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Posted By Topic: SBOBET: Euro 2020 (Previews & Reviews)       - Views: 1454 Change Timezone:
SBOBET 20-Mar 2019 Wednesday 12:31 PM (246 days ago)
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Euro Qualifiers Croatia vs Azerbaijan: The Champions Start Their European Conquest

Croatia vs Azerbaijan

Plenty of eyes will be in Zagreb as the qualifiers for the biggest competition in Europe is about to get underway.

Euro Qualifiers: Croatia vs Azerbaijan may look like a one-sided rout for many casual football fans. The bill screams of an upset: a match between the World Cup runners-up and a nation playing in League D of the Nations League is supposed to be a walk in the park for the Vatreni.

However, football games are not as predictable as that. Anyone can beat a giant on a good day, and Azerbaijan have the motivation to pull off a shocking run of form to steal themselves a spot in the main event.

Despite the fact that they have to beat world-class players like Luka Modric in the process, there's enough reason to think that this has the potential to be an entertaining affair.

 
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UEFA - Champions League

Talking Points

Croatia want to start with a bang

Every European footballer wants an opportunity to play in the European Championship, and Croatia's talented players aren't exempted. They know that they have the players to succeed and will be determined to prove that their superb run to the World Cup final last year wasn't a one-off.

First of all, it's hard to forget the fantastic run the Vatreni have pulled off on the way to final in June 2018. Thanks to the heroics of Luka Modric, Mario Mandzukic,  and Danijel Subasic, the team completed an improbable run that saw them take down giants such as Argentina, Denmark, and England.

However, the international retirements of Mandzukic and Subasic saw the quality up front take a hit. Lovre Kalinic is yet to perform at a level Subasic showcased in Russia, and Zlatko Dalic is yet to find a first-choice striker that can fill the Juventus striker's boots.

The talent drain was evident during their rather miserable Nations League run. While they managed to get back at Spain for their terrible 6-0 opener, England sent them packing from League A of the Nations League in a do-or-die showdown at Wembley.

However, the Vatreni's future doesn't look that grim for Dalic. He believes that he has addressed the gaps exposed during Croatia's Nations League run and will be ready for a qualifying group that also featured Hungary, Slovakia, and Wales.

It will now be up to Modric and the rest of the players on the pitch to validate their manager's beliefs and pull off a big win at the Stadion Maksimir.

Are the Milli gunning for the impossible?

Euro Qualifiers Croatia vs Azerbaijan: Gurban Gurbanov encourages his side not to get demotivated
Azerbaijan coach Gurban Gurbanov hopes to take a shot at the continental title

Any reasonable SBOBET punter would look at Azerbaijan's chances of qualifying and chuckle at the thought of the Milli cracking results against Croatia and Wales to secure a spot in the main tournament.

The fact that there aren't any Azerbaijani players that are popping out of the list is evidence alone of how behind the team is compared to the rest of the playing field. The mere fact that they missed out on promotion to League C of the Nations League is also a good indicator.

However, there are whispers that Nikola Jurcevic can will his underdogs to make an inspired run in qualifying. All of it has to do with the format of the 2020 competition.

Instead of only one nation hosting the entire tournament, 14 cities across the continent were chosen to become venues for the hotly anticipated contest. Azerbaijan's own Baku Olympic Stadium is going to be one of those venues, and they will be hosting the group stage and quarter-final games.

With such an opportunity, the entire Azerbaijani community will be expecting their lads to at least have a chance at playing in the group stage of the main tournament. It will be a shame if the host country cannot participate, so expect inspired football from the team.

Players to watch out for among the Azerbaijani XI include Qara Qarayev, Richard Almeida, and Dimitrij Nazarov. They were instrumental in the team's second-place finish in the League's Group C.

History

There aren't a lot of Croatia vs Azerbaijan results to look at since these two teams have been playing on very different levels of football. However, they did meet twice during the qualifying stages for the 2016 tournament.

Their first-ever game was a one-sided rout in 2014 that saw the Vatreni overwhelm the Milli and finish the game with a superb 6-0 score. Ivan Perisic got a double while Andrej Kramaric, Luka Modric, and Marcelo Brozovic scored each of their own. Resad Sadiqov scored an own goal to cap the game.

The second match was a bore draw.

Betting Tip

??

Croatia vs Azerbaijan Croatia First Half Asian Handicap -1.00 @ 2.00
March 22, 03:45(GMT+8)

As much as neutrals would love to see an upset happen in Zagreb, there's no way Croatia would buckle at the opening stages of qualifying. It's hard to imagine a team with the 2018 Ballon d'Or winner struggling right out of the gate, and I believe that the game will be as lop-sided as their first encounter.

There are more interesting Croatia vs Azerbaijan odds available at SBOBET, and the particularly interesting markets to check out will be the Over-Under and Total Goals markets. Croatia will be winning by some margin, and predicting the correct final score promises big winnings.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 20-Mar-2019 at 12:31 PM


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SBOBET 25-Mar 2019 Monday 2:44 PM (241 days ago)            #2
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Euro Qualifiers Netherlands vs Belarus: The Oranje Look to a Roaring Start

Netherlands vs Belarus

Football is driven by narratives as much as it is led by the exciting on-pitch action that every avid fan fell in love with. The events that happen off the football pitch give a lot more meaning to the games being played, pulling fans to make an emotional investment to the Beautiful Game.

One of the most intriguing stories out of the international stage can be found at the Euro Qualifiers: Netherlands vs Belarus matchup.

Holland's descent to irrelevance and their resurrection to complete dominance. Everyone witnessed how the team imploded in the mid-2010s, missing out on two important tournaments over the past four years. However, their return to relevance has been nothing short of outstanding, and they have one of the most intriguing squads in the entire world.

It will be interesting to see how Belarus will be able to fight back against a squad as outstanding as Ronald Koeman's Flying Dutchmen.

 


 

 

Europa League

Talking Points

Holland look to make a statement

Seasoned SBOBET punters remember the regrettable fall from grace the Dutch national team experienced five years ago. The Dutch experienced more than a decade of dominance and made the semi-final of the 2010 and 2014 World Cups. They were on a high as p[layers like Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben carried them to glory.

However, their sharp decline was also well-documented. The decline of their Golden Generation saw the team's place in the echelon of football also fade away. Their omission from the 2016 European Championship and the 2018 World Cup. To say that this was a low point in Dutch football is a big understatement.

However, they may finally have ended their poor run of form as Ronald Koeman built together a strong team to help him qualify for the next two major tournaments.

A quick look at their performance in the inaugural UEFA Nations League campaign is a good indicator of how good this rejuvenated squad is. They finished at the top of their group, only losing one of their four games. They then managed to get fantastic results against France and Germany to finish top of their group.

The team also looks as promising as ever. The provisional team list released earlier this month has a lot of talented players ready to suit up. However, the names to watch among the strong pool are Memphis Depay, Virgil van Dijk, Frenkie de Jong, and Matthijs de Ligt. Koeman played a very aggressive 4-2-3-1 in the Nations League, and we can expect more of the same here.

The Stadion Feijenoord should be quaking by the time the national team begin their campaign for Euro qualification in earnest. They have been denied glory long enough, and these hungry lions will stop at nothing to get what they want.

Belarus eager to compete

Can Stanislav Dragun score in the Euro Qualifiers Netherlands vs Belarus?
Belarus midfielder Stanislav Dragun celebrates after scoring his team's first goal against San Marino in the UEFA Nations League

Most of the Netherlands vs Belarus news is focused on the hosts with good reason. However, discrediting Belarus as mere participants in the qualifying stage would be a disservice to the giant-killing potential the White Wings have.

They were completely dominant in their UEFA Nations League group, winning promotion to League C without a shadow of a doubt. Stanislav Dragun's five goals helped the team to promotion, and the former Dinamo Moskva striker will look to make his presence felt against an intimidating Dutch backline.

Moreover, they are more than aware of the tough task they have ahead of them. Bookies don't see them even inching close to the qualifying positions in their group as Germany, Northern Ireland, and Estonia are also vying for the tickets to the big dance.

With this in mind, Igor Kriushenko is preparing his lads for a tough campaign. They will definitely look for complacency on the Dutch side and deny them a proper win away from home. Igor Shitov will be a vital cog in Kriushenko's defensive scheme, and Igor Stasevich will have to work with Dragun to find the goals.

The entire campaign is going to be a challenge, but the team will be looking to leave their mark in the minds of the neutral fan.

History

These two football-crazy nations have met each other plenty of times since the mid-1990s. Unexpectedly, Holland won a lot of them as the period was the start of the Dutch's dominance in international football. They won six of their eight meetings; Belarus only won by a narrow margin in 1995 and 2007.

Their last two meetings were during the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Netherlands overwhelmed Belarus, winning with an aggregate score of 7-2.

Betting Tip

??

Netherlands vs Belarus Netherlands First Half Asian Handicap -1.00 @ 2.02
March 22, 03:45 (GMT+8)

There's no question that momentum is on the side of the Oranje, and there should be no reason for them to experience defeat at this point of the season. They have exciting players, a respectable coach, an attractive style of football, and an insatiable hunger for victory.

Many Netherlands vs Belarus odds also share my view, giving the Dutch a heavy handicap. I see Belarus getting a consolation goal for their efforts late in the game, but the sheer difference in quality should see the Dutch ending the game before the first half even finishes.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 25-Mar-2019 at 2:44 PM


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SBOBET 25-Mar 2019 Monday 2:51 PM (241 days ago)            #3
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Euro Qualifiers Belgium vs Russia: Another Chance for Red Devils

Belgium vs Russia

The Euro 2020 qualifiers get underway at the Stade Roi Badouin in Brussels on Thursday, as Belgium hosts Russia in the Group I curtain raiser.

Both sides will be keen to kick off the new campaign with a positive result, which means a win for Roberto Martinez’ Red Devils, while Russia is more likely to be happy with a draw. Ranked 49 places apart by FIFA (at 1 and 50) this looks like a home banker, and Belgium fans hope it will be the start of a sparkling journey to the final in 2020.

The ‘Golden Generation’ still hasn’t delivered on its undoubted talent. They looked likely to go all the way at Russia 2018 but fell short in the semi-finals against eventual winners France. And this week they come up against a nation reinvigorated by its own performance at the World Cup.

Euro Qualifiers Belgium vs Russia is one of the standout ties of the week, and we’ll be right there with SBOBET.

Talking Points

 


 

 

UEFA - Champions League

When will the Golden Generation actually win something?

Belgium is the best team in the world according to the FIFA Rankings, marginally ahead of France. But there’s one key factor which will rankle with their players and fans.

They are yet to win anything; while Les Bleus are World Champions after winning the 2018 tournament for the second time, and they have two European Championships.

Belgium’s best performances so far have been a runners-up medal in the 1980 European Championship and third place at the 2018 World Cup. And head coach

Martinez knows he needs to improve on that in 2020.

Look at the players the Red Devils have! Captain Eden Hazard is one of the best in the world, able to carry a team on his own with his immaculate ball control and killer instinct. And he won’t be in the best of moods after his Chelsea lost to Everton at the weekend.

At the back there’s Real Madrid keeper Thibaut Courtois, and Spurs centre back pairing of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen, while another creative force alongside Hazard comes in the form of Napoli wide man Dries Mertens.

Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku is in a rich vein of form, but he may be doubtful, having been sent for an ankle scan by the Belgian team doctor.

Belgium threw in a dreadful performance to crash out of the UEFA Nations League though. Eden’s younger brother Thorgan Hazard had given the Red Devils a two goal lead against Switzerland before they capitulated, losing 5-2 as Haris Seferovic helped himself to a hat-trick.

Can Russia build on the 2018 World Cup?

Pundits expect both teams to score in Euro Qualifiers Belgium vs Russia
Sweden's Sebastian Larsson and Russia's Daler Kuzyaev in action

 

Head coach Stanislas Cherchesov signed a two year extension after Russia’s resounding success in the 2018 World Cup. His team impressed fans around the world as they hosted the tournament and progressed to the quarter-finals, beating favourites Spain on the way.

In the run up to the tournament Russia was unimpressive to say the least, but the future is looking bright. The Russian Premier League is getting stronger and that is good news for the national side. Zenit St Petersburg provides much of the talent at Cherchesov’s disposal. His captain Artyom Dzyuba plays alongside striker partner Alelsandr Kokorin, while midfielder Oleg Shatov is a cultured ball player.

There’s still some way to go though. Russia failed to get out of its UEFA Nations League group B2 after losing the final game 2-0 to Sweden.

History

The Red Devils have had the better of the head-to-head Belgium vs Russia results with three wins and a draw in the four meetings since 2002. The last was a 3-3 draw in a friendly in Russia in 2017.

Russia failed to score in the two previous games and Belgium has won whenever on home soil.

The visitors arrive in Belgium with back-to-back defeats and the Red Devils haven’t lost in any of their last 15 home matches. So there’s not a lot going for the visitors, apart from the fact they won the European Championship in 1960 as part of the Soviet Union.

So let’s take a look at the latest Belgium vs Russia betting odds and try to work it all out.

Betting Tip

??

Belgium vs Russia Belgium -1.50 @ 1.97
March 22, 03:45(GMT+8)

Well, despite Russia’s promise following their home World Cup, they are still a long way behind Belgium, and the odds reflect that. The hosts are at 1.33, with the draw available at 4.80 and Russia is at 8.50 to spring a major surprise.

Home advantage counts for a lot for the Red Devils and 2-0 is the most likely result at odds of 6.00.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 25-Mar-2019 at 2:51 PM


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SBOBET 25-Mar 2019 Monday 2:53 PM (241 days ago)            #4
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Euro 2020: It’s the Battle of the Inconsistencies

Austria vs Poland

I’ve got to be honest, SBOBET fans.

As European Championship qualifying groups go, this is the one that least excites me.

Yet for one of these very inconsistent nations, the chance to play a part in next year’s big international tournament – Euro 2020 – is a major incentive and a realistic target.

Talking Points

After some barren years, Austria qualified for Euro 2016 and even managed to hold eventual European champions Portugal to a goalless draw but failed to progress beyond the group stages.

Poland had a successful tournament and were unbeaten until the quarter-finals where they only lost to Portugal in a penalty shoot-out.

Fast forward to last year’s World Cup and Poland had a miserable time of it, losing all three games.

Their unsuccessful time continued in recent months.

As for Austria, they didn’t even qualify, although they had a moment to savour with a 2-1 victory over then-world champions Germany last summer.

 


 

 

Bundesliga

Given the recent inconsistencies of both countries, this group gives them a real chance of progress and a chance to create some of the Euro 2020 news goes, even if there are no guarantees.

There is no doubt Poland are the favourites to top the group, despite their unconvincing streak of form.

They have drawn three and lost three of their last six games played, and their most recent, a 1-1 draw against Portugal in the Nations League, was the only goal they had scored in three matches.

Yet they retain big attacking threats with the in-form Robert Lewandowski needing no introduction and recently becoming the Bundesliga’s all-time top foreign scorer.

As well as Lewandowski, there’s AC Milan’s Krzysztof Piatek, who has had a good first few months of 2019 in Serie A, and Arkadiusz Milik.

Poland know that with Austria and Slovenia being their toughest opponents on paper, a good start in this one could shape their qualifying campaign.

Austria have a dangerous marksman of their own.

West Ham United’s talisman Marko Arnautovic is expected to lead the line, while his club team-mate Lukasz Fabianski will start in goal.

Julian Baumgartlinger is an experienced campaigner who leads the team out and is currently enjoying a good season with Bayer Leverkusen, while there is also Bayern Munich star David Alaba.

Can Austria satisfy SBOBET fans and win vs Poland?
David Alaba in action vs Bosnia and Herzegovina's Edin Visca

The majority of Austria’s players ply their trade in Europe’s top leagues, especially in the Bundesliga, where many of them are integral members of their clubs’ starting line-ups.

Moreover, they are undefeated in their last three at home, including victories over Sweden and Northern Ireland, and have not conceded in any of their last three at the Ernst-Happel-Stadion.

There are clearly matchwinners on both sides. Now what they need is consistency.

History

This is the first meeting between these nations for more than a decade.

That came in Euro 2008 when their group match finished 1-1.

It was in Vienna where Ivica Vastic’s last-gasp penalty earned the co-hosts of the tournament a draw after Roger Guerreiro had put Poland in front.

It was the sole point for both as they bowed out of the group stage.

Before that, the sides had met in qualifying for the 2006 World Cup when Poland recorded 3-1 and 3-2 victories.

Overall, Austria have only won two of their seven meetings. Both were friendlies, in 1977 and 1994, when Peter Stoger netted a hat-trick in a 4-3 success.

Poland have triumphed in four with the sole draw coming in their most recent meeting.

Betting Tip

??

