Euro 2016 Matchday 11 Analysis
Euro 2016 Group C & D Game Lines & Predictions
by Matt Pitt
Croatia (+333) versus Spain (+110)
Croatia go into their final group game against reigning champions Spain knowing if they secure a draw the are through to the knockout stages of Euro 2016.
The Croatians let a two-goal lead slip in their last outing against Czech Republic, a game marred by crowd violence and flares being thrown onto the pitch. The crowd trouble cost Croatia dearly as Czech Republic equalised in the third minute of added time to give them a fighting chance of qualification.
Luka Modric should be fit for the match despite being substituted after taking a knock, and that is a boost for Croatia. If you think they can tie this crucial match, you can find odds of +200.
Spain are guaranteed to be in the knockout stages after winning both of their games. However, if they lose to Croatia they will finish second in the group and have a tougher fixture in the next round.
The Spanish were not that impressive in their 1-0 win over Czech Republic, but turned on the style in a 3-0 demolition of Turkey. Alvaro Morata bagged a brace in that game and you can get +400 on him opening the scoring, and +162 on him scoring during the 90-minutes.
I have a feeling this will end in a tie, but if anyone is going to nick it, it will be Spain.
Czech Republic know they can qualify for the knockout stages automatically if they beat Turkey and Croatia lose to Spain.
The Czechs have looked like a solid outfit, but lack that killer instinct in front of goal, something they have to change if they are to have any chance of progressing. Turkey are beatable, plus their fans have been booing them off the pitch, which is definitely not something that will aid their confidence.
Turkey still have an outside chance of qualifying as one of the best third-placed teams, but it is a long shot to say the least. They have national pride to play for in this game because they don’t want to return home having lost all three of their fixtures.
If I were to bet money on Czech Republic versus Turkey, I’d be going for a 1-0 Czech Republic win at +750 or a simple Czech win at +137.
Ukraine (+300) versus Poland (+100)
Ukraine were touted by some soccer pundits as legitimate outsiders for a good run at Euro 2016 but two 2-0 defeats in a row have left them rooted to the bottom of Group C.
Ukraine’s plight isn’t helped by them taking on Poland in their final game of the group because Poland’s destiny is in their own hands. I just cannot see Ukraine getting anything from this game.
Poland know a win would guarantee them a place in the knockout stages, and even a draw may do because third-placed Northern Ireland face world champions Germany in the other Group C game.
The Polish frontline hasn’t been firing on all cylinders, but they are likely to have more clear-cut chances against a leaky Ukraine defence. This leads me to wager on Robert Lewandowski to open the scoring at +320 or to score at any time at +105. Lewandowski to score first and Poland to win is available at +400 and that looks a great bet.
The bookmakers give Northern Ireland no chance in their final game against Germany, pricing them at +1400 to come away with all three points, while Germany are hot favorites at -350.
A point for Northern Ireland could see them go through as one of the better placed third-place teams, and I certainly wouldn’t dismiss this happening, even if the odds are +500.
Northern Ireland have a solid defence, one that works extremely well as a unit, and if they come out playing 5-3-2 as expected, the Germans are going to have a difficult time in breaking them down.
Germany, however, are a side that play fantastically well under pressure and that is what they are now. Should they lose to Northern Ireland and Poland win or draw against Ukraine, they would drop to third place.
Expect the Germans to field a full-strength, attacking line-up that goes all out for a victory. +480 for 2-0 to Germany looks decent value as does Germany to win both halves at -125.