The last of the group-stage matches take place on Wednesday, and there’s much to play for in both Group E and Group F. Only Italy have secured their place in the knockout stages, and it’s still possible for Belgium, Republic of Ireland, Sweden, or any 2 of these 3 to join them in the next round. Meanwhile, Portugal desperately need a win to if they’re to play in the knockout stages, but it’s still feasible for any of Austria, Hungary or Iceland to be there instead or as well as Portugal in Group E.
Portugal vs Hungary
Match Betting: Portugal 4/9, Draw 7/2, Hungary 21/2
Now, I’m not for one minute saying that Hungary are a better team than Portugal, but the bookies seemed to have been very dismissive of Hungary, whilst Portugal have been priced-up at just 4/9. Admittedly, Portugal have won all 5 of their previous meetings, including both games when they last met in the 2010 World Cup qualifying, but both teams drew with Iceland 1-1, whilst Hungary beat Austria, even if Portugal should have done – therefore, at the prices, Portugal have to be a lay.
Lay Portugal @ 1.46 (Betfair Exchange)
Austria vs Iceland
Match Betting: Austria 15/13, Draw 5/2, Iceland 3/1
Austria may have come into the tournament as one of the more fancied outsiders but, even though they somehow managed to stop Portugal scoring, they haven’t scored in their two games so far, and haven’t really looked like doing so – yet have been priced-up at 11/10 to beat an Iceland side who’ve showed plenty of team spirit in drawing with both Hungary and Portugal. The prices again look wrong, so I’m laying Austria.
Lay Austria @ 2.16 (Betfair Sportsbook)
Italy vs Republic Of Ireland
Match Betting: Italy 16/11, Draw 9/4, Republic Of Ireland 12/5
There’s the temptation to think that Italy will be happy with the draw which would guarantee they top the group, however Republic of Ireland will surely be going all out for the win that could get them into the knockout stages. Whether the Republic of Ireland have the class to breakdown an Italian defence that is going for its fifth straight clean sheet is another matter, and the 11/4 for Italy to win to nil looks bigger than it should be.
Italy to win to nil @ 11/4 (Skybet)
Belgium vs Sweden
Match Betting: Belgium 7/8, Draw 13/5, Sweden 9/2
Belgium looked like a bunch of individual against Italy, but they looked to have worked on that before they comprehensively swept aside the Republic of Ireland, and they should be good enough to beat Sweden, knowing they must to make sure of making the knockout stages.
Belgium @ 7/8 (188 Bet)