Austria vs Poland Correct Score 1-1 @ 5.20
March 22 03:45 (GMT+8)

Austria have the edge with our Euro 2020 betting odds. They are priced 1X2 @ 2.34, with Poland @ 2.94 and the draw – remember this has only happened once in seven meetings - @ 3.20.

For Poland to lead at the break, how about First Half 1X2 @ 3.60 or Austria @ 2.90?

Asian Handicap betting throws up some attractive bets: you can get -0.25 Austria @ 2.00 and -0.50 Austria @ 2.35, while Poland 0.00 @ 2.29 will catch the eye of many.

First Half Asian Handicap has Austria -0.25 @ 2.42 and Poland 0.00 @ 2.16 – again at very tempting odds.

Over 2.50 goals will payout @ 2.26, total goal 0-1 @ 2.52 and total goal 2-3 @ 1.83.

A solitary 1-0 home win is available @ 6.00, a 1-0 away victory @ 8.00 and a goalless draw also @ 7.00 which shows you how evenly matched this is expected to be.

I am going to set my stall on a correct score of 1-1 @ 5.20.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 25-Mar-2019 at 2:53 PM


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SBOBET 25-Mar 2019 Monday 2:56 PM (241 days ago)            #5
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Euro 2020: World Champions turn to Europe

Moldova vs France

France swept all before them at Russia 2018 to win the World Cup in true Gallic style; and now Les Bleus are about to get their Euro 2020 campaign under way at the Stadionul Zimbru in Moldova. Even before a ball is kicked Didier Deschamp’s team is up there in the Euro 2020 betting odds as a likely winner, along with the likes of Belgium, England and Spain. And they couldn’t have asked for a much gentler start to the next challenge. No disrespect to Moldova, but when Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe arrive in Chisnau, a world ranking of 170 is unlikely to be of much help! It should be a regulation win for Les Bleus, but as we often say, it’s 11 against 11 and if the home crowd can raise the roof to get behind their boys then who knows?

Talking Points

France players in the mood There are few better sights than France in full flow, and when their players are in the mood the football can be breathtaking. Deschamps claims he has a happy camp, though a couple of his big names have had something on their minds since the World Cup. Following Atletico Madrid’s Champions League exit, speculation over Griezmann’s club future has intensified, with rumours of continued interest from Barcelona. The La Liga champions were tracking the France star in the summer and may still be hopeful of capturing his signature in 2019, though Premier League giants Manchester United are also said to be interested. And that might be tempting for the Atleti man as his France team-mate Paul Pogba has settled well under the leadership of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Pogba is a man we’ll see often in the Euro 2020 highlights if he can replicate the form he showed in the World Cup and, indeed, in the Premier League after the departure of Jose Mourinho. Red Devils fans will hope the gifted midfielder’s mood swings are a thing of the past.
Paul Pogba is a man to watch in France in their upcoming match against Moldova in Euro 2020
Paul Pogba during his training with Didier Deschamps
One of the biggest news stories of Russia 2018 was the emergence of PSG’s Kylian Mbappe as a world class talent as he terrorised defences with his electric pace, trickery and killer instinct. It could be a torrid night for the Moldova defence. Damage limitation for Moldova? This is a baptism of fire for the hosts, who find themselves in a very tough Group H, containing a dangerous Turkey side and the well organised and perennial achieving Iceland, alongside the World Champions of course. Tiny Andorra provides a chance for a win, and Moldova has proved it can take points from the lesser lights, recently beating San Marino and drawing with Belarus and Luxembourg. But the cold hard facts are that they are currently ranked as the fifth worst side in Europe, and head coach Alexandru Spiridon has won only one of the 11 games he’s been in charge.

 
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Premier League

Midfielder Radu Ginsari is the current top scorer with seven goals and can play as an attacking midfielder or wide man. But Moldova’s highest profile player is Cagliari defensive midfielder Artur Ionita. The tough tackler has been a big influence in Serie A this season and will have a lot of work to do on Friday.

History

Moldova is yet to qualify for a major championships having finished bottom of Group D in the run up to World Cup 2018; and they finished third in their Nations League group. France also failed to win their Nations League, missing out on a semi-final place, losing to a resurgent Holland, but they have recently beaten Uruguay and Germany and have won 12 of their last 17 games, scoring 30 goals

Betting Tip

??

Moldova vs France France, Asian Handicap -2.25 @ 1.82
March 23, 03:45 (GMT+8)
When we take a look at the SBOBET odds for this fixture it’s clear as day that Asian Handicap Betting is the way to go. The hosts need a lift at odds of 12.00 to win, while Les Bleus are at a tiny 1.11 and the draw is an unlikely outcome at 8.75. Under Spiridon, Moldova has had six clean sheets in 11 games but has failed to score in seven, and if there is a glimmer of hope, France has won just one for its last four away games. I can’t see anything other than a comfortable start for Les Bleus and I suspect Mbappe could run riot.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 25-Mar-2019 at 2:56 PM


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SBOBET 25-Mar 2019 Monday 2:59 PM (241 days ago)            #6
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Euro 2020: Group B Big Guns Clash in Lisbon

Portugal vs Ukraine

Portugal is the place to be on Friday, to see the reigning European Champions take a Euro 2020 bow at the Stadio Da Luz in Lisbon, where Ukraine is the visitor.

It promises to be a fascinating and hard fought tussle between Fernando Santos’ hosts and Andriy Schevchenko’s in form Ukraine. Both teams will have high hopes of going deep into the competition and each will want to make a strong start.

Ukraine could turn out to be a good bet to, at least, progress from the qualifiers and, after they lifted the 2016 trophy in spectacular fashion, we’re not about to ignore Portugal in our Euro 2020 predictions. They are aiming to be only the second nation to win successive European Championships, which would match Spain’s feat in 2008 and 2012.

Talking Points

This game is a good early marker. In a group containing Serbia, Lithuania and Luxembourg the likely qualifiers will come from three teams; these two and Serbia. Portugal is the clear favourite with a FIFA Ranking of six, while Ukraine and Serbia sit side by side in 30th and 31st. Luxembourg and Lithuania, at 87 and 132 will do very well to avoid the bottom two spots.

Portugal are odds-on favourites to progress through Euro 2020 qualifying
Ukraine should not be dismissed as they have squads capable of qualifying the tournament

Portugal’s creative muscle

Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo will never be far from the Euro 2020 news of course, but he has a star studded supporting cast, with some of the top players in the Portuguese league at FC Porto and Benfica, as well as big names from the Premier League and La Liga.

Bernardo Silva is having an impressive season at Manchester City. Favourites in each competition they are in, the Sky Blues are chasing an historic quadruple and Silva is a key player. He’s an important fixture in Portugal’s attack too, scoring the crucial winner in a UEFA Nations League Group 3 match against Poland.

Midfield powerhouse William Carvalho is having a super season at Real Betis as Los Verdiblancos chase Europa League football. And he is likely to line up alongside Wolves creative duo Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho, while their club mate Rui Patricio will be the last line of defence in goal.

Ukraine’s Samba star

So which Ukrainian players should the hosts watch out for? Well, Shevchenko has moved swiftly to register Shakhtar Donetsk’s 31 year old Brazilian striker Junior Moraes after he was granted a Ukraine passport. He could well be the visitors’ most potent attacking threat, and a useful piece in the jigsaw Shevchenko has been putting together, after Ukraine missed out on the 2018 World Cup.

His team has developed some useful consistency, losing only one of ten games in the calendar year and winning their Nations League group with a game to spare. And that means Shevchenko’s side has been promoted to League A, as well as securing at least a Euro 2020 qualification playoff spot.

If his side is to make a good start to this campaign then he’ll be relying on a strong defence, with the likes of Shakhtar centre back Serhiy Kryvstov performing well in 2018.

History

So what can we base our SBOBET tips on for this game?

Well this is a clash of two teams on good form. Portugal was unbeaten in its inaugural group appearance in the UEFA Nations League, seeing off Italy and Poland and hasn’t lost in six games, or in the last nine home matches.

Santos’ side faces Switzerland in the Nations League semi-final and will hope to add a new European title to its trophy cabinet.

Ukraine did well too, winning three and losing one to win promotion to League A.

The last time these two teams met in competition was in the World Cup 1998 qualifiers where each side recorded a victory over the two games.

Betting Tip

??

Portugal vs Ukraine 2-3 goals @1.86
March 23, 03:45(GMT+8)

Ukraine should provide a good test for Fernando Santos’ side, but the visitors aren’t in Lisbon just to make up the numbers. They have only suffered one loss in 2018 and that when their Nations League group had been successfully sewn up.

But Portugal is at 1.42 to win the game, while Ukraine is at 7.40 and the draw is at 4.20. Home advantage will play a part as the hosts have been successful in Lisbon in recent times, and the stage is set for Ronaldo and Silva to strut their stuff.

I think this will be a close fought match, with probably just a single goal in it and Portugal’s star quality making the difference.

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SBOBET 25-Mar 2019 Monday 3:02 PM (241 days ago)            #7
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Euro 2020: Italy’s Road to Redemption

Italy vs Finland

Euro 2020 arrives in Udine at the weekend when Italy takes on Finland at the Friuli Arena. It’s the Azzurri’s big chance to climb back onto the world stage.

After failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, their first absence since 1958, the Italians have done a lot of soul searching and now they have an opportunity to put things right. The draw has been kind and a home game against Finland should present Roberto Mancini’s team with an early three points, and a chance to lead Group J from the off.

Finland is a team on the up, having been promoted to Nations League B, but at 59th in the FIFA World Rankings, 41 places behind their hosts, the visitors are in for a tough ride in north Italy.

 


 

 

Bundesliga

Talking Points

Azzurri’s clear road to the finals

18th in the World Rankings is too low for Italy’s passionate fans but having missed out on Russia 2018 Mancini’s team will take nothing for granted, though Italy has been dealt a good hand in Group J of the qualifiers. In all likelihood they will battle for Bosnia and Herzegovina for top spot, while Finland and Greece have an outside chance of progress.

Mancini will have his big guns ready and loaded and is likely to start with Lazio hit man Ciro Immobile up front; and he’ll be supported by Juventus wide attacker Federico Bernardeschi and Napoli’s excellent Lorenzo Insigne. The head coach has also turned to youth in the shape of young striker Nicolo Zaniolo who looks a real prospect, having impressed for Roma in the Champions League. The 19 year old could be one of the stars of SBOBET Euro 2020 and may feature at some point against Finland.

The Azzurri will rely, as always, on a rock solid defence so Finland coach, Markku Kanerva has his work cut out to stop the flow of goals at one end and find a way through a defensive wall at the other.

Finland’s secret weapon

Italy vs Finland betting odds underdogs are expecting their secret weapon to lead them to victory
Finland's Teemu Pukki during UEFA Nations League against Estonia

While Finland isn’t blessed with household names they have, in their ranks, one of the standout players in the English Championship, Norwich City’s Teemu Pukki. The Canaries are riding high at the top of the second tier and Pukki’s 24 goals make him the Championship leading scorer, and that’s no mean feat in a league widely agreed to be one of the six toughest in Europe.

After a difficult spell in Scotland with Celtic, his arrival at Carrow Road was greeted with doubt, but Pukki is now a firm fans’ favourite as they hope his goals will fire them back to England’s top flight.

He’s likely to be supported up front by attacking midfielder Kasper Hamalainen. The 32 year old Legia Warsaw man scores at a rate of around one in four for his club and has nine goals in 52 appearances for his national side.

Finland was impressive in the Nations League, seeing off Greece and Estonia, but they may find a determined Italy a step too far.

History

Even though Italy failed to win their Nations League group, they come into this game on the back of three clean sheets; and the Italy vs Finland betting odds point to a home win at 1.30, while the draw is 4.90 and a Finland victory out there at 9.25.

That makes a whole lot of sense when you look at the head-to-heads between Italy and Finland. Their last meeting in 2016 resulted in a 2-0 win for the Azzurri with goals from Antonio Candreva and Daniele De Rossi, and that made it six in a row for the Italians.

In fact, Italy has won eight of the last nine meetings and kept eight clean sheets along the way. Who’d bet against the experienced back line featuring Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci from making it nine?

Not me!

Betting Tip

??

Italy vs Finland Italy Asian Handicap -1.50 @2.06
March 24 03:45 (GMT+8)

It would be one of the shock Euro 2020 results of the opening weekend if this turned out to be anything other than a regulation home win.

Finland’s record against the hosts has been disastrous and, while they have an attacker in great form in Teemu Pukki, the underdogs are under no illusion around the size of the challenge they face.

As well as a legendary defence Italy does have serious firepower up front and I think they will register another win to nil. 1-0 is the lowest odds score line at 4.30, while 2-0 is at 4.60 and I’m leaning towards a comfortable win, maybe a repeat of the 2016 clash.

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SBOBET 25-Mar 2019 Monday 5:39 PM (241 days ago)            #8
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Euro 2020: England Embark on Next Adventure

England vs Czech Republic

These are exciting times to be an England supporter.

Personally, for all the razzamatazz and rhetoric that we constantly hear about the current set-up, I believe the nation is no closer now than it has been in any of the past 20 years from challenging for a major tournament.

But forget my cynicism, SBOBET fans.

As the race for Euro 2020 begins in earnest, backers of the Three Lions have every reason to be optimistic.

Talking Points

First, came the run to the World Cup semi-finals last summer and a feel-good factor which embraced much of the country.

Then came the qualification to the semi-finals of the UEFA Nations League in a group which also comprised World Cup runners-up Croatia and Spain.

More still, the development of the national game at many levels has not gone unnoticed by even the most successful of rivals.

So, qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Montenegro should be overcome and produce some Euro 2020 qualifying highlights, right?

There may be a fresh look to some of the team, particularly with a number of players already withdrawing due to injury.

Manager Gareth Southgate is considering pairing Everton’s Michael Keane with Harry Maguire at the heart of England’s defence, in the absence of the injured John Stones, and held one-on-one meetings with his players at St George’s Park earlier this week.

They will be led by their talisman, skipper Harry Kane, who has trained with the squad along with the uncapped Declan Rice and Callum Hudson-Odoi, himself called up despite yet to start a Premier League match for Chelsea.

 


 

 

Europa League

Alongside Kane, there may also be changes.

Marcus Rashford has a slight ankle problem, rendering him a doubt at a sold-out Wembley. The Manchester United forward has been troubled by the issue for almost a month, with Borussia Dortmund’s high-flying Jadon Sancho and Hudson-Odoi being potential replacements.

Even if England fail to top Group A, which also includes Bulgaria and Kosovo, they are guaranteed a qualifying play-off place after winning their group in the Nations League.

Kane has admitted this week he has his sights set on silverware.

2018 was a great year for the Spurs frontman, winning the Golden Boot in Russia, an achievement that will stay with him forever. But he craves a major team trophy, and the Nations League finals this summer gives him a fresh chance of that.

Beat Holland and then Portugal or Switzerland, and Kane will be lifting the trophy, giving him something he has not yet tasted in his career.

That is one goal, another is Euro 2020.

The road to that major tournament starts at Wembley on Friday night.

Exciting times indeed.

England will feature youngster Jadon Sancho in Euro 2020 qualifying match versus Czech Republic
Jadon Sancho in training ahead of England's Euro 2020 qualifying match against Czech Republic

History

Since Czechoslovakia became the Czech Republic, these nations have only met twice, both in international friendlies.

In 1998, Darren Anderton and Paul Merson goals gave the Three Lions a 2-0 success at Wembley.

Ten years later, another friendly finished 2-2 with Wes Brown and Joe Cole on target in what proved to be Glenn Hoddle’s final match in charge of the national team.

During 12 meetings between the former Czechoslovakia and England, there have been three draws, seven England successes and two Czechoslovakia victories.

One of those was in qualifying for the European Championships of 1976 when a Mick Channon goal was cancelled out by Zdenek Nehoda and Dusan Gallis.

The central European nation qualified for the tournament at England’s expense and went onto their greatest ever football triumph – defeating West Germany in the final (in a penalty shoot-out after a 2-2 draw) to be crowned European champions.

Betting Tip

??

England vs Czech Republic England Asian Handicap -1.75 @ 2.35
March 23, 03:45 (GMT+8)

England are firm favourites against a Czech side which didn’t reach last summer’s World Cup in Russia and was unable to progress out of the group stage at Euro 2016.

You can get 1X2 odds on the home side @ 1.29 with the visitors out @ 9.75. The draw is available @ 4.90.

If you see a shock on the cards, how about Asian Handicap Czech Republic + 1.25 @ 2.33, or even double chance – Czech Republic or draw -- @ 3.30.

Goals are expected and there are various Euro 2020 qualifying betting odds to consider.

Total goal 0-1 @ 2.96, total goal 2-3 @ 1.87, total goal 4-6 @ 3.50 and over 2.75 goals @ 2.33.

A repeat of the score from their last meeting just over a decade ago – correct score 2-2 - is a tempting 48.00 for some.

