The knockout stages are upon us, and there are three matches on Saturday, With Poland taking on Switzerland, Wales playing Northern Ireland, and Croatia playing Portugal.
Poland vs Switzerland (2pm)
Match Betting: Poland 17/10, Draw 2/1, Switzerland 41/18
Both teams finished the group stage as unbeaten runners-up and, if those matches are anything to go by, this could be a very cagey affair. Poland managed to beat both the Ukraine and Northern Ireland 1-0, whilst their defence stood firm against a world-class German side as they fought out a 0-0 draw. Switzerland’s defence also managed to stand-firm against their group winners France as they also fought out a 0-0 draw, whilst a 1-1 draw against Romania and a 1-0 win over Albania was enough to see them through. That means 5 of the 6 games these two teams have played so far have produced less than 1.5 goals – and that looks a fair bet at 5/4.
Less than 1.5 goals @ 5/4 (Various Bookmakers)
Wales vs Northern Ireland (5pm)
Match Betting: Wales 21/20, Draw 41/19, Northern Ireland 4/1
This Home-Nation round of 16 clash guarantees at least one Home-Nation team will be in the quarter-finals, though both are somewhat surprise packages. Northern Ireland looked to have one of the tougher groups alongside Germany and Poland but, even though they lost 1-0 to both those teams, their victory over the Ukraine meant they qualified as one of the best third-placed teams. However, it was Wales who, despite losing to England, topped Group B – and have given themselves a great chance of reaching the semi-finals by doing so. Wales look the better team but, with Northern Ireland sure to give it their all, the 4/6 for there to be more than 1.5 goals looks the solid bet, considering there were 3 goals scored in all of Wales’s matches.
More than 1.5 goals @ 4/6 (Various Bookies)
Croatia vs Portugal (8pm)
Match Betting: Croatia 17/10, Draw 36/17, Portugal 43/19
Croatia have looked one of the best teams in the competition so far, they work hard for each other, and look tactically astute, and the idiotic behaviour of their fans is probably the only reason they didn’t win all three group games. Meanwhile, Portugal scraped through after drawing all three games, and their failure to break down an Austrian defence that both Iceland and Hungary managed to breach means they probably need a wonder performance from Ronaldo to book their place in the semi-finals. That’s always possible – but Croatia are 5/6 to qualify at any time – and that looks generous.
Croatia to qualify @ 5/6 (Netbet, 10Bet)