Belgium can wrap up qualification against Danes
Belgium take on Denmark knowing a win will see the Red Devils progress to the knockout stage. The Danes start their first game since Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest in their opening match defeat to Finland. The mood inside the Danish camp is considerably more cheerful than the last time they walked over the white lines at Copenhagen’s Parken Stadium to complete that fixture after watching their team-mate receive CPR.
Eriksen is recovering well in hospital and his team need to recover as well as he is, if they are to qualify from Group B. The Danes are 55/1 to repeat their success in 1992 when, without any proper preparations, they stunned Europe by winning the eight-team tournament when their odds were much shorter than they are now.
Belgium’s squad has more caps (1,349) and more goals (241) than any other squad at the Euros
Denmark cannot afford to lose to an experienced Belgium squad and a draw at 9/4 would not be a disaster especially as the Scandinavians finish their group games against Russia in Copenhagen. Belgium start this game as 1/1 favourites to make it two wins from two.
The return of Kevin de Bruyne from a facial injury is a major boost for the Red Devils and he will be looking to pick up match fitness in the final two group games. De Bruyne may be playing catch-up, but he still has the potential to be named player of the tournament which he can be backed at 23.022/1. With three goals already scored, Belgium can be backed at 5.04/1 to be the highest scoring team at the Euros.
Belgium are living up to their pre-tournament hype and a win over Denmark will keep them on track for a run to the final on July 11 at Wembley. Many of Roberto Martinez’s squad have experience of playing at the home of football and a fitting final for them would be against England. A Belgium/England final can be backed at 19.018/1.
Read David Tindall’s preview and tips for Denmark v Belgium here
Andy Brassell on Netherlands v Austria
European football expert Andy Brassell gives his thoughts ahead of tonight’s Group C clash in Amsterdam, where he’s expecting the Netherlands to be involved in another highly entertaining game:
“It’s back to Amsterdam we go, and what a treat it promises to be. Netherlands’ opener with Ukraine was the surprise highlight of the opening round of fixtures, a match that Frank de Boer‘s side won, let slip and had to win all over again – while the visitors left the studiousness that earned them a World Cup qualifying point in France back in March at the door.
The Netherlands’ last eight matches have produced a total of 34 goals
“Given that Andriy Shevchenko’s team are clearly the best outfit in the group apart from the Dutch, you would expect the latter to go on and seal the group from here. Goals clearly aren’t a problem. Wout Weghorst has fully justified his inclusion, Gini Wijnaldum is off the leash to break from midfield as he did in the past and even the wing-backs are dangerous. Their talisman Memphis Depay didn’t need to carry them against Ukraine, and he has more to give.
“Yet Austria have been full of surprises. With national confidence at a low, many of their followers feared humiliation against North Macedonia and they flirted with it after Goran Pandev’s equaliser. The much-criticised coach Franco Foda delivered quite a riposte to his detractors, though, with his changes – notably bringing on Michael Gregoritsch – deciding the game.
If David Alaba can provide for their excellent centre-forward Sasa Kalajdzić then Austria could take advantage of a malleable Dutch defence – even though Matthijs De Ligt is expected to return from injury.”
Andy’s Bet: Back Over 3.5 Goals @ 3.02/1
Ukraine look to reign over North Macedonia
Ukraine only got going when they trailed the Netherlands 2-0 on Sunday and when they did, they looked good. They scored twice in four minutes to threaten an upset, but they were unable to hold on as the Dutch scored a late winner.
Manager Andriy Shevchenko will be stressing the importance of starting fast against a North Macedonia team still adjusting to the tempo of playing in a major tournament. An early goal could make it a long afternoon for the debutants who are 9/2 on the sportsbook to win their first ever game at the Euros. Ukraine are 7/10 while the draw is 27/10.
Ukraine’s 3-2 defeat to the Netherlands was their sixth successive loss at the European Championships
Assuming the Netherlands take top spot, second spot in Group C is up for grabs. A Netherlands first/Ukraine second double can be backed at 2.68/5 on the exchange.
Having lost their opening matches, if their is to be a loser in this contest, the chances of finishing bottom of the group is a realistic possibility. North Macedonia are favourites to finish bottom of the group at 1/8 while Shevchenko’s side are 7/2 to finish fourth.
Read Kevin Hatchard’s preview and tips for Ukraine v North Macedonia here
Welsh hopes boosted by a bit of R & R
In a pressure-filled ‘must-win’ game for Wales, the Dragons put in a very professional display to beat Turkey 2-0 to edge closer to the Round of 16 thanks to a bit of R and R. Not rest and relaxation, but Ramsey and Roberts. Aaron Ramsey opened the scoring before Connor Roberts scored a second with the last kick of the game to the delight of the Welsh fans in Baku.
According to the experts, Rob Page’s side are 95% through to the next round as they cannot finish lower than third. If they get something from their final game against Italy, who may rest key players following their qualification to the next stage, then Wales will be 100% through.
Before Wednesday’s match, Wales were 4/1 to reach the quarter-finals but they can now be backed at 2.6813/8 to win their Round of 16 match and be one of the last eight teams left in the competition. The win allows the Welsh to go into their final group game with Italy full of confidence.
Turkey’s tournament is on the verge of over, unless they beat Switzerland in their final group game and hope a lot of results go their way. It will be very unlikely to see the Turks in the second round.
Italy look a Loc-in for a successful summer
Italy made it back-to-back 3-0 wins to start Euro 2020 to become the first nation through to the knockout stage. Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli is emerging as a rising star in the latest Italian squad. Locatelli left the pitch to a standing ovation after scoring Italy’s first two goals in their win over Switzerland while Ciro Immobile completed the scoring with his second goal in two games.
Italy have scored two or more goals in their last 10 matches
The Italians are emerging as serious contenders to win their second Euro title and their first since 1968. There is still plenty of challenges ahead for Roberto Mancini’s side, but their odds to win the tournament have come down from 9/1 prior to the start of the tournament to 6/1.
Just as he did for his first goal, Locatelli has come from nowhere to be a contender to win the Golden Boot at 25/1. The box-to-box midfielder showcased his talent with a superb performance. He started the move for his opening goal with arguably the pass of the tournament so far before following play to convert from close range.
His second was a powerful shot from distance to kill the Swiss spirit. Immobile, who was 16/1 before the tournament began, can be backed at 12.011/1 to win the Golden Boot.
Following their brilliant start, anything less than a semi-final berth will be regarded as a failure in Italy and a place in the last four can be backed at 2.111/10. A lot will depend on who Italy face in their half of the draw in the knockout stage, but everything looks to be in place for Italy to win Euro 2020 which is currently available at 7.613/2.