England have so often flattered to deceive, why will this time be any different?

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SBOBET 25-Mar 2019 Monday 5:42 PM (241 days ago)            #9
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Euro 2020: Can Romania Ruin the Swedish Party?

Sweden vs Romania

It's easy to say that Group F of the Euro 2020 qualifiers is a rather easy group for a superb footballing nation like Sweden.

The only real opponents the Swedes have in this group are Spain, and they won't be facing La Roja until June, so there's plenty of games for the Blue-Yellows to establish their position in the table. Given the wealth of talent available for Janne Andersson, this feat is more than possible.

Their first opponents in Group F are Romania and plenty of Euro 2020 betting odds for this match point for an easy victory for the Swedes. However, I will warn casual football fans about the Tricolorii.

I'd compare this team to furniture from IKEA: they may seem easy to solve, but Cosmin Contra's men could well be too complicated for them to figure out come game time. After all, a game isn't decided until the final whistle is blown.

Join me as we take a look into this seemingly one-sided battle.

Talking Points

A weakened Sweden head to battle

The Swedes had a fantastic time in Russia. A team once thought to be nothing without the confident Zlatan Ibrahimovic made the World Cup ahead of a heartbroken Netherlands team by goal difference. They then showed up in the group stages in Russia but were taken down by Switzerland in the round of 16.

They then headed to the UEFA Nations League with all the confidence in the world. They proved their worth by damning Turkey to play in League C and completely overwhelming World Cup hosts Russia in a classy rout.

Any reasonable football fan will be looking forward to another great display from the Blue-Yellows as they are second-favourites to make it out of their group. However, some interesting Euro 2020 news related to the qualifying stages may affect their start to their qualification campaign.

Victor Lindelof will not be suiting up for this match and the subsequent game against Norway. Rumours circulated that John Guidetti's omission from the team prompted the Manchester United defender's withdrawal, but Andersson insisted that his reasons were of a personal nature.

Without their key defender, the Blue-Yellows may have to tighten up their game. However, they do have the personnel to make it work.

Emil Forsberg is a key man in Sweden and RB Leipzig. The midfield maestro (who also showcased his American football chops recently) should become a thorn in Romania's side. Ludwig Augustinsson, Mikael Lustig, Viktor Claesson, and Marcus Berg should also be able to step up.

Again, there should be no reason for a team like this to drop points against Romania.

Romania take on Sweden in Euro 2020 in what is expected to be one of the most entertaining games this weekend
Romania's George Tucudean celebrates scoring their first goal

Tricolorii on the hunt for an upset

Contra knows coming into the match that they will be the heavy underdogs, and he will definitely not mince words with his lads that they will be in for a long 90 minutes if they don't play properly.

To the untrained eye, it does seem like Romania are fish out of the water by the time they visit the Friends Arena in Solna. There aren't any names in the squads Romania fielded in the Nations League that stand out, and their second-place finish in League C's Group 4 will convince a lot of people to bet against them.

However, it is important to note that the Tricolorii didn't lose a single game they played in the Nations League. They gave Serbia a good fight up to the end, beating Montenegro on the final day, on their own soil.

There are also a good number of Romanian players to watch out for. Nicolae Stanciu, Alexandru Chipciu, George Tucudean, and Cristian Manea are noteworthy players fans should watch out for come game time.

History

Sweden and Romania have faced each other a total of six times. The first time they met was during the 1984 Euro qualifiers. The tables were flipped then: Romania dominated the Swedes as they got an aggregate score of 3-0. The next game was a draw, and the other two were won by Sweden.

The last time they met was almost a year ago when Romania hosted Sweden for the latter's tune-up game for the World Cup. They one-upped their Russia-bound guests as Dorin Rotariu scored the only goal in a surprise 1-0 upset.

Betting Tip

??

Sweden vs Romania Over 2.25 Goals @ 2.21
March 24, 01:00(GMT+8)

Our inspection of the curious footballing history between the two sides helps us understand why a top online bookmaker like SBOBET gave such intriguing Euro 2020 betting odds for a team of Sweden's stature.

Romania seem to have the Swede's number and can play some great football whenever they match up. If the Tricolorii are indeed the Blue-Yellows' bogey team, then it is understandable why a one-goal handicap for Sweden fetches an insane 2.66.

I still think the Swedes will bring home the bacon here, but I expect Romania to fight back and finish the game with a respectable 2-1 result. Sweden's outstanding World Cup and Nations League runs should give them the confidence to face their opponents with the confidence necessary to succeed.

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SBOBET 25-Mar 2019 Monday 5:50 PM (241 days ago)            #10
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Euro 2020: La Furia Roja Begin Their European Conquest

Spain vs Norway

Last year was a hectic time for plenty of European nations. One country experienced the glory of lifting the World Cup trophy again; three made impressive tournament runs in Russia; the Sbornay's Igor Akinfeev showed us what the Foot of God looks like. However, there were countries like Spain that disappointed a lot of people in the competition. La Furia Roja were particularly heartbreaking as they had the potential to redeem their embarrassing run in 2014. Fortunately, Euro 2020 gives them an opportunity to correct their grievances and give the proud Spaniards something to be proud of once more. They have a strong team that is led by a fantastic manager and are situated in a group that can help them make it past the qualifiers. However, they start their campaign in a rather interesting qualifying group against Norway, one of the tougher opponents they will face in the group. They need to start the qualifiers on a good note by winning this game.

Talking Points

Feel La Roja's fury! People are more than shocked with the fate Spain endured in the 2018 World Cup. They were one of the bigger favourites to win the entire thing, and La Roja were looking sharp ahead of the competition. However, Real Madrid ripped the team apart by pulling Julen Lopetegui from the team to have an abysmal stay at the Santiago Bernabeu. They managed to get out of the group stage, but an unbelievable performance from Igor Akinfeev saw the Spaniards leave the biggest dance in world football early. The loss also stung in the subsequent international retirements of Gerard Pique and Andres Iniesta.

 


 

 

Premier League

The team managed to bounce back during the debut season of the UEFA Nations League. The still-bitter Spaniards gave Croatia, the tournament's runners-up a major hiding in their first game, and they also played some spirited football against England. Unfortunately, their narrow defeat to the Vatreni in the rematch meant that they would not play in the Nations League semi-finals. With no big contests to think about in the summer, Luis Enrique's Spain can fully focus on making Euro 2020 news by topping their qualifying group. And they definitely have the manpower to do so. The Spaniards have fantastic goalkeepers in David de Gea and Kepa Arrizabalaga. Sergio Ramos and Dani Carvajal are the core of the Spanish defence; Dani Ceballos and Saul Ñiguez are superb midfield options; Isco and Paco Alcacer are more than capable of scoring goals. The stage is set for Spain to succeed. All they need to do is show up and do the job. Victory is Norway's only way Norway have never been a competitive side in world football. While they have managed to participate in three World Cups, all of those happened in the 20th century. The last time they played in the World Cup was in 1998. Meanwhile, they have only qualified for the UEFA European Championship once, in 2000. In the eyes of the SBOBET punter, Norway are nothing more than participants to the dance.
Norway will be looking to sway the Euro 2020 odds as they travel to Spain
Norway players defending to get the ball

However, the number of Norwegian players who are playing abroad have increased in recent years, and the team looks more effective than ever. The country has improved as a footballing nation that even Spanish left-back Jordi Alba warned of the potential threat Norway have. They also showcased their mettle in the Nations League. They managed to edge out Bulgaria in the promotion race and coolly dismissed Cyprus to gain promotion to League B. They also have the players to make things happen. Ole Selnaes, Omar Elabdellaoui, Markus Henriksen, and Sigurd Rosted should be key players in the team's qualifying run.

History

The two nations have played each other five times on the international stage, with Spain understandably winning three of those games. Their latest match was in the qualifiers for Euros 2004, and the one-sided Spanish victory saw Raul, Vicente, and Joseba Etxeberria overwhelm Norway in front of their fans in Oslo. However, one blemish in Spain's head-to-head record is their group stage match in the 2000 Euros. In front of 41,000 people at Stadion Feijenoord, Steffen Iversen notched a loss in Spain's otherwise perfect qualifying run.

Betting Tip

??

Spain vs Norway Under 3.00 Goals @ 2.03
March 24, 03:45 (GMT+8)
I fully expect Spain to win this match. They have the better squad all in all, and their fantastic outings against Croatia and England in the Nations League is a good manifestation of La Roja's quality. Even Euro 2020 odds on the qualifying stage give Spain a big handicap. However, punters better beware Norway. They are still not at Spain's level, but they could well pull a shocker on a good day. They should have quite a defence to at least limit Spain to two goals, and the result could very well end in a respectable 1-0 loss.

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SBOBET 25-Mar 2019 Monday 5:58 PM (241 days ago)            #11
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Euro 2020: Piatek is Poland’s Potent Weapon in Vienna

Austria 0-1 Poland

When your new manager and star player have a public spat not long after joining forces, the writing is often on the wall.

Yet that is exactly what happened before Poland began their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.

Jerzy Brzeczek had no sooner been appointed following the Poles’ disappointing World Cup last summer, then he was failing to see eye-to-eye with Robert Lewandowski.

The mood improved a little when Poland became the first team to be relegated from League A in the Nations League despite managing creditable draws in Italy and Portugal.

However, events tonight have shown this could be the start of improved relations and, who knows, perhaps a successful campaign to reach next year’s tournament. One which will show SBOBET fans that Poland can still put their wits against many of the leading nations.

Highlights of the game

If the Euro 2020 highlights from Vienna are a guide, there is some hope.

A visit to the Ernst Happel Stadion is not always the easiest place to go.

Despite Austria’s recent past – they failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup and failed to score a single goal in two Nations League games against group winners Bosnia Herzegovina – their recent home record is strong.

Indeed, Brazil were the only team to have beaten them in the last 13 home matches until now.

They may be without some of their better players in Hannes Wolf, Guido Burgstaller and Michael Gregoritsch, but they still have the ability to trouble opponents.

Poland’s threat was known, of course, with Napoli forward Arkadiusz Milik getting the nod to partner Lewandowski, even if he did only last until half-time.

In a first half of few chances, Marcel Sabitzer forced Wojciech Szczesny into the first save of the night before team-mate, David Alaba, had an effort blocked as the hosts started strongly.

Next, it was Austria’s own talisman, Marko Arnautovic’s turn to threaten before Poland got their shooting boots on with Piotr Zielinski going close and Kamil Glik’s header and shot forcing saves from home custodian Heinz Lindner.

Marko Arnautovic off the bench and scuffs shot for Austria in UEFA EURO 2020 match against Poland in Ernst Happel Stadion
Marko Arnautovic during the Euro 2020 qualifying match between Austria and Poland at the Ernst Happel Stadium

It was a similar story after the break with the hosts edging the possession ad attempts on goal as Sabitzer and Arnautovic went close and Zielinski forced to leave the fray on the hour with an injury.

The sight of both Milik and Zielinski departing will be of concern for their club boss Carlo Ancelotti with big matches coming up for Napoli following the international break and his squad already restricted through injury.

Valentino Lazaro and an Arnautovic free-kick were the next to go close as Austria were on top but there was a feeling that if a chance fell to Lewandowski or Milan striker Krzysztof Piatek at the other end, they would likely snap it up.

And so it proved.

Moments after Tomasz Kedziora saw a shot pushed away for a corner, Piatek – on for Zielinski - headed home from close range to give the visitors the advantage.

The goal seemed to rock Austria who continued to enjoy the territorial advantage but struggled to get efforts on target – Piatek closer to a second goal than Austria were to finding a leveller.

Grzegorz Krychowiak called Lindner into action just after veteran striker Marc Janko arrived as a last throw of the dice for an equaliser.

His presence certainly gave Austria added impetus.

He was narrowly off-target with a right-footed shot as he was minutes later with a close range header.

Yet for all of their efforts, Austria were unable to add to their earlier attempt on target and Poland hung on to record a perfect start.

Key statistics

Austria have only won two of eight meetings with Poland.

This was the first game between the sides for more than a decade.

The last they met was in Euro 2008 when their group match finished 1-1.

It was in Vienna where Ivica Vastic’s last gasp penalty earned the co-hosts of the tournament a draw after Roger Guerreiro had put Poland in front.

It was the sole point for both as they bowed out of the group stage.

Before that, the sides had met in qualifying for the 2006 World Cup when Poland recorded 3-1 and 3-2 victories.

 

 
 
 
 



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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

 

International Friendly







What’s next?

It’s straight into another qualifier now as Austria travel to Israel on Sunday afternoon.

There’s then two more matches in June in the space of four days when Slovenia are entertained before a trip to Macedonia .

Poland welcome Latvia to Warsaw this weekend and then visit Macedonia themselves before hosting Israel ahead of the summer break.

The Euro 2020 betting odds surely have some twists ahead.

 

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SBOBET 25-Mar 2019 Monday 6:09 PM (241 days ago)            #12
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Euro 2020: Eden Shoulders Above the Rest!

Belgium 3-1 Russia

Eden Hazard put in a man of the match performance tonight as he inspired Belgium to an opening Euro 2020 victory over Russia.

The two strongest sides in Group I were thrown together at the Stade Roi Badouin in Brussels and the Belgium vs Russia clash didn’t disappoint. On his 99th cap for Belgium, Hazard scored a goal in each half to give Roberto Martinez’ Red Devils a crucial early victory.

This generation of Red Devils desperately need to win something to give justice to their undoubted talent, and Hazard was in the mood tonight to set them on the right path. Stanislas Cherchesov’s Russia was in the game right to the end but rarely looked like winning it.

Highlights of the game

Belgium players delighted to win their Euro 2020 qualifying match against Russia
Belgium opened their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign with a 3-1 win against Russia

Russia would have hoped to have kept Belgium quiet in the early stages, but there was little chance of that as the Red Devils came at them from the off. Michy Batshuayi was clean through on goal but took a bad touch and Marinato Guilherme saved. Russia didn’t heed the warning and they went behind on 15 minutes. Belgium broke in numbers with a slick passing move, and when Youri Tielemans picked the ball up on the edge of the penalty area, he took one touch and then fired a beauty into the bottom right corner.

The defensive frailty which saw Belgium crash out of the UEFA nations League was on show just a minute later, and it was a bizarre piece of goalkeeping by Thibaut Courtois which gifted the Russians an equaliser. The Real Madrid keeper took a back pass and had all the time in the world to clear up field. But instead, he dithered in possession, lost the ball to Denis Cheryshev, and the striker did well to fire home from a difficult angle.

Cheryshev had a superb World Cup, scoring twice in the first game against Saudi, but he couldn’t have imagined opening his Euro account so quickly and with such a helping hand. He won’t mind watching the Euro 2020 highlights … but Courtois will!

Belgium came close to restoring their lead when they broke in numbers from a

Russian corner. The ball was worked to Batshuayi and his low shot was cleared off the line. But the hosts did go ahead again, just on the break, when Hazard jinked into the box and past Yuri Zhirkov who stuck a leg out to give the referee no option but to point to the spot. Hazard made no mistake, firing the penalty kick low and hard into the bottom right corner.

That was the perfect time to score for Martinez’ men as they went into the break at 2-1.

Having sat back for much of the first half, Russia was more proactive at the start of the second and had a presentable chance when Toby Alderweireld handled just outside the box. But Aleksandr Golovin was high and wide with his free kick.

The game became a little scrappy and neither side really looked like scoring again; but it was still in the balance, Russia just needing one goal to pull off an impressive result. The Red Devils came so close to sealing the win though, when Thorgan Hazard collected the ball from his brother Eden, before crossing for Batshuayi whose shot crashed back off the foot of the post.

It was game over on 87 minutes when Belgium worked the ball into the penalty area, and when it bounced off Batshuayi’s heel, Hazard was there to fire the ball home.

Russia finished with ten men when Golovin received a second yellow for a nasty kick.

 
 
 
 



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UEFA EURO 2020






Key statistics

Here at SBOBET the pre-match Euro 2020 betting odds had the hosts at 1.33 to come out on top and eventually they ran out comfortable winners.

The Red Devils were dominant in the first half with 60 per cent possession and ten shots to two with five to one on target. There was less goalmouth action in the second but, in the end, Belgium’s killer instinct made the difference.

Belgium has now won four of the last five games against Russia and is unbeaten in 16 home matches, but that’s three losses on the bounce now for Russia.

What’s next?

Earlier in the day, Group I kicked off and it was Kazakhstan who got off to a flier, beating Scotland 3-0, and on Sunday they will entertain Russia.

Belgium plays Cyprus, leaders of Group I on goal difference after beating San Marino 5-0.

 

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SBOBET 25-Mar 2019 Monday 6:14 PM (241 days ago)            #13
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Euro 2020: Next Big Step for the Netherlands

Netherlands vs Germany

Two of Europe’s football aristocracy are set to meet in a mouth watering Euro 2020 clash at the Johann Cruyff Arena on Sunday.

