson’s decision to substitute Wayne Rooney – England’s best player on the night – raised a few eyebrows, as did Harry Kane being the designated corner kick taker, but we expect an unchanged team for the Wales clash.
The -175 on an England victory does seem short when one considers how well Wales played in their 2-1 against Slovakia, yet an England win is the most likely result, just not by a lot of goals.
A 1-0 England win looks good value, which when you add Kane to score the first goal at +350, makes a nice parlay bet.
I’d expect to see a different Kane against Wales. He looked leggy against Russia and didn’t have a single touch in the Russian penalty box. He knows that he needs to put in a performance with Daniel Sturridge and Jamie Vardy waiting in the wings. What better time to do so than against the Welsh?
Wales know that a draw against England (+320) could be enough to see them progress from the group, yet there is little chance that Chris Coleman’s side will sit back and play for a point.
Gareth Bale will be eager to score against the English and it +600 to open the scoring and +225 to score at any point of the game. However, the +1200 you can get for a Kane first goalscorer and England to win 1-0 looks incredible value, as does Kane to score first and England to win at +350.
Ukraine go into their clash with Northern Ireland as substantial favorites despite falling 2-0 against Germany in their opening fixture, and not ever looking dangerous as a unit. The Germans dominated Ukraine from start to finish, and were limited to a single clear-cut chance, one that was expertly saved by Manuel Neuer.
Northern Ireland also lost their opening game (1-0 against Poland) and know that a second defeat would likely spell the end of their Euro 2016 campaign. The Irish kept Robert Lewandowski under wraps for 90-minutes, which is no mean feat, but their defence was breached in the 51st minute and it proved to be the winning goal.
Worrying for fans of Northern Ireland is the fact they didn’t register a shot on target during the 90-minutes. This makes the +340 on the under 1.5 goals market look attractive, as is the +280 on a stalemate come the end of the game.
The most popular scoreline looks to be a Ukraine 1-0 win at +400, but I like the look of the 0-0 draw at +700.
Germany (-175) versus Poland (+550)
Germany started their Euro 2016 campaign with a 2-0 over Ukraine in a game where they won at a canter. This game against Poland should be a tougher challenge, not least because of the history between the two nations; it is a game that both sets of players and fans will want to win at all costs.
Three points for either team should guarantee progression from the group, which would be a big achievement for Poland who were not fancied before a ball was kicked. The Polish have Robert Lewandowski up front, and he knows the German defenders like the back of his hand, and bagged 30 goals in the Bundesliga last season, becoming the first player since the 1976-77 season to do so.
I fancy Lewandowski to score in this game so both teams to score at -125 looks a good bet, as does the Germany to win and both teams to score at around +230 with most major online bookmakers.