Italy has qualified for the UEFA Euro 2016 knockout phase as the Group E winner so Antonio Conte is likely to rest some of his team’s starting players versus Ireland on Wednesday.
Italy has nothing for which to play other than pride and, therefore, bookmakers can expect punters to back Ireland even though the latter are one of UEFA Euro 2016’s most limited teams. But one cannot justify taking under Ireland’s true odds to beat even what may end up being a second-string Italy side because the Irish have been poor during UEFA Euro 2016, extending their winless streak to five matches. Rather than back Ireland one would prefer to back Italy not to hit the back of the net at slightly longer odds. For Ireland to get the better of Italy one thinks that the Irish would have to shut out the Italians and, by taking the longer odds, one also has the 0-0 draw in one’s back pocket as insurance.
Paddy Power and Bet365 are offering odds of +200 about an Ireland clean sheet in the UEFA Euro 2016 Group E game in Lille, a quote that rates as the most inviting available on a dreadfully difficult day on which to have a punt with any confidence.
Belgium is less than the sum of its parts and one would not back the Red Devils to win UEFA Euro 2016 but one would get with them to defeat Sweden in their Group E encounter.
Sweden is a team bereft of weapons with poor old Zlatan Ibrahimovic struggling to have an impact on UEFA Euro 2016 because his Swedish colleagues are not on his level. The state of UEFA Euro 2016 Group E means that Belgium cannot afford to rest on its laurels because, even though the Red Devils have three points in the back, they would end up in fourth place if they lost to Sweden and Ireland got the better of an Italy side that is assured of top spot.
Marathonbet is listing odds of -119 about a Belgium victory over Sweden that would secure second place in UEFA Euro 2016 Group E for the Red Devils and a last-16 date with the Group F winner, which could be Portugal, Hungary or Iceland. Both Belgium and Sweden lost to Italy in UEFA Euro 2016 Group E action but the contrast between their performances against Ireland was start – the Belgians did not give the Irish a kick, whereas the Swedes were second best for long spells.
Cristiano Ronaldo has fluffed his lines in Portugal’s first two UEFA Euro 2016 Group F games but the egomaniac remains his team’s key attacking player and there are worse bets than backing CR7 at odds of +260 with Paddy Power to score first versus a Hungary side that is very short on quality.
Ronaldo will take it upon himself to rescue Portugal’s UEFA Euro 2016 campaign and, while the Portuguese have notched only one goal in their first two Group F matches, they have had enough attempts on target to be among the tournament’s top scoring teams. That Hungary has collected four points from its UEFA Euro 2016 Group F games against Austria and Iceland has not altered one’s pre-competition view that it is one of the sides making up the numbers in France.
You would have to go a long way to find a major match less appealing from a punting perspective than Austria versus Iceland, especially when assessing the UEFA Euro 2016 Group F game 48 hours before kick off. Roll on the UEFA Euro 2016 knockout phase when one will not have to second guess what is going through the minds of coaches and players.
Ireland to keep a Clean Sheet
Wednesday 22nd June, 20:00 GMT
Belgium to beat Sweden
Wednesday 22nd June, 20:00 GMT
Cristiano Ronaldo to Score First v Hungary
Wednesday 22nd June, 17:00 GMT