There’s little argument that Netherlands versus Germany, in a Group C opener, is the tie of the weekend. And both teams have plenty to prove. The latest Euro 2020 betting odds have neither of these teams at the top of the list, with France, Belgium, Spain and England all ahead; because both teams have been in some turmoil in recent times but the Oranje, in particular is in a period of resurgence and they will be determined to take another big step against their old rivals.

Ronald Koeman has been steadily rebuilding the confidence of a team with no little quality, while Joachin Low’s aim is to lift his own team back to the heights it has enjoyed as recently as 2014 when it lifted the World Cup is spectacular style.

Talking Points

 


 

 

Premier League

The Oranje’s Nations League success

After a period in the doldrums it’s starting to look like the good times are returning to the Netherlands. They were the big absentees in both Euro 2016 and, along with Italy, at Russia 2018. But former playing legend Koeman is moulding the team in his own image. At the back Virgil Van Dijk and Matthijs de Ligt have formed a formidable defensive partnership; Liverpool’s Van Dijk often touted as the best centre back in the world.

He’s a threat up front too, scoring a late goal, as did Quincy Promes, to give the Oranje a 2-2 draw with Germany to seal a place in the Nations League semi-final, after Timo Werner and Leroy Sane had put the Germans in charge.

De Ligt’s Ajax team-mate Frenkie De Jong has had a superb season which has earned him a contact at Barcelona, and the midfield star can be a good source of ammunition for former Manchester United wide man Memphis Depay, who has discovered a new lease of life at Lyon.

Beating France in the Nations League was no mean feat either, the World Champions were humbled by a 2-0 score line when they took on Koeman’s team, which is fast becoming one to watch on the world stage.

Germany in transition too

Having dominated European football for some time, Germany was humbled at the World Cup in Russia, failing to get out of the group stage, and Low has taken a good look at his squad, leaving out veterans Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels. But he still has bags of talent at his disposal. The return of Leroy Sane, after he was left out of the World Cup squad, has added pace and goals; while Borussia Dortmund’s influential forward Marco Reus has recently returned from injury and is a key man for both club and country.

Sane’s Manchester City club mate Ilkay Gundogan could feature, and alongside Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos would be part of a top quality midfield.

Germany still has plenty in its locker and will be out to take back the bragging rights from their hosts.

Germany out to prove Euro 2020 fans that they are the best team in the tournament
Germany's Thomas Muller, Joshua Kimmich & Mats Hummels disappointed after the Nations League match vs The Netherlands

History

This is a game that’s bound to hit the Euro 2020 news headlines whatever the result, as both teams are desperate to gather momentum with a win.

Germany has won the European Championship three times, the joint highest along with Spain, while the Netherlands have a solitary win, when the tournament was held in Germany back in 1988.

In the nine matches between these two big guns, since 1992, the Netherlands have the edge, winning three to Germany’s two and there have been four draws. The biggest psychological advantage is with the hosts as they recently hammered Germany 3-0 in their home Nations Leagues tie, before qualifying with that draw at the Veltins Arena.

But the rivalry goes much further back; the most famous clash in the 1974 World Cup Final when Germany overcame Holland’s total football, Johann Cruyff and all, to lift the trophy.

The Netherlands have won their last four home games, are unbeaten in five and haven’t lost to Germany in the last three meetings, so I’d say that gives the hosts the edge.

Betting Tip

??

Netherlands vs Germany Netherlands, Draw no Bet @ 1.83
March 25, 03:45(GMT+8)

At odds of 2.44 to win with SBOBET the Netherlands are marginal favourites, with Germany at 2.78 and the draw at 3.20.

I can make a case for both sides; each has world class players and a head coach who knows his way around the top echelons of European football. But there seems to be more optimism around the Netherlands at the moment, and with a passionate Oranje crowd behind them I can’t see the hosts losing this one.

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?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

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SBOBET 25-Mar 2019 Monday 6:16 PM (241 days ago)            #14
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Euro 2020: Winning Start for World Champs

Moldova 1-4 France

France made an impressive start to their Euro 2020 campaign in Chisnau with a win over Moldova thanks to a 12 minute three goal blitz in the first half.

Didier Deschamp’s team was head and shoulders above their hosts for most of the game and with the match won at half time, they had a relatively easy second 45. Moldova head coach Alexandru Spiridon will be pleased how his team stuck at their task in the second half, but they had no answer to goals from Antoine Griezmann, Raphael Varane and Olivier Giroud in the first.

Kylian Mbappe added a late fourth and Moldova bagged a consolation which was enough for the home fans to celebrate.

Our pre-match SBOBET odds of 1.11 pointed to a big win for Les Bleus and it could have been bigger had the World Champions kept their foot on the gas, but it’s job done.

Highlights of the game

This game was a baptism of fire for Moldova and as expected they were under the cosh right from the off. France almost went ahead on eight minutes when Antoine Griezmann headed a back across goal but Alexei Koselev cleared brilliantly as Kingsley Coman set himself to score.

 
 
 
 



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Premier League







Antoine Griezmann has been the subject of transfer speculation for two seasons now, and he may have been unsettled by Atletico Madrid’s surprise exit from the Champions League. But the way he took the opening goal suggested he can cope with the distraction. Paul Pogba chipped a delightful ball over the Moldova defence, and Griezmann watched it over his shoulder to fire a brilliant volley into the roof of the net.

Griezmann was the supplier for the second, sending over a corner which Raphael Varane met at the near post to glance his header home. Two goals in three minutes and Les Bleus had the game in the bag before the half hour.

Two became three on 36 minutes and it was oh so easy, as Blaise Matuidi found space behind the Moldova defence to dink a cross over which Olivier Giroud poked into the net.

It had been exhibition stuff at times from the French as Moldova spent much of the half just watching helplessly.

The hosts’ pride may have been a little dented and they came out for the second half with more bite, and Artiom Rozgoniuc was lucky to escape a card when he went right through Kylian Mbappe with a reckless challenge. Deschamps wasn’t amused.

France were happy to knock the ball around with Moldova often chasing shadows but, just as in the first half, Les Blues couldn’t penetrate the home defence in the early stages of the second period. Pogba tested Alexei Koselev with a low drive which the keeper parried, and Moldova managed to get out of their own half for a while, before Mbappe tried his luck after a mazy run, but again Koselev saved. Then the keeper made an even better save when Pogba headed a Griezmann free kick towards the corner.

Mbappe made no mistake when he was put clean through on goal, firing low into the corner to make it four, but as the clock ran down Moldova had their big moment. Hugo Lloris couldn’t hold on to a header from Vitalie Damascan and Vladimir Ambros fired home the loose ball to send the home crowd wild.

Vladimir Ambros score his first international goal in Euro 2020 game vs France
Moldova's Vladimir Ambros celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates

This result wasn’t exactly big Euro 2020 news but the way Les Bleus dismantled their hosts in the first half will have alerted their rivals.

Key statistics

These two teams are 168 places apart in the FIFA Rankings and boy did it show tonight! In the first half France took the game away from their hosts with three goals in 12 minutes as they registered nine shots on goal to Moldova’s zero.

France had only won one of its last four away games but this turned out to be an easy chance to improve that ratio and Les Bleus have now won 13 of their last 18 in total.

Spiridon has only won one of his 12 games in charge of Moldova. He wouldn’t have expected too much from this match but he’ll hope his team can improve from here. Worryingly, his side has only scored in five of his 12 games in the hot seat.

What’s next?

Next up Les Bleus go back home to welcome Iceland, and their opponents will present a good challenge to France as one of the teams in Group H which is capable of living with the best. But the Euro 2020 betting odds have rightly installed France as a potential tournament winner and their showing tonight did nothing to question that.

For Moldova, it’s a trip to Turkey, and that won’t be much easier after their hosts started with a good win away to Albania.

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SBOBET 25-Mar 2019 Monday 8:46 PM (241 days ago)            #15
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Euro 2020: Super Sterling as five-star England crush Czechs

England 5-0 Czech Republic

The start of the latest adventure for England and, if this is a sign of things to come, what an adventure it could be.

Euro 2020 qualifying began with a comprehensive showing even Sbobet fans with an ardent England leaning may not have foreseen.

Much of the Euro 2020 qualifying news before kick-off surrounded injuries in the England camp - Marcus Rashford the latest to join a line of players withdrawing from the squad including Luke Shaw, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fabian Delph, Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Yet it wasn’t a problem as players in white shirts stepped up to the mark to make England’s Euro 2020 qualifying betting odds extremely attractive.

Highlights of the game

One man led from the front – Man City frontman Raheem Sterling.

It took 24 minutes from him to break the deadlock at Wembley but once he did and captain Harry Kane netted from the penalty spot just before the break, the floodgates were open.

Kane had fed exciting young talent Jadon Sancho and he played an inviting ball into the path of Sterling who could not miss.

A minute before half-time Sterling went down in the box surrounded by two defenders.

In truth, it was a soft penalty but Kane didn’t need asking twice, clinically converting (despite the efforts of the unfortunate Czech goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka) to give England the lead their play merited.

England actually began the second half complacently but, against limited opposition, they made the game safe just beyond the hour mark.

A Kyle Walker pass took a deflection right into the path of Sterling who still had plenty to do but held off his marker and turned before confidently despatching number three.

It was number three for him soon afterwards with a shot which deflected in to complete his hat-trick – his final touch before being substituted to much acclaim.

A fine night for England and a miserable one for the visitors was complete six minutes from time when substitute debutant Callum Hudson-Odoi’s shot was palmed away by Pavlenka only to hit luckless defender Tomas Kalas and rebound into the net.

A performance littered with style and swagger, the only downside for the home side was an early injury to midfielder Eric Dier.

With a hectic month approaching, Spurs will hope it is not serious.

 
 
 
 



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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

 

Premier League

 




Key statistics

This was the first England hat-trick at Wembley since 2010 when Jermain Defoe netted a treble against Bulgaria.

Despite being yet to start a Premier League match for his club, Hudson-Odoi is the youngest player in the history of the England national team to win his first cap in a competitive match (18 years 135 days), breaking the record set by the great Duncan Edwards in April 1955.

England last hit five at home in a success against San Marino in October 2014.

Kane has scored 15 goals in his last 17 starts for the Three Lions, despite enduring a six-game drought in this run. He has also scored six penalties in a row.

Borussia Dortmund winger Sancho was the first Englishman to reach 10 assists in Europe’s top five leagues this season.

Sancho is the third youngest England player to start a competitive international at Wembley, behind Edwards (18 years 183 days) in 1955 and Michael Owen (18 years 300 days) in 1998.

This was the fourth match between England and Czech Republic and the Three Lions remain unbeaten with two victories and two draws.

England are unbeaten in their last 19 Euro qualifying matches (won 16, drawn three), winning the last 11 in a row. Their last such defeat came in November 2007 versus Croatia.

England have lost only one of their 16 home games under coach Gareth Southgate (won 11, drawn four), losing 2-1 against Spain in the Nations League.

Only Roy Hodgson (79.2%), Fabio Capello (76.2%) and Walter Winterbottom (69%) have better home win percentages for England than Southgate (66.7%).

England have lost just two of their last 24 home games in all competitions played in the month of March (won 16, drawn six, lost two), losing v Holland in 2016 (2-1) and Italy in 2002 (2-1).

Top of Form

Top of Form

What’s next?

The Three Lions aim to create momentum as they face Montenegro in Euro 2020 matchday 2
England team celebrates after beating Czech Republic

England now travel to Montenegro for their second qualifier on Monday (March 25).

Then it’s the excitement of a Nations League semi-final against Holland in June and, possibly, a place in the final against reigning European champions Portugal or Switzerland.

Qualifying continues in September with home matches against Bulgaria and Kosovo.

The Czechs have a high-profile friendly coming up next week against the Samba boys of Brazil (March 26).

Qualifying resumes in June for them, also with home games against Bulgaria (June 7) and Montenegro (June 10).

 

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SBOBET 25-Mar 2019 Monday 8:50 PM (241 days ago)            #16
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Euro 2020: Giggs Aims to Lead Wales to Promised Land

Wales vs Slovakia

There likely won’t be too much Euro 2020 qualifying news emanating from Cardiff City Stadium over the next 12 months.

But this is where Wales start their campaign to qualify for a second successive European Championships and what would be a first major international tournament for boss Ryan Giggs.

SBOBET fans know him as an all-time Manchester United great and someone who played 64 times for his country, scoring 12 goals, before retiring from international football in 2007 after three years as captain.

What many of them won’t know is that Giggs was never able to parade his talent at a major tournament for his country.

Now could be the next best thing – to lead his beloved nation to Euro 2020 as manager.

 


 

 

Premier League

Talking Points

Slovakia opened their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign with a 2-0 home win over Hungary, courtesy of goals from Ondrej Duda and Albert Rusnak.

Wales were winners after a late Ben Woodburn goal gave them a friendly victory over Trinidad and Tobago.

Now after 58 years waiting to qualify for a major tournament, how they would love to be involved in another European Championships.

For the modern day world class talent that Giggs was as a player, now there is another in the Welsh ranks.

And it is Gareth Bale upon which so much will depend.

He sat out that friendly victory over T&T, with Giggs’ blessing, as did arguably their other top class performer, Aaron Ramsey with a thigh injury.

Giggs will be hopeful he can call on both, Bale returning to form in recent weeks after an up and down and injury hit season at club level with Real Madrid.

Ramsey has also performed well for an improved Gunners in recent weeks, a swansong perhaps before he heads to Juventus this summer.

Slovakia are ranked 10 places below Wales in 29th and start the Euro 2020 qualifiers after a disappointing Nations League campaign which saw them relegated from League B.

Wales have hardly set the world alight themselves over the past year but, with full respect to the UEFA Nations League, this is Giggs’ first major international after a series of friendlies and semi-competitive encounters since he succeeded the popular Chris Coleman in the role.

Harshly, Giggs received some criticism from Wales fans for his record as a player for being absent for friendlies.

Instead, he focused on the important matches for club and country.

He will have no regrets and that hostility will soon be forgotten if he guides Wales to next summer’s spectacle.

Gareth Bale is raring to go vs Slovakia to help Wales get their Euro 2020 quest off to a flyer
Wales' Gareth Bale during a press conference

History

This will be the fourth meeting between the nations.

Considering Slovakia only became an official country in January 1993 that is no surprise.

The first meeting in 2006 saw Slovakia record a shock 5-1 rout in Cardiff, led by a Marek Mintal double.

By the time they met a year later – also in a qualifying match for Euro 2008 – Wales avenged that defeat with a 5-2 success in Trnava as Craig Bellamy scored twice with Mintal again grabbing both goals for the hosts.

John Toshack was then in his second spell in charge of Wales.

Their most recent meeting came at Euro 2016 when Gareth Bale and Hal Robson-Kanu sealed a 2-1 Welsh success – Ondrej Duda was on target for Slovakia – to see Wales top the group and reach the last 16 of the tournament.

They would go onto reach the semi-finals.

Betting Tip

??

Wales vs Slovakia Wales, Asian Handicap -0.50 @ 2.08
March 24, 22:00(GMT+8)

Wales have a distinct edge with Euro 2020 qualifying betting odds.

If we are to look at previous history, then don’t bet on a correct score of 0-0 @ 6.20, whatever you do!

A repeat of a Welsh 2-1 score from Euro 2016 will payout @ 7.80.

Total goal 0-1 @ 2.29, total goal 2-3 @ 1.85 and over 2.25 goals @ 2.20 have fairly low odds in truth, although total goal 4-6 @ 5.20 goes the other way again.

Asian Handicap betting on the Welsh will provide a small payday if successful.

You can find odds of Asian Handicap -0.25 Wales @ 1.78 and -0.50 Wales @ 2.08.

Slovakia, meanwhile, +0.25 @ 2.16, will be worth a punt for die-hard supporters of Pavel Hapal’s team.

If you back them to lead at the break, you can get First Half Asian Handicap on the visitors @ 3.80 and the same on the Welsh @ 2.77.

1X2 odds offer Slovakia @ 3.55, the draw @ 3.25 and Wales @ 2.05.

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?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)
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SBOBET 26-Mar 2019 Tuesday 2:01 PM (240 days ago)            #17
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Euro 2020: France Flair can Melt the Icemen

France vs Iceland

European football returns to the Stade de France on Monday with the match of the night, as Erik Hamren’s Iceland arrives to take on France.

Both teams won their opening fixture of Euro 2020 and Iceland has a liking for the big stage, having qualified for Euro 2016 and Russia 2018, stunning the likes of England and Argentina at the finals. But this is probably their biggest test so far.

Erik Hamren’s Iceland had a nice opener, away to Andorra, which they navigated comfortably, while the World Champions blew Moldova away with a first half three goal blitz.

