Amazingly, it’s quarter-final time already at Euro 2016, and there’s no more excuses for taking afternoons off work as all the kick-offs are at 8pm. Thursday see Portugal take on Poland, whilst on Friday it’s the turn of Wales and Belgium to go head-to-head for a place in the semi-finals.
Portugal vs Poland (Thursday 8pm)
Match Betting: Portugal 13/10, Draw 2/1, Poland 2/1
It’s really hard to get away from the fact that the draw looks the value in a game between two teams who are generally happy to soak-up pressure and try and score on the break. Despite overcoming Croatia in extra-time, Portugal have drawn all four of their games so far at the 90-minute stage. It was 0-0 against Croatia, 0-0 against Austria, 1-1 against Iceland, and the only reason it was 3-3 against Hungary was that Hungary threw caution to the wind. Meanwhile, Poland drew 0-0 against Germany to highlight their ability to blockade a decent team, whilst they also kept clean-sheets in defeating Northern Ireland and the Ukraine, whilst it took Switzerland 82 minutes to get an equaliser. Add in the fact that the last two games between these teams also ended in draws – and you have to think 2/1 is a fair price.
Draw @ 2/1 (Various Bookies)
Belgium vs Wales (Friday 8pm)
Match Betting: Belgium 13/17, Draw 13/5, Wales 5/1
After their 4-0 pummelling of Hungary, it’s easy to see why Belgium have been priced-up at odds-on, though delve a little deeper and it’s possible to make a case that they’re severely under-priced. The first reason is their recent head-to-heads with Wales, as the teams were in the same group in qualifying for both the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016. Belgium won one and drew one of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, though it’s worth noting that Wales had a player sent-off in that defeat. Furthermore, it is Wales who came out best in Euro 2016 Qualifying with a 1-0 and a 0-0 draw. This will also be a very different test for Belgium than against a Hungarian side who attacked from the off. Wales will be very happy to sit and defend, hoping to score on the counter-attack if Belgium commit too many men forward. Wales have also proved they can attack if need be, and a 3-0 defeat of Russia shows the game will be far from over even if Belgium score first – making Belgium look a lay.
Lay Belgium @ 1.77 (Betfair Exchange)