Poland beat Switzerland on penalties in the last 16.

It Pays to Back Poles to Eliminate Overrated Portuguese

Poland beat Switzerland on penalties in the last 16.

Portugal is yet to win a UEFA Euro 2016 game in normal time so bookmakers are having a laugh in quoting the Portuguese as the favourite for Thursday’s quarter-final in Marseille.

That Portugal has qualified for the last eight of UEFA Euro 2016 speaks volumes about the quality of a tournament which has rewarded mediocrity due to its bloated format. Portugal drew with lowly ranked Iceland, Austria and Hungary in UEFA Euro 2016 Group F and it took until the 117th minute of its last-16 match against Croatia to break the deadlock in what was an abysmal game for the neutral fan. Cristiano Ronaldo has had a disappointing UEFA Euro 2016 as, once again, he fails to deliver on the big stage for his national team.

Along with Austria, Poland was one of the UEFA Euro 2016 dark horses prior to the competition kicking off and the Poles have performed well, defeating Northern Ireland and Ukraine to nil, holding Germany to a merited 0-0 draw and recovering from conceding a Xherdan Shaqiri wonder goal to eliminate Switzerland in a penalty shootout. Only Germany has beaten Poland in the latter’s last 14 meaningful matches and one rates the Germans as the UEFA Euro 2016 favourites.

Knockout football opens up a range of betting options that are not able in league tournaments, including odds on sides to qualify for the next round. Marathonbet is offering odds of +156  about Poland making the UEFA Euro 2016 semi-finals at Portugal’s expense and that is too big – one thinks that the Poles should be joint favourites. Poland at odds of +177  with Marathonbet on the draw-no-bet market entered one’s thoughts but the Poles to qualify makes more appeal.

With regards to exotic wagers on the first UEFA Euro 2016 quarter-final, the bets that stand out are Portugal to have more corner kicks than Poland – available at odds of -200  with William Hill – and the Portuguese to win the card handicap at  +162  with Bet365.

Portugal is a possession-based team that has had 56 per cent of the ball in its four UEFA Euro 2016 games, completing 1,835 passes. Poland, on the hand, has made it to the UEFA Euro 2016 last eight having had 45% possession, which is the second lowest percentage of the quarter-finalists. Portugal has averaged eight corner kicks during UEFA Euro 2016 and it has given up a mean of 2.75 corners, a statistic that only England has bettered. Poland, however, has averaged 4.25 corner kicks for and 6.25 corners against in its four UEFA Euro 2016 matches. All the key numbers support having a wager on Portugal to have more corner kicks than Poland.

According to cards data, Portugal is the cleanest side in the UEFA Euro 2016 last eight having collected just three yellow cards. But that disguises the fact that Portugal’s UEFA Euro 2016 fouls committed count of 60 is higher than all bar Italy. Basically, Portugal is overdue a UEFA Euro 2016 game in which it picks up several cards and, with only three Portuguese players walking a disciplinary tightrope compared to six Poland men, the Fernando Santos-coached team has more cynical fouls to give than that under the leadership of Adam Nawalka. And, if Poland gets on top of Portugal, one cannot rule out the possibility of Ronaldo having a meltdown and earning himself an early bath.

Tips Summary

Poland to Qualify
Thursday 30th June, 20:00 GMT
Odds: +156

Portugal to have Most Corners
Thursday 30th June, 20:00 GMT
Odds: -200

Portugal to have Most Cards
Thursday 30th June, 20:00 GMT
Odds: +162

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