The Icelandic thunderclap will reverberate around Paris, and it’s the hosts’ job to keep it quiet. It’s going to be quite a night!

Talking Points

France can get even better

Les Bleus won the World Cup in scintillating style and the early Euro 2020 betting odds suggest a repeat may be on in Europe’s big international competition. Didier Deschamps has an embarrassment of riches at his disposal, and in their opening fixture four different players scored as they dismantled Moldova.

Kylian Mbappe took Russia 2018 by storm and he was on target again in the opener. The young PSG star can only get better, but he needs to keep a lid on his attitude. With world class talent often comes arrogance, and he was one of the PSG players who thought they could strut to victory over Manchester United as the French giants crashed out of the Champions League. In Moldova he was the subject of close attention, and some nasty challenges, but he did take an embarrassing dive late on, against a team which was dead and buried. There’s no doubt he’ll be a big feature in the Euro 2020 highlights package.

Antoine Griezmann is France’s highest ranked player, sitting seventh in UEFA’s latest list, which is topped by Spain’s Sergio Ramos. Griezmann bagged the best goal of the night against Moldova, getting on the end of a brilliant Paul Pogba ball to rifle a volley into the roof of the net.

Deschamps has such strength in depth that he can bring players with the class of Lyon’s Nabil Fekir off the bench; and that’s a sobering thought for any opponent.

Iceland’s big players with big hearts

Iceland will try to stun France in front of their own supporters when the two sides face off in Euro 2020
Iceland's Vidar Orn Kjartansson celebrates scoring their second goal vs Andorra

Hamren’s minnows have enjoyed remarkable success over the past three years, which landed them in League A of the UEFA Nations League, though coming up against the likes of Belgium will eventually take its toll and they will play in League B next season.

Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson provides a real touch of class – he’s top scorer with 20 and is the heartbeat of the team, able to dictate the pace of play and turn defence into attack with an incisive ball. Iceland’s best chance of a goal is to win dead ball opportunities. If Sigurdsson is presented a chance within shooting distance then France keeper Hugo Lloris, who’s seen him many times in the Premier League, knows what to expect. He has the ability to pull off the spectacular.

Burnley’s Johann Berg Gudmundsson has struggled with injury this season but has returned to fitness and will be a key player in the Clarets’ survival campaign. He’s an intelligent player, with the ability to beat a man, an eye for goal and a strong work ethic. His 71 caps are testament to his worth to the Icemen.

And up front FC Augsburg’s Alfreo Finnbogasen may be the target for the creative players’ supply.

History

Iceland is the smallest nation to qualify for a World Cup and they already had a taste of finals football, qualifying for the 2016 European Championships where they came to the world’s attention by beating England on the way to the quarter final.

The underdogs came into this tournament on the back of three away draws, to Qatar, Sweden and Estonia and so are four matches unbeaten.

But they have never beaten Les Blues in 11 attempts, losing seven and drawing four.

France comes into this game on the back of a comfortable away win to Moldova and, of course, with the World Cup in the trophy cabinet.

Betting Tip

??

France vs Iceland France First Half -0.75 @ 1.91
March 26, 03:45(GMT+8)

According to the latest SBOBET odds Iceland is in for a hot night at the Stade de France, with the hosts at 1.22 to win. The draw is at 6.50 and Iceland at 9.75.

The Icemen have overcome bigger odds than that before but France hardly got out of second gear in sweeping Moldova aside. Les Bleus scored three in the opening half on Friday night and I’m backing them to get at least one against Iceland.

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This Game could be Key in Final Euro 2020 Standings

Portugal vs Serbia

It’s early days in Euro 2020 qualifying but this match already has a look of one which could be very important in the final standings.

Serbia have just enjoyed an encouraging 1-1 friendly draw in Germany (not that a tackle late in the game was particularly friendly) and are showing signs of improvement after an uninspiring World Cup.

Meanwhile, the reigning European Champions Portugal will not want to drop more points after encountering frustration in their opening qualifier, being held by Ukraine.

SBOBET fans will know Cristiano Ronaldo and Co rarely fail to win twice at home in a row.

Talking Points

Certainly, Portugal know they are facing arguably the side considered their strongest opponents in the group.

Ronaldo will never be far from the Euro 2020 news of course, but he has a star-studded supporting cast, with some of the top players in the Portuguese league at FC Porto and Benfica, as well as big names from the Premier League and La Liga.

Bernardo Silva is having an impressive season at Manchester City and midfield powerhouse William Carvalho is enjoying a fine season at Real Betis.

 


 

 

Premier League

Meanwhile, in Wolves’ creative duo Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho who are making waves at club level, plus goalkeeper Rui Patricio, they have a real spark.

Despite their goalless draw against the Ukraine, in which Ronaldo featured for the national team for the first time since last summer’s World Cup in Russia, Portugal showed they remain a force.

Ukraine’s veteran goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov played a key part in frustrating the hosts, twice denying Ronaldo in the first half before pulling off an exceptional save from Andre Silva.

He then tipped over Pepe’s blistering effort and was relieved when an offside flag ruled out a William Carvalho header.

Fernando Santos’ side will meet opponents who have been hit hard by injuries.

Manchester United man Nemanja Matic has already withdrawn from the squad and has been joined on the sidelines by Ljubomir Fejsa with Aleksandsr Kolarov and Filip Kostic already out.

It could be that their trip to the Estadio da Luz may be one game too many for this squad.

History

Serbia will try to have a great start in their Euro 2020 campaign as they battle Portugal
Mladen Krstajic commanding Serbia in touchline

Serbia will be hoping to finally claim a win against Portugal at the fifth attempt.

Both meetings in 2007 – in the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign – ended 1-1.

Tiago and Dejan Stankovic traded goals in Belgrade, while Simao and Branislav Ivanovic did the same in Lisbon.

When they next met in 2015 in qualifying for Euro 2016 – a tournament Portugal would go onto win – Ricardo Carvalho and Fabio Coentrao secured a 2-1 Portugal success. Matic netted for Serbia.

Portugal also won the return fixture in Serbia by the same scoreline when Nani and Joao Moutinho scored the goals with Zoran Tosic replying for Serbia.

Betting Tip

??

Spain vs Serbia Portugal Asian Handicap -1.00 @ 2.12
March 26, 03:45 (GMT+8)
Euro 2020 qualifying betting odds favour Portugal and that is no surprise.

However, it should be remembered both these sides can be difficult to beat and are unbeaten in their last six matches.

In Serbia coach, Mladen Krstajic, Serbia have a coach who, like Santos, went onto to oversee a promotion winning campaign in the UEFA Nations League.

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SBOBET 26-Mar 2019 Tuesday 2:25 PM (240 days ago)            #19
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Euro 2020: Captain Ramos Puts Spain Ahead in Tight Contest

Spain 2-1 Norway

There was little to no doubt at the Estadio de Mestalla that Spain would start their Euro 2020 campaign on a high. They still have some of the most dominant players in world football, and they are eager to erase the bitter memories of their most recent international competitions.

The question that was ringing in the minds of La Roja fans was the margin of victory they would enjoy against Norway. The Løvene aren't exactly the toughest opponents the Spaniards can face in their qualifying group, but they definitely have the players who can bring on the pain if they weren't careful enough.

Valencia -- and most of the Iberian peninsula, for that matter -- got some nerves when their guests managed to pull one back against them. However, Sergio Ramos ensured that they are on track to produce fantastic Euro 2020 highlights next year with the winning goal five minutes later.

Everything is as expected in Spain, and the supporters can only hope that such strong performances continue until the end of the season.

Highlights of the game

Luis Enrique fielded a rather attack-oriented formation with the 4-3-3. Alvaro Morata, Marco Asensio, and Rodrigo were starting up front; Sergio Busquets was the central man in midfield, while Sergio Ramos and Davi de Gea were responsible for holding the backline without Gerard Pique. Meanwhile, Norway also had a couple of familiar names in their Starting XI in Joshua King and Martin Odegaard.

It didn't take long for Valencia to witness their national team making some moves as Rune Jarstein was tested within the first ten minutes of the game. Alvaro Morata met a cross in the fifth minute to head it towards the goal. Unfortunately for him, the Hertha Berlin stopper got to the ball.

Rodrigo has made a huge contribution for hitting the opening goal for Spain in their Euro 2020 game against Norway
Spain's Rodrigo in action against Norway's Kristoffer Ajer during their Euro 2020 qualifying game at Mestalla Stadium

However, they didn't have to wait long for the Spaniards to get ahead in the game as Rodrigo made his impact with the first goal on the 16th minute. Spain made some beautiful plays on the possession on the left-hand side, and Jordi Alba launched a cross to the middle. The Valencia striker fired a volley past Jarstein.

Norway had to pick themselves up after the quick goal, but it was hard to make an attack when Spain had the ball for most of the first half. Both Rodrigo and Morata had chances to double Spain's lead, but the Norwegian defence did well in blocking the shot.

Markus Henriksen tried to put the game back on level terms in the 31st minute, but his effort just went straight to the waiting gloves of De Gea. Norway held their breath for a minute when Jordi Alba managed to score before half-time, but the linesman raised his flag and called the Barcelona man offside.

The second half began with an energised Norway eager to get back on track. The nation is on a footballing high as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is finding success with Manchester United, and the Løvene want to make the most of the attention the sport is getting.

Spain were still taking control of the match, but the tables quickly turned when Iñigo Martinez pulled his mark's shirt inside the penalty area. The referee immediately pointed to the spot and up stepped Joshua King. The Bournemouth striker managed to beat the Man United stopper as he equalised for his country.

 
 
 
 



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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

 

Premier League






The Mestalla was stunned with the goal, and an air of uncertainty slowly crept up in the stands. This hasn't been the first time La Roja buckled in international competition, and their frustrating second-half collapse against England in the Nations League still stings to this day.

A draw wasn't out of the cards before the match, and the possibility of it ending in a tie was weighing down on the fans.

However, everyone was ecstatic again when Jarstein ran off his line made a poor sliding challenge against Alvaro Morata just inside the box. Sergio Ramos stepped up to the spot for the penalty. He made Jarstein dive to the right as he scored the winning goal with a cheeky Panenka right down the middle of the goal.

It was a rather nervy start to their qualifying campaign, but fans are just thankful that the Euro 2020 betting odds that surround this qualifier was proven correct. They can now look forward to getting more wins and finishing top of their group.

Key statistics

Sergio Ramos has once again proven how important he is to Spanish supporters and seasoned SBOBET punters who backed La Roja. The fact that he scored in his last five national team appearances emphasises the extraordinary quality he brings to the national team offensively and defensively.

The way Spain dominated their guests also makes one question why the winning margin isn't bigger. The Spaniards had 67% possession and made 26 goal attempts with ten on target. They had 25 free-kick attempts and nine corners. Jarstein was busy throughout the night as he had to make eight saves.

What's next?

The Euro 2020 dream continues for these two nations as they look to move on from this match. However, they will be approaching their next match with differing mindsets.

Spain head coach Luis Enrique feels motivated to seal more victories following their Euro 2020 win over Norway
Spain manager Luis Enrique looks ahead during their Euro 2020 qualifier against Norway

Spain are obvious favourites against Malta and there should be no reason that they don't take the victory against the 182nd-placed nation in the FIFA World rankings. Luis Enrique will work to make sure his lads don't have any complacency ahead of this game.

Meanwhile, Lars Lagerback will have quite a task ahead of him as they play Sweden up next. The Blue-Yellows are also favoured to make it out of their qualifying group and compete in the main tournament. He must lead the Norwegians against his own countrymen in what will be a tough match.

 

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SBOBET 26-Mar 2019 Tuesday 5:10 PM (240 days ago)            #20
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Euro 2020: Top Ten Clash in Basel

Switzerland vs Denmark

Switzerland and Denmark meet at the St. Jakob-Park on Tuesday night, in a fascinating encounter of the two Euro 2020 Group D favourites.

This is Denmark’s opening fixture, while Switzerland are already up and running in the competition. Group D is a testing group, with Georgia and the Republic of Ireland also vying for qualification. Only tiny Gibraltar can be discounted.

Euro 2020 betting odds won’t feature either of these teams heavily in the eventual winners market; not yet, anyway. But they have both performed consistently well for a few years now, and neither is considered an easy opponent by any other team in the world.

Talking Points

Swiss and Danes are among the world’s best

Sitting in lofty positions of eighth and tenth in the FIFA World Rankings, Switzerland and Denmark have been frequently underestimated in world football until recently, which has eased their climb up the rankings. Both have been devilishly difficult to beat.

Vladimir Petkovic’s Switzerland started their Euro 2020 campaign in convincing form with a 0-2 away win to Georgia, never an easy place to go to. But they had an even more impressive result in the UEFA Nations League, hammering World Number One team Belgium, 5-2. The Swiss aren’t known for their goal-getting, more so their organisation excellence and tight defence, which made this victory even more impressive.

Goalkeeper Yann Sommer caught the eye at Russia 2018, and they have an experienced and calm head in Captain Stephan Lichsteiner. The cultured defender is currently at Serie A runaway leaders Juventus.

Can Switzerland satisfy SBOBET Odds and win in their home?
Granit Xhaka is an uncompromising midfielder for Switzerland

Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka is a dominant presence in the middle of the park as an uncompromising player. He picked up a booking in the opener against Georgia, but he also has a fierce long-range shot on him.

Up front, Stuttgart’s Steve Zuber will be a constant threat. But Liverpool’s Xherdan Shaqiri will be a big miss. The fleet-of-foot attacker has pulled out of the squad with a groin strain. Jurgen Klopp will want his star fit for a potentially nail-biting Premier League title run-in.

World-Class Eriksen

Denmark are not short of talent itself, but one player has stood out over the past few years. That man is Spurs’ creative midfielder, Christian Eriksen. Mauricio Pochettino arguably has some bigger names in his first eleven, but none are as consistently influential as the Dane. He was only on the pitch for three minutes in Kosovo at the weekend before scoring a 63rd-minute penalty. Midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg popped up with an injury-time equaliser for Denmark.

Age Hareide has other good players in his armoury, the son of Denmark’s best-ever goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel is no slouch in goal. Kasper has kept goal for Leicester City in the Premier League since the Foxes’ stunning Premier League success in 2016.

Jacob Bruun Larsen is having a good season for Borussia Dortmund as is his club teammate Thomas Delaney, while Andreas Christensen has made a decent start to his career at Chelsea.

 


 

 

Premier League

With plenty of talent on show, this will be one of the most meaningful Euro 2020 results of the week and one which could give Group D a clear early shape.

History

These two teams haven’t met since the Euro qualifiers back in 1999 when Denmark won one and the other was match ended in a draw. That was towards the end of a golden period for the Danes, inspired by Peter Schmeichel, which started with an amazing European Championship win in 1992 and also featured an impressive run at the 1998 World Cup in France, where they reached the quarter-finals.

Switzerland’s heyday was some time ago, when they reached the World Cup quarter-finals three times, twice before the Second World War and the most recent in 1954. Meanwhile, their best showing at the European Championships was last time out when they reached the last 16 in France.

Denmark haven’t lost in their last 6 games. The Swiss have won three and lost three, though two of those defeats were away to big hitters Belgium and England.

Betting Tip

??

Switzerland vs Denmark Under 2.25 goals @ 1.80
March 27 03:45 (GMT+8)

With our latest SBOBET odds putting Switzerland at 2.07 to win, the draw at 3.25 and Denmark 3.45, this is a very tight match to call. While the Swiss are marginal favourites, I think Denmark have a good chance of extending their unbeaten run. This is especially true as they don’t need to worry about the dangerous Shaqiri.

The most likely score is 1-0 at 5.20, but I’d favour a 1-1 draw at slightly higher odds of 5.40.

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SBOBET 26-Mar 2019 Tuesday 5:16 PM (240 days ago)            #21
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Euro 2020: Sweet Revenge for Germany

Netherlands 2-3 Germany

A late goal from Nico Schulz gave Germany a much needed win and a great start to its European Championship qualifiers.

In a game of two halves the Germans went 2-0 up only to be pegged back by the Dutch, before Schulz scored to avenge the Nations League thumping his side had in Holland back in October.

The Euro 2020 tie of the weekend between these two great nations certainly didn’t disappoint. It was a cracker!

Germany coach Joachim Low started with an experimental side and they played without fear, two 23 year olds putting the visitors two up at the break as Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry both scored brilliant goals. But Ronald Koeman’s Oranje roared back in the second half to draw level, and as they sought a winner they were hit by a sucker punch.

The Netherlands vs Germany betting odds had Germany to win at 2.78; great value but it could have gone either way.

Highlights of the game

You have to wonder why Low left Leroy Sane at home during the World Cup and the Manchester City player asked that question again in the 15th minute. Toni Kroos released Nico Schulz down the left wing with a superb ball, and his first time cross was expertly collected by Sane, before he shot across Jasper Cillissen and into the far corner.

The Netherlands fought back immediately and Fulham striker Ryan Babel had two great chances to equalise, but Manuel Neuer made a stunning save to stop the first; and then Babel met a cross from Quincy Promes but fired straight at the Germany keeper.

Germany made Babel pay for his wastefulness in spectacular fashion. Serge Gnabry made the Netherlands’ vaunted centre back, Virgil van Dijk, look pretty ordinary as he skipped inside and unleashed a beautiful shot into the top right corner to make it 0-2.

Euro 2020 highlights: Memphis Depay scoring one and making an assist
Memphis Depay celebrates equaliser with Netherlands

That’s definitely one to watch in the Euro 2020 highlights package.

Sane almost made it three when he ran ahead of Van Dijk, but his low shot heading for the bottom corner was well saved by Cillissen. It’s been a while since the Oranje defence has looked so sluggish and Germany went into the break with a two goal lead.

Keeper Cillissen and centre back Van Dijk are second and third in the UEFA player rankings but they both had a torrid time in the first half.

The Netherlands had a lot to do, but they made a great start to the second half when Memphis Depay whipped in a lovely cross which Matthijs de Ligt glanced into the far corner to halve the deficit. Game on!

The Oranje crowd in the Johann Cruyff Arena came alive, and it wasn’t long before the stadium was bouncing when the home side drew level. As the ball skidded across the Germany box, Depay didn’t have much space but he had enough to fire a low shot into the corner.

There was so much more energy about the Dutch play in the second half and they were in the ascendancy. Neuer came out to smother the ball when Georginio Wijnaldum was through but that was as close as the Netherlands came.

And then, with the clock running down Germany snatched a winner. Marco Reus found Schulz in space and he fired home from 12 yards to snatch the points.

Neither of these teams are the hottest tips to win the tournament when the SBOBET Euro 2020 finals come around, but they both showed enough tonight to tempt a few backers.

Euro 2020: Serge Gnabry scored the goal of the game with a beautiful curling effort
Serge Gnabry scored against Netherlands and put Germany 2-0 up

Key statistics

In the last ten matches between these two big guns honours are now even with three wins each and four draws.

Germany’s win was the first in six competitive matches and their first win against the Dutch in four attempts. It ended a sequence of four home wins for the hosts.

Serge Gnabry’s stunning goal was his fifth in six international appearances.

What’s next?

The Netherlands have another huge game on the way in June when they play England in the UEFA Nations League semi-final. Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions are continuing their great run having hammered the Czech Republic 5-0 in their European Championships opener. That game will be well worth catching as two teams very much on the up will put on an entertaining show.

Germany’s next match is a Euro qualifier away to Belarus, who were beaten by the Netherlands 4-0 in their opening fixture and 2-1 by Northern Ireland tonight.

 

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SBOBET 26-Mar 2019 Tuesday 5:19 PM (240 days ago)            #22
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Euro 2020: Scandinavian Rivals Collide

Norway vs Sweden

Two fierce Scandinavian rivals renew hostilities once again as Sweden and Norway face off in Oslo for the first of their two Euro 2020 qualifying matchups.

Sweden got off to a winning start in the group as they overcame Romania, 2-1, in their opening match. Meanwhile, Norway did not fare as well as they fell 2-1 away to group favourite Spain in their first assignment.

However, the Norwegians will have the benefit of home-field advantage against their Nordic neighbours, who will have to deal with a couple of crucial omissions from their squad.

Norway manager -- and former Sweden boss -- Lars Lagerback -- will be eager to take advantage of those absentees to get on the board in qualifying at the expense of his home country.

Talking Points

Stiff Norwegian defence

Norway's trip to Spain turned out how many expected. The Norwegians were pretty handily dominated by the superior Spanish, who enjoyed 67 per cent of possession and had a whopping 26 shot attempts. But Norway's defence stood firm for the most part as Spain needed a Sergio Ramos penalty to overcome the stubborn Scandinavians.

Norway's backline has been quite impressive of late and has been the major reason for their recent success. Norway's defence gave up just two goals in six matches during the UEFA Nations League, which helped them win League C, Group 3.

 


 

 

Premier League

Going back to their last 11 matches, Norway have conceded more than one goal in just twice. They've also gone on to win eight of those 11 contests.

Norway's strikers -- Joshua King, Ola Kamara, Bjorn Johnsen, and Tarik Elyounoussi -- aren't household names, nor are they particularly prolific. But they do still chip in with their fair share of goals. The Norwegians have scored at least one goal in 10 of their last 11 outings, thanks in large part to those four.

The Norway defence has shown it will be tough to break down, which bodes well for their Euro 2020 results. But more crucially, though, they will need their unheralded attackers to deliver in order to claim a huge win over their fierce rivals.

Inconsistent Swedes missing star duo

Sweden successfully snapped a two-match winless run as they edged out Romania in Stockholm. First-half goals from Robin Quaison and Viktor Claesson were enough for them to grab all three points.

The Swedes' form has been pretty uneven since making their shock quarter-final run in the 2018 World Cup. They've won just three of their nine post-World Cup matches, with three defeats and three draws. However, they did beat both Russia and Turkey to top their UEFA Nations League group and gain promotion to League A.

But Sweden's Euro 2020 betting odds to grab a win in Oslo have taken a hit due to some key absentees. Manchester United centre-back Victor Lindelof already pulled out of the recent qualifiers as he expects the birth of his child. And now, they will also be missing star playmaker Emil Forsberg, who has reportedly left the squad in anger after he was subbed off against Romania.

Forsberg is Sweden's main creative force and will be a major loss to the team's attack. The Swedes could struggle to create chances consistently without him, especially against a well-drilled Norway defence.

It also doesn't help that it's been a while since top striker Marcus Berg has found the back of the net. His last goal came all the way back in December as he's failed to score in seven appearances for his club (Al Ain of the UAE) and country in 2019.

Sweden are set to face their rivals Norway in the matchday 2 of Euro 2020
Emil Forsberg inaction for Sweden against Romania defender Razvan Marin

History

The two Scandinavian rivals clearly know each other very well. After all, they have met over 100 times in their history. Sweden have historically had the upper hand over their neighbours as they've won 59 times in 106 all-time matchups.

However, Norway have been able to make it a much more competitive affair in recent years. Since 1992, Sweden and Norway have played out five draws in nine meetings, including the two most recent matches in 2015 and 2017. Each country has also had two wins apiece during that time.

Betting Tip

??

Norway vs Sweden Under 2.00 @ 2.06
March 27, 03:45 (GMT+8)

This match has all the makings of a low-scoring affair. Neither team possesses much in the way of overwhelming attacking quality. Forsberg was the player capable of adding that bit of class to the Swedish attack, which makes his absence a tough one to overcome.

Meanwhile, both sides are generally well-organized in defence, which should make clear-cut goalscoring opportunities few and far between. It would be quite a surprise if this game produces over two goals. SBOBET odds also have the draw priced at 3.00, which is a very realistic possibility given the teams' recent history.

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SBOBET 26-Mar 2019 Tuesday 5:22 PM (240 days ago)            #23
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Euro 2020: Four More for Sensational France

France 4-0 Iceland

Les Bleus put on another scintillating display at the Stade de France, blowing away a dogged Iceland team to go top of Group H.

It's the second time in four days Didier Deschamps’ side has scored four goals and they are already looking like the favourites for Euro 2020.

Samuel Umtiti put the World Champions ahead and Erik Hamren’s Iceland didn’t really have an answer. They were dead and buried once Olivier Giroud converted the team's second.

Les Bleus look like the team to beat, though it shouldn't escape anyone’s notice that World Cup semi-finalists England also hit five for the second time in a week

Highlights of the game

Olivier Giroud celebrates after his Euro 2020 goal materialised and give France a 4-0 win against Iceland
Olivier Giroud celebrates after scoring France's 2nd goal during the Euro 2020 qualifying match against Iceland

We expected the flair football to come from the hosts and for Iceland to dig in. That was exactly the pattern from the off as France passed the ball around with comfort, probing the Icelandic defence. And it only took 12 minutes for their bright opening to pay dividends.

A spectacular volley from Antoine Griezmann set Les Bleus on their way in Moldova. Their opener against Iceland was a more conventional goal but equally well-executed.

Kylian Mbappe took a long ball from Benjamin Pavard in stride and whipped in a superb cross for Samuel Umtiti, who glanced a header low into the corner of the net.

That was a nice moment for Umtiti, who has had a rough season. The big centre-back has struggled with injury and wants to get back to his best with Barcelona.

Iceland had a chance to equalise almost immediately, but when Gylfi Sigurdsson connected on a flick-on, he could only loop his header up into Hugo Lloris’ hands.

At the other end, Hannes Halldorsson made a brilliant save to tip over a header from Olivier Giroud. Mbappe also came close midway through the first half but fired just wide.

Blaise Matuidi had a gold-plated chance to double France’s lead before the break, but he headed wide despite being in acres of space.

Lloris was called into action at the start of the second period, getting down well to save a fierce long-range drive from Birkir Bjarnason.

Meanwhile, Benjamin Pavard came close to replicating his stunning World Cup strike against Argentina. However, his shot flew just wide. Minutes later, Griezmann jinked his way to the edge of the Iceland box but blasted his shot way over the bar.

Pavard then became provider as France finally had some breathing space. The full-back raced down the right flank and fired in a wicked cross which Giroud beat Halldorsson to and diverted the ball home.

The Chelsea striker almost doubled his tally minutes later as he slid the ball home. But unfortunately for him, he was just offside.

It was all France at that point. Griezmann found Mbappe with a superb through ball, and the PSG man nudged the ball home off the inside of the post.

The roles were reversed in another moment of class as Mbappe put Griezmann through with a clever backheel and the Atleti man coolly converted … as you’d expect!

 
 
 
 



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UEFA EURO 2020





Key statistics

With the France vs Iceland odds stacked in favour of the home win, SBOBET Asian Handicap sports betting was always the best way to play this game. France dominated the opening 45 minutes with 77 per cent possession and seven shots to two.

That pattern continued with a final shot count of 15 to four. Les Bleus were ruthless in the second half, ending Iceland’s four-match unbeaten run. The Icelanders have failed to beat France in 12 attempts so they shouldn't have been surprised by the result!

Olivier Giroud also became France’s third top scorer of all-time, having reached 35 goals. He is now right behind two French greats in Thierry Henry and Michel Platini.

What’s next?

The early Euro 2020 results have just confirmed that France is a worthy World Champion.

Les Bleus have two away trips coming up in June in contrasting venues. First, they’ll be welcomed by a red-hot atmosphere in Turkey, where the hosts have some of the most hostile fans in world football. Turkey have won their first two qualifying games and won’t give France an easy ride.

And then it’s back up to the Spanish border, where Didier Deschamps’ team will play in the small principality of Andorra. That will be a little calmer.

Iceland, on the other hand, have two home games next: first against Albania and then against Turks, whom they will welcome to their own patch with the Viking Thunderclap.

 

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Euro 2020: Ronaldo’s Injury Robbed Portugal Of Points

Portugal 1-1 Serbia

Plenty of footballing fans expected a Portugal team that is led by one Cristiano Ronaldo to make a deep run the competition. When squads have a player of Ronaldo's calibre, it's hard not to put some lofty expectations ahead for the team.

The Euro 2020 qualifiers were supposed to be a stepping stone for the defending champions as they try to defend their crown against a tough crop of players. Plenty of pre-match Portugal vs Serbia predictions tipped Portugal to get past their opponents on the grounds of CR7's existence alone.

However, Portugal's most important son suffered a knock before the end of the first half. His injury clearly affected his team-mates as they weren't able to bounce back from the injury. The game ended in a frustrating draw, and I don't think the fans who flocked the Estadio da Luz were happy with how things turned out.

Highlights of the game

Both teams fielded attack-oriented lineups at the start of the match. With Serbia's 4-2-3-1 and Portugal's 4-3-3 with the Juventus ace on the right wing, there was an anticipation for goals to be scored throughout the 90 minutes.

What the crowd didn't expect, however, was that the first side to score weren't wearing red. Rui Patricio bodied Mijat Gacinovic who was clear to score on goal. The referee didn't waste any time pointing to the spot, and Dusan Tadic gladly scored his 30th goal for club and country with a magnificent strike down the left-hand corner of the goal.

Dusan Tadic has defied the odds and led Serbia to a 1-1 draw with Portugal in recent Euro 2020 qualifier
Serbia's Dusan Tadic celebrates with teammates after scoring a seventh-minute goal against Portugal in Euro 2020 qualifiers

It's obvious that the Seleccao would want to even up the playing field after the poor goal they conceded. Ronaldo almost got his team back on equal footing with a beautiful shot from just outside the 18-yard box. However, Marko Dmitrovic was quick to deny the star man the goal he so badly needed.

The match continued on, and Portugal were trying to do everything they can to catch up to the Orlovi. Ronaldo had another crack at goal in the 23rd minute, but his shot was blocked by a defender.

That became his last major action in the game as he suddenly signalled for medical assistance 29 minutes into the match. The team physios rushed to his side and immediately deemed him as ineligible to continue any further. Fernando Santos was forced to make a substitution, and Pizzi was called to action.

Ronaldo's injury was worrisome to two sets of fans. The team struggled to get things going against Ukraine despite plenty of SBOBET Euro 2020 markets backing them to win with relative ease. They would have benefitted from a full 90-minute performance from Cristiano.

Moreover, his immediate club future is also affected by this. No one still knows the injury's severity, and his prospects of playing Ajax in the Champions League is a looming question mark until test results come out.

Fortunately for the rabid Portuguese supporters, the equaliser came just before the half-time break. Danilo Pereira got the ball right in the middle of the pitch and started a run towards the goal. However, there was no one to pass to and the runway was open. He then kept on running until he was in shooting range, and a bullet of a ball clipped the crossbar and flew straight to the goal.

Danilo Pereira has hit an equaliser to save Portugal from being beaten by Serbia during their recent Euro 2020 qualifier
Portugal's Danilo Pereira celebrates after scoring an equaliser against Serbia in Euro 2020 qualifying game

The entire Estadio da Luz roared to life as Pereira pranced straight to the supporters to celebrate with them. The entire XI also rushed to his side in celebration.

The half ended with Portugal on a high, but the second half saw little to no action as the game ended with the same score 45 minutes later. Andre Silva and Raphael Guerreiro tried to grab the winner in the reset, but neither ended in goals.

They definitely missed Ronaldo's presence in the game's latter stages as the Euro 2020 results now place them outside of the qualification slots.

Key statistics

It is fair for Ronaldo's fans to say that his unfortunate injury prevented him from playing his best. However, he missed a perfect chance to get Portugal in front. The last time he scored for the Seleccao was against Morocco in the 2018 World Cup and has now failed to score in his last four international appearances. His prolific shooting has apparently stayed in Italy.

CR7 isn't the only man that deserves flak, though. The rest of the players on the pitched failed to capitalise on their time with the football. They a total of 28 attempts, but only five of those were on target.

Props must also be given to the Serbians for sticking to their style of unapologetic football. They also managed to get the same result against Germany, and they will be more than happy to still have a fighting chance.

Interestingly, both sides are also undefeated in their last five games.

 
 
 
 



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What's next?

The battle for Euro qualification rages on. These two not meet again until October, but both have games to play before then.

Portugal will try to gain glory in the Nations League and will play Switzerland in the semi-final. Meanwhile, Serbia have a busy June with games against Ukraine and Lithuania.

 

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SBOBET 28-Mar 2019 Thursday 12:23 PM (238 days ago)            #25
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Euro 2020: Swiss Stunned by Dane’s Dramatic Comeback!

Switzerland 3-3 Denmark

At 3-0 up with six minutes to go, Vladimir Petkovic’s Switzerland were about to go to the top of Euro 2020 qualifying Group D with a comfortable win over Denmark … but then it all fell apart!

The hosts arrived in Basel on the back of an impressive victory in Georgia, but they’ll be gutted that they failed to make it two wins in two. They were cruising when Breel Embolo made it 3-0 on 75 minutes.

But from the moment Mathias Jorgensen headed what seemed like a mere consolation goal, the Swiss went to pieces. They eventually cracked under the pressure as Henrik Dalsgaard sent the visiting fans wild with a stoppage-time equalizer.

The Euro 2020 betting odds back these two teams to top Group D, while neither is expected to get to the last eight of the competition in 2020. On this showing, I can’t see much to disagree with there.

Highlights of the game

Denmark boss Age Hareide said in the run-up to this game that the pressure was on their hosts. The Swiss were also hit by the news that Fabian Schar was to miss out with a head injury.

But while Denmark made the brighter start, it was Switzerland who came closest to an early goal. Granit Xhaka crossed to Steven Zuber at the far post but his header went wide.

Granit Xhaka gives Switzerland lead in Euro 2020 qualifiers game over Denmark
Switzerland's Granit Xhaka in action with Denmark's Lasse Schone during the Euro 2020 Group D qualifying match

The goal came soon, though. As the ball was swung into the Denmark penalty area, it appeared to bounce off the arm of Albian Ajeti. When it landed at Remo Freuler’s feet, he finished well with a low drive to Kasper Schmeichel’s left.

The Denmark defence howled their complaints, but they went unheard as Freuler gleefully celebrated his first international goal.

There was a good deal of quality on show, which was expected in a match between two of the ten best teams in the world. But despite Hareide’s pre-match mind games, it was mostly coming from the Swiss.

With Xhaka controlling the midfield, they closed out the first half with a lead. It had been comfortable for the hosts after Denmark’s lively first few minutes. Denmark started the second half with more ambition, though, as Christian Eriksen tried to spark a comeback.

The visitors thought they had drawn level when Yussuf Poulsen went through on goal, slid the ball under Yann Sommer and into the net. But the RB Leipzig forward’s joy was turned to despair when the linesman’s flag went up. It was mighty close.

Martin Braithwaite had been quiet in the first half, but he let fly with a shot just before the hour which flew narrowly over. Eriksen then had a chance with a free kick, but it couldn’t clear the defensive wall.

Just as it seemed that the Danes were getting back into the game, they were hit by a thunderbolt. Switzerland worked the ball upfield, Zuber retained it well and rolled the ball to Xhaka, who hit a rocket past Schmeichel from some 22 yards out.

The visitors had been so much better in the second half but couldn’t do anything about that.

With 20 minutes left, Sommer was called on to make a strong save at his near post after Eriksen hit a sweet volley.

The game looked to be pretty much over on 76 minutes when the Denmark keeper completely hashed his clearance, allowing Breel Embolo to squeeze the ball home.

Denmark finally grabbed a goal back on 84 minutes. Eriksen managed to swing a dangerous ball into the Swiss box and Mathias Jorgensen headed home.

Three minutes later, it was 3-2. The Danes broke in numbers, Poulsen found space on the right and squared for Christian Gytkjaer to slide the ball home.

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Denmark threw the kitchen sink at the Swiss in search of an equalizer. Sommer made a save from a fierce Eriksen free kick, and then saved brilliantly at the death when Gytkjaer headed towards the bottom corner. He thought that was it. We all did.

But in the third minute of injury time, Henrik Dalsgaard rose high to beat Sommer to the ball and nodded it into the net.

Breathless!

Key statistics

The pre-match odds at SBOBET offered a draw at 3.25 but we expected 1-1, not 3-3!

The first half was a cagey affair as expected, with the only shot on target ending up in Denmark’s net. And then the second half exploded into life.

Amazingly, Denmark are now on a seven-match unbeaten run and are also three games unbeaten against the Swiss.

But the hosts still haven’t lost a competitive match in Basel since a 2014 defeat to England in Petkovic’s first game in charge. That won’t be much consolation, though.

What’s next?

Switzerland qualified for the UEFA Nations League semi-finals with a thumping 5-2 win over FIFA’s top-ranked team, Belgium. And their next game is a semi-final clash with Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal.

With their first game under their belts, the Danes now have two home qualifiers in June: first to the Republic of Ireland and then Georgia. They will fancy at least four points from those two games as they aim to make their mark on this group.

Well that was a cracker and there’s plenty of action to come, and you can get all the latest Euro 2020 updates right here at SBOBET.

 

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Euro 2020: Old Foes Meet Again in Denmark

Denmark vs Republic of Ireland

The European qualifiers have thrown up some fascinating fixtures this week and the Republic of Ireland’s visit to Denmark is right up there.

Euro 2020 Denmark vs Republic of Ireland is a chance for two old adversaries to renew their acquaintance, each with the aim of taking control of their own destiny in Group D. Age Hareide’s Denmark will start the game as favourites but there’s an added ingredient to Friday night’s fare as Mick McCarthy returns to coach Ireland.

The Irish would dearly love to get a result at the Telia Parken stadium having suffered at the hands of the Danes in recent years, in both the 2018 World Cup qualifiers and the inaugural UEFA Nations League.

There’s plenty riding on this game so let’s take a look at the team updates, head to head statistics and the very latest Denmark vs Republic of Ireland betting odds right here at SBOBET

Talking Points

Denmark’s Premier Class

In its first outing in the Euro 2020 qualifiers Denmark pulled off a stunning escape to come back from a three goal deficit in Switzerland and win a point with three goals in the final six minutes. Henrik Dalsgaard scored the dramatic injury time equaliser which broke Swiss hearts and kept the Danes in touch with the early Group D pacesetters.

Hareide has plenty of quality running through his squad which has risen to tenth in the World FIFA rankings. Skipper Simon Kjaer has played a key defensive role for La Liga high flyers Sevilla, while midfielder Thomas Delaney was part of the exciting Borussia Dortmund team which threatened to break FC Bayern’s domination of the Bundesliga this season.

 


 

 

But it is in the Premier League where the Danes have made the headlines in recent years. Leicester City’s keeper Kasper Schmeichel was, alongside the goals of Jamie Vardy and the midfield control of Ngolo Kante, a crucial player in the Foxes’ Premier league triumph in 2016.  And Spurs creative midfielder Christian Eriksen has been one of the most consistent performers in the English top flight as his side made the Champions League final as well as finishing fourth this season.

Can McCarthy lift Ireland?

The Republic of Ireland has plenty of Premier League quality too, but is 19 places below their hosts in 29th position in the latest FIFA rankings. Seventeen years have passed since big Mick McCarthy last coached the Republic of Ireland and the Green Army hopes his no nonsense approach and style can get the best of this current crop of players.

McCarthy has been brought back to pull Ireland out of a period of malaise which saw them go four games without scoring. But Skipper Seamus Coleman is as determined as anyone to make the returning boss’ reign a success, starting with Denmark. The Everton wing back is confident, despite recent failures against their opponents,  including two 0-0 draws which saw them relegated from Nations League B. He says: “We’ve got a bit of history with them. They’re a very good team with some very good players but I fully believe that this squad and the way we’ve performed recently, we can go there and get a result.

Republic of Ireland are aiming to surprise SBOBET tips and win against Denmark
Republic of Ireland players against Denmark in World Cup 2018 qualifiers

“We need to get at them, get in their faces from the start and don’t let their quality players play but we have got a great group of lads in there and we have full belief and it’s a very big game for us.”

Brighton’s colossal centre back Shane Duffy, and Burnley’s midfield duo of Jeff Hendrick and Robbie Brady could all play important roles but the Greens have been dealt a blow with the injury of veteran striker Shane Long, who is out with a hamstring problem.

History

Ireland has had the better of the head to head Denmark vs Republic of Ireland results with two

wins to their opponents’ one  and there have been four draws.

That single victory for Denmark was a huge one though, the 2017 1-5 play-off win to qualify for the World Cup finals in Russia. Eriksen scored a hat-trick which blew the Irish away in a one-sided clash.

The Danes won Group B4 of the Nations League to win promotion at the expense of the Republic of Ireland and Wales, but both team come into the game in decent form. Denmark hasn’t lost in seven matches while Ireland is unbeaten in four and tops Group D after victories over Gibralter and Georgia.

Betting Tip

??

Denmark vs Republic of Ireland Republic of Ireland Asian Handicap + 0.75 @ 2.12
June 3 02:45 (GMT+8)

The hosts go into the game as clear favourites, no surprise when you consider the relative rankings and recent meetings. Denmark is at 1.57 to win, with the draw at 3.70 and Ireland at 4.70.

But the visitors have a steely look about them with McCarthy at the helm and are sure to make it difficult for Denmark. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them emerge with a point.

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Euro 2020: Serbia Out to Snap Ukraine Hoodoo

Ukraine vs Serbia

Ukraine and Serbia have been two of the form teams in all of Europe in recent months. Both impressed during the UEFA Nations League as they won their respective groups.

Thanks to their fine performances in that competition, they are assured at least a play-off spot for Euro 2020. However, both teams will still be targeting all three points when they meet in this Group B qualifying matchup.

The Ukrainians currently lead the group over Portugal and Serbia after picking up four points in their first two games.

But the Serbs, who have played just one game thus far, possess some impressive firepower and will be confident of their ability to take the group leaders down.

Talking Points

Ukraine lacking goals

Ukraine currently find themselves top of Group B after two Euro 2020 results. After holding Portugal to a goalless draw in Lisbon, they got lucky against Luxembourg as a stoppage-time own goal got them the 2-1 away win.

Still, Ukraine have had a promising last few months. They topped their Nations League group which featured the Czech Republic and Slovakia after winning their first three group games. Although, they got smashed 4-1 by Slovakia in the finale.

Head coach Andriy Shevchenko was a great striker in his day, but unfortunately, he doesn't have a decent option in that position at his disposal in this current squad.

It remains to be seen whether veteran forward Andriy Yarmolenko will feature against Serbia. And even if he does, he is unlikely to be at his best after he missed most of the season due to a torn Achilles he suffered back in October.

Winger Yevhen Konoplyanka (19 goals in 79 caps) is the only other player on the squad with over 10 international goals to his name as none of the team's centre-forwards possess sufficient quality.

With their lack of a reliable goalscorer, the Ukrainians will need a complete team effort to come out on top against Serbia.

 


 

 

Serbia's impressive firepower

Serbia have only played one qualifying game thus far and that resulted in a 1-1 draw away at Portugal. An early Dusan Tadic penalty was cancelled out by Danilo Pereira.

The Serbs also went up ahead in their previous match, which was a friendly against Germany. But again, they couldn't quite hold on for the win as they drew 1-1.

Those draws have extended Serbia unbeaten streak to eight matches. They went through the UEFA Nations League unbeaten, scoring four wins and two draws to top their group and gain promotion to League B.

Aleksandar Mitrovic was the top scorer in the entire UEFA Nations League with six goals. However, his place could potentially be under serious threat from Luka Jovic. The 21-year-old had a breakout season with Eintracht Frankfurt as he scored 27 goals in all competitions.

Whoever starts at striker will have Dusan Tadic for support. The 30-year-old is coming off a brilliant campaign with Ajax, scoring 35 goals with 17 assists in all competitions for the Dutch champions, who very nearly made it to the Champions League final.

Serbia will be without two key midfielders Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Nemanja Matic due to injury. But on the whole, their squad -- especially up front -- remains quite strong and capable of defying the Euro 2020 betting odds.

History

Ukraine and Serbia have met a total of three times, and Ukraine have won all three of them. Two of those three matches have been in Ukraine.

Their very first meeting was back in 2008, where current Ukraine manager Andriy Shevchenko scored in a 2-0 win.

Meanwhile, their most recent victory was in 2016 as Shevchenko was in charge of another 2-0 Ukraine win thanks to goals from Yevhen Shakhov and Yarmolenko.

Betting Tip

??

Ukraine vs Serbia Serbia 1X2 @ 2.66
June 08, 02:45 (GMT+8)

Ukraine may have gotten the better of Serbia in their first three meetings, but Serbia are in prime position to snap their losing skid against the Ukrainians.

Ukraine's lack of goals in the side is obviously a major concern, one Serbia should be able to capitalise on. The Serbs possess terrific attacking talent in Jovic, Mitrovic, and Tadic, who should be able to find a way past the Ukrainian defence.

SBOBET odds have Serbia priced at 2.73 to win despite having the much superior squad. That advantage in terms of quality should finally manifest itself in the form of a Serbia away win.

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Euro 2020: Italy on the Up

Greece vs Italy

First meets second in the Euro 2020 qualifying Group J on Saturday, as Roberto Mancini takes his rapidly improving Italy to meet Greece.

The Olympic Stadium in Athens will play host to this top of the group clash and the hosts’ head coach Angelos Anastasiadis knows his side must be at its very best to stay with their visitors. Italy is a side on the up, with four wins from five, scoring ten goals without reply. The 2006 World Champions are climbing out of the doldrums which saw them dramatically miss out on qualification for Russia 2018.

Well, the Euro 2020 betting markets will be keeping a close eye on this one, as the Azzurri could make it three wins from three, but they’ll have to inflict a first defeat of the campaign on Greece.

Talking Points

Italian influence in Greece defence

If Anastasiadis is to plot a halt to Italy’s march then he will need to stop the Azzurri’s front men from getting a hold on the match. And he does have an uncompromising centre back pairing. Big defender Sokratis has had a mixed first season at Arsenal, as the Gunners’ defence leaked too many goals in a failed Premier League top four bid. But while fans held their breath at some of his challenges, there were few strikers happy to be at the end of one of his crunching tackles.

The Arsenal man will probably pair up with Kostas Manolas, well known to the Azzurri after an impressive season at the back for Roma. These two are the most experienced players in the hosts’ team and they will have to lead from the back.

Up front, Anastasiadis is likely to pair up attacking midfielder Kostas Fortounis with Efthimis Koulouris and they know exactly what to expect from an Azzurri defence.

 


 

Free-scoring Italy

…no, that’s not a joke!

Italy is famous for its rock-like defence but it’s the Azzurri attackers who have been making the headlines since the disappointment of missing out in the summer.

36-year-old Fabio Quagliarella has had an outstanding season for Sampdoria, finishing as the Serie A leading scorer with 26 goals while making an impressive eight assists. And he is likely to get the nod from Mancini, but there is a queue of talented front men vying for the second spot.

Andrea Belotti has overcome a difficult period with a strong finish to his Serie A season at Torino, eventually notching 15 goals, but Lazio’s Ciro Immobile, league top scorer in 2018, could take that second striking place. Quagliarella already has two goals in the campaign, but then so has young Moise Kean, who has enjoyed a breakthrough season at Juventus, making the most of his chance presented by an injury to Cristiano Ronaldo.

Meanwhile, Roma winger Stephan El Shaarawy could challenge Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne for a place, but if he starts on the bench his time will surely come soon, having scored 11 in Serie A this season.

Juventus forward Moise Keane has been called up for Italy's Euro 2020 Qualifiers
Italian forward Moise Kean in action for Juventus during their Serie A match against Sampdoria

History

My SBOBET tips aren’t about to predict a Greek Tragedy for Roberto Mancini’s resurgent Italy but, for all the Azzurri’s improvement, it won’t be a walk in the park at the Olympic Stadium. The only previous meeting was a 1-1 drawback in 2008 when Luca Toni and Theofanis Gekas were the scorers.

Recent form is very much in the visitors’ favour, unbeaten in six and on a run of three consecutive wins, while Greece has won two, drawn one and lost three of the last six, losing to Turkey last time out.

But a win would take the hosts top of the group, having already beaten Lichtenstein and earning a valuable point in a 2-2 away draw to Bosnia and Herzegovina, the most likely another side in the group to challenge.

Betting Tip

??

Greece vs Italy Italy 1X2 @ 1.93
June 9, 02:45 (GMT+8)

I just can’t see the hosts springing a surprise though. They will have to defend like heroes and somehow try to break down Italy’s own legendary rearguard to even earn a point, which is priced at 3.05.

A Greece win at 3.65 isn’t entirely out of the question, but I think the Azzurri’s superior quality and competition for places gives Mancini far more choice than his counterpart.

0-1 is the overwhelmingly favourite scoreline at 4.40 and that makes a lot of sense, but don’t be surprised to see the Azzurri bag a couple.

It promises to be one of several fascinating clashes in this week’s qualifiers and we’ll be right there with all the latest Euro 2020 news as it happens.

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Euro 2020: World Champions Want Some Turkish Delight

Turkey vs France

France heads to Turkey on Saturday for a Euro 2020 clash which is sure to be a tasty offering. Les Bleus are World Champions and have their eyes on the next prize.

But Turkey is never an easy place to visit. The passionate home crowd at the Konya Buyuksehir Stadi is sure to give Les Bleus a hostile reception. But that won’t worry Didier Deschamps much as his side, dripping with talent, can cope with whatever is thrown at them.

Senol Gunes is head coach at Turkey again, after a long absence, and fans will hope he can bring back some of the magic he weaved in his first reign after the turn of the millennium. But getting a result against Didier Deschamps’ France would be a work of magic indeed.

The early Euro 2020 betting odds have installed Les Bleus as favourites, alongside England, to win the tournament, and they already look in determined mood to follow up their World Cup triumph.

 


 

Talking Points

Gunes aims to revive Turkey

Turkey has made a superb start to the qualifying campaign, winning both their games with a goal difference of six to none. And it’s no coincidence that Gunes took control of the national side back in February after a 15 year absence as head coach. He took Turkey to the 2002 World Cup Finals where they finished third, and how the home fans would love to see those days returning. He’s signed a four year deal which is time enough for him to make a difference.

Gunes has a nucleus of players from the Turkish league as well as some overseas influence from two of Europe’s best leagues. Roma’s 21 year old midfield star Cengiz Under has impressed in Serie A, and has represented Turkey 18 times, scoring five goals. And Everton’s Cenk Tosun is gaining valuable Premier League experience but is already a proven goal scorer on the international stage, scoring 13 in 38 games – he has two so far in this competition and his powerful presence is a threat to any defence.

France has striking options

In Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe France has two of the best strikers in the world, and they have each had outstanding seasons at Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint Germain. Mbappe took Russia 2018 by storm with his scintillating pace and skill, while Griezmann exudes class with every touch, and both are likely to feature in this crunch match.

After Chelsea's Europa League win, Olivier Giroud is eyeing to produce Euro 2020 highlights as France visit Turkey
France forward Olivier Giroud had a prolific season playing for Chelsea

Griezmann and Mbappe and have two goals each in the competition so far, but then so has Olivier Giroud who scored in the recent 4-0 annihilation of Iceland which he followed with a scoring performance for Chelsea in the Europa League final against Arsenal. That won him the Golden Boot for the tournament. Giroud has never been a fans’ favourite for Les Bleus but they seem to be starting to appreciate the big striker.

Deschamps has also selected Sevilla forward Wissam Ben Yedder in his squad but there is no place for Arsenal’s player of the season Alexandre Lacazette.

At the back, Barcelona centre back Clement Lenglet has been preferred to Manchester City’s Aymeric Laporte and he is likely to line up alongside Stuttgart’s Benjamin Pavard, who caught the eye with his raids down the wing at the World Cup. And Moussa Sissoko has had his best season so far at Spurs and, if he carries his club form onto the European stage, the talented midfielder is sure to feature in the Euro 2020 highlights in the coming weeks.

History

Les Bleus started well in their Euro 2020 campaign, beating Moldova and Iceland, and have won four on the bounce, but then so have their opponents, who are unbeaten in five and have won their last three on home soil.

France has won both the previous two meetings between these sides and the current World Champions are strongly fancied to make it three from three.

Betting Tip

??

Turkey vs France France First Half 1x2 @ 2.28
June 9, 02:45 (GMT+8)

37 places separate these two teams in the FIFA World Rankings; Deschamps’ team is second while Turkey is down in 39th position. And France is available at SBOBET odds of 1.51 to win with the hosts at 5.00 and the draw is 3.85.

So anything other than another win for Les Bleus would be a big surprise, and I think they will be on the attack from the off in an attempt to silence the hostile locals.

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Euro 2020: A Key Clash in Croatia for Both Countries

Croatia vs Wales

They were arguably the two stars of the last two major tournaments.

Wales, in their first competition since 1958, reached the semi-finals of Euro 2016 against the odds.

For Croatia, they went one stage further in the World Cup last summer.

Indeed, but for a dubious penalty decision, they may have even made that final ultimate step.

After being deprived at the highest level by a poor decision in that showpiece against France, Croatia now go in search of glory on the European stage as they resume their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.

SBOBET fans will have noticed their Euro 2020 news so far has provided a mixed bag with one win and one defeat.

This makes this meeting at home to the Welsh, who failed to qualify for the World Cup, as one of potentially key importance.

Talking Points

Teams belong in Group E are ready to turn the tables when the Euro 2020 next match commence
Wales and Croatia are both locked on three points in a very competitive group E of UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying tournament

If Wales could pull off a shock, it would do their hopes of reaching back-to-back European Championships the power of good.

They have warmed up for this and their forthcoming qualifier against Hungary with warm weather training in the Algarve.

Judging by photos, it’s been a welcome respite too for the under pressure Gareth Bale.

There may be a plethora of young potential around him these days, but make no mistake, he is the kingpin for boss Ryan Giggs and regular club action for their talisman is essential.

After winning their only qualifier to date against Slovakia in Cardiff, another win would be a massive lift for Wales as Bale comes up against his club team-mate Luka Modric, recently named his country’s top footballer for the seventh year in a row.

There is an argument that this could be a good time to play Croatia, who have been less-than-convincing at the start of their Euro 2020 campaign.

They came from behind to narrowly beat Azerbaijan at home before being defeated by Hungary in Budapest.

In addition, they are weakened ahead of this clash without Barcelona’s influential Ivan Rakitić, winger Ante Rebic and winger Marko Pjaca.

On the flip side, they are yet to lose in 11 internationals they have played in Osijek (won nine, drawn two) where Wales have already suffered defeats (in a friendly in 2010 and a World Cup qualifier in 2012).

This group includes one of the Euro 2020 hosts – Azerbaijan – and four sides who all will expect to make it to the tournament. Three of the five made the last 16 at the previous European Championships – Slovakia, Hungary and, of course, Croatia.

It will be a sell-out crowd which welcomes Wales to the City Garden Stadium against opponents who are a tough nut to crack at home.

Giggs — who has named four uncapped players in his latest squad with Ben Williams, Joe Rodon, Dylan Levitt and Kiefer Moore all being drafted in— will know their away form is a worry as his country only has two wins in six matches.

With Juventus-bound Aaron Ramsey also out, it is surely questionable for Bale and Co. if they will have enough firepower to match-up against the World Cup finalists.

 


 

History

These nations have met four times in their history and the Welsh have yet to taste victory.

Their first meeting came in a 2002 summer friendly when Simon Davies opened the scoring before it was cancelled out by Mladen Petric.

Fast forward eight years and Croatia won another friendly on home soil. The 2-0 success came courtesy of goals from Ivan Rakitic and Drago Gabric.

When they met for the first time competitively, Croatia triumphed on both occasions.

It was in qualification for the 2014 World Cup.

Igor Stimac’s side won 2-0 at home with Mario Mandzukic and Eduardo on target.

They also won 2-1 in Wales when late goals from Dejan Lovren and Eduardo ensuring they overturned Bale’s opener in Swansea.

Betting Tip

??

Croatia vs Wales Croatia Asian Handicap -1.00 @ 2.13
June 8, 21:00 (GMT+8)

Euro 2020 betting odds favour Croatia.

1X2 odds have them @ 1.59 and First Half 1X2 @ 2.28.

Wales, by contrast, are priced 1X2 @ 5.80 and First Half 1X2 @ 4.80.

With our Asian Handicap betting odds, Croatia are priced -1.00 @ 2.13 – that is my prediction.

They are also favoured with First Half Asian Handicap -0.50 @ 2.29.

If you are backing the Welsh, then look at First Half Asian Handicap Wales +0.25 @ 2.05.

Over 2.50 goals @ 2.36, total goal 0-1 @ 2.51, 2-3 @ 1.85 and 4-6 @ 4.40 are worth considering, or how about Double Chance Wales or Draw @ 2.23.

If you are going for a repeat of their last meeting six years ago, then Correct Score Croatia 2-1 Wales is available @ 7.40.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

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SBOBET 12-Jun 2019 Wednesday 9:42 AM (162 days ago)            #31
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Premier League West Ham vs Manchester City: Unstoppable City on the March!

Denmark 1-1 Republic of Ireland

Shane Duffy headed a late equaliser at the Telia Parken tonight to give Ireland a valuable draw in a difficult away game to Denmark.

That puts Mick McCarthy’s side top of Euro 2020 qualifying Group D on seven points, but leaves Denmark near the foot of the table with just two. Ireland has suffered at the hands of Denmark in the UEFA Nations League and World Cup play-offs in recent years, so when Duffy cancelled out Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s opener it was very sweet for the Irish.

The Denmark vs Republic of Ireland betting odds pointed to a home win, with the Danes at 1.57 to triumph, but the draw at 3.70 turned out to be the best value! Denmark launched a stunning comeback to draw 3-3 in Switzerland last time out, scoring three times in the last six minutes, but on this occasion a draw was a poor result for Age Hareide’s team.

This is shaping up to be one of SBOBET Euro 2020’s tightest groups with a strong Switzerland side also in the shake-up, so keep an eye on Group D!

 



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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

 


Highlights of the game

Christian Eriksen has set the Premier League transfer rumour mill running this week with his admission that he is open to a move away from Tottenham Hotspur. And he had the first attempt of the game with an 11th minute free-kick which bounced just in front of Darren Randolph and the Ireland keeper pushed the ball wide.

He was called upon again just two minutes later when Martin Braithwaite found himself with space to get a shot away from 20 yards, and Randolph saved low to his right. Ireland came so close to going ahead, midway through the half when Conor Hourihane whipped a cross in, which Duffy met but as the ball was about to cross the line Kasper Schmeichel made a crucial save.

Eriksen began to take control of the midfield as Denmark began to play with more fluidity but without a real cutting edge, and it was little surprise when the teams went in level at the break.

Randolph made a superb save early in the second half when Yussuf Poulson skipped through the Irish defence, but the keeper made himself big to block the striker’s effort. Then at the other end Robbie Brady found James McClean on the left with a superb ball, but Schmeichel was equal to the wide man’s cross shot.

The hosts should have gone ahead just on the hour when Poulson found Braithwaite in space but he blazed over the bar with the goal at his mercy; and that was about his last action as he was substituted, making way for Kasper Dolberg.

Finally the Danes broke through Ireland’s resistance and it was another substitute, Southampton’s Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who broke the deadlock on 76 minutes. Jens Stryger Larsen whipped in a beautiful ball which Hojbjerg met with a glancing header past the Ireland stopper.

It was as much as Denmark deserved after a more positive second half’s performance and they pressed forward in search of a second. But McCarthy’s side doesn’t know when it’s beaten and when Alan Judge put in a great ball on 84 minutes, big Shane Duffy rose to plant his header past a despairing Schmeichel.

Ireland had a glorious chance to nick the game after a fast break when McClean was free on the left but Schmeichel saved again.

As the fourth official announced four minutes of extra time, Ireland concentrated on defence and preserving the valuable point.

Pierre-Emile Højbjerg heads Denmark into the lead in Euro 2020 tie with Ireland
Denmark's Pierre-Emile Højbjerg celebrates his goal

Key statistics

Denmark dominated possession in the first half with 61 per cent of the ball and won the shot count by seven to three, but while Ireland only managed a single shot on target, the Danes had just two.

But despite continuing to dominate the ball the hosts couldn’t shake Ireland off, and while they won the 90 minute shot count by 18 to seven, Ireland had four on target to Denmark’s three.

Mick McCarthy’s side were always going to be happy with a draw against Denmark, after suffering against these opponents in recent encounters. But they still have the better of the head to heads with two wins to their opponents’ one.

 

What’s next?

Next up Denmark hosts Georgia on Monday, while Mick McCarthy takes his side back to Ireland to face the minnows of Gibraltar, who they beat 0-1 in the away leg. We’ll be here throughout the weekend with all the latest Euro 2020 updates as they happen.

Georgia beat Gibraltar 3-0 in tonight’s other Group D match to move up into third place above Denmark, and that’s something Hareide will want to put right.

 

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Euro 2020: Five-star Ukraine Seal Victory with a Kiss!

Ukraine 5-0 Serbia

It’s only two games into Euro 2020 qualifying but this SBOBET writer believes Serbia already have a mountain to climb.

Indeed, the names of Viktor Tsyhankov, Yevhen Konoplyanka and Roman Yaremchuk are ones which could haunt coach Mladen Krstajic and his players for some time to come if they do not respond swiftly.

What produced the Euro 2020 qualifying news shock of the night had not expected to be played out this way in the Arena Lviv.

That it did means the Euro 2020 qualifying betting odds are, for now anyway, stacked against them.



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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

Highlights of the game

Make no mistake, this was a five-star showing from Ukraine who stay top of Group B.

It was 21 year-old Tsygankov, the Dynamo Kiev winger, who led the way with two quick goals midway through the first half.

As Ukraine carved open the visiting defence almost at will, his sweeping shot after a pass by Oleksandr Karavaev was followed by a thunderbolt into the top corner to put the hosts firmly in the driving seat.

Once the floodgates were opened, they stayed open.

Less than a minute after the restart, Konoplyanka curled the ball brilliantly beyond goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic from the edge of the penalty area.

Then Roman Yaremchuk notched his first international goal for Ukraine, tapping in after another assist by the impressive Karavaev. before the livewire Konoplyanka produced almost a carbon copy of his first strike to round off the scoring.

But for Dmitrovic, who produced save after save, it would have been worse for the hapless Serbs.

Even with the likes of Dusan Tadic – fresh from an impressive season with Ajax – and former Man City man Aleksandar Kolarov – they looked bereft of pace and ideas in attack and a far cry from the team which held European champions Portugal on their own turf in their opening qualifier in March.

Luka Jovic, Real Madrid’s new £58 million signing from Eintracht Frankfurt this week, was also largely anonymous.

How they could have done with the experience of the likes of Branislav Ivanović, Matija Nastasić and Nemanja Matić who were not recalled.

Ultimately, this result kept the Ukrainians top of the group on seven points from three games, three ahead of Luxembourg who drew 1-1 at Lithuania.

Head coach Andriy Shevchenko is undergoing a quiet improvement.

Few of you will need an introduction to him.

His country’s record scorer by a distance with 48 goals in 111 appearances, he captained the team to the quarter-finals of the 2006 World Cup and became the first player to reach the 100-cap milestone for Ukraine, in October 2010.

He then scored twice in a famous win against Sweden at Euro 2012, his international swansong.

Since taking over at the helm following Euro 2016, Ukraine may have missed out to Iceland and Croatia in their qualifying section for last summer’s World Cup but his presence is clearly making an impact on the current side.

He has since guided them to promotion into League A in the inaugural UEFA Nations League and now this win has continued their fine start in qualifying for next summer’s big tournament.

Key statistics

Ukraine star Oleksandr Zinchenko played a vital role during his side Euro 2020 demolition win over Serbia
Serbia's Nikola Milenkovic in action against Ukraine's Oleksandr Zinchenko

This was Serbia’s heaviest defeat as an independent nation.

Tsygankov, who was selected in the starting line-up to replace the injured Andriy Yarmolenko, has now scored three goals in the past two games for Ukraine in this Euro 2020 qualification period.

Manchester City starlet Oleksandr Zinchenko was so happy with the 5-0 victory he kissed a reporter who interviewed him after the match.

The Ukranian full-back has broken into the Manchester City first team this season, going on to make 14 Premier League appearances and 29 appearances in all competitions.

What’s next?

Ukraine welcome Luxembourg to Lviv on Monday (June 10) hoping to continue their fine record against the minnows. They have won all of their previous meetings, although their qualifying clash in March was a lot closer than some expected and it took a late own goal to seal them the points.

Serbia welcome Lithuania to Belgrade on the same night in need of maximum points to climb off the bottom of the table.

This is a side they beat 4-1 in the Nations League last autumn.

Ukraine’s next three fixtures in Group B are against Luxembourg and a double header against Lithuania. On paper, the Ukrainians have a stronger side than Luxembourg or Lithuania.

Should the Zbirna collect maximum points from these upcoming three fixtures, they could potentially qualify for the 2020 European Championships with two matches to spare.

 

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Euro 2020: Spain and Sweden Battle for Top Spot

Spain vs Sweden

The Euro 2020 qualifiers are back on this weekend and, on Monday, the tie of the round takes place at the Santiago Bernabeu where Spain hosts Sweden in a Group F blockbuster clash.

It’s a battle for top spot in Group F. Spain is top with three wins from three, while Sweden is in second place on seven points, three ahead of nearest rivals Romania.  Only five places separate these two teams in the FIFA World rankings, with Spain in ninth, somewhat lower than they are used to, and Sweden in 14th.

Both arrive in Catalonia on the back of comfortable wins, but we expect Luis Enrique’s Spain to dominate this game in front of a passionate home crowd. After a disappointing World Cup in Russia La Furia Roja has a debt to pay its fans and Sweden will have a tough job to stop them on Monday.

We have a jam packed schedule at SBOBET football this summer, with the Women’s World Cup and the Copa America to enjoy, and plenty of Euro 2020 updates as the qualification campaigns are in full swing.

So let’s take a closer look at Spain and Sweden.

Talking Points

Spain is on the up

The UEFA Nations League was not a happy experience for Spain, finishing bottom in a group containing World Cup semi-finalists England and Croatia. And the World Cup was a disappointment after head coach Julen Lopetegui left just two days before a ball was kicked. But the Euro 2020 betting tips will be keeping a close eye on Spain after an encouraging start to this qualifying campaign.

Sergio Ramos shatters world record for most wins in international football after beating Faroe Islands in Euro 2020
Spain’s Sergio Ramos celebrates after scoring their first goal against Faroe islands

La Furia Roja registered its third win in Group F with a 1-4 romp away to Faroe Islands; with two players rolling back the years. Santi Cazorla made his first appearance in over four years while Jesus Navas scored his first in six. Skipper Sergio Ramos was on target too, and he’s homing in on Iker Casillas’ record 167 caps for Spain, Ramos has 163.

Chelsea’s Kepa was preferred in goal to David de Gea in the Faroe Islands, but it will be interesting to see if Manchester United’s want away keeper gets the nod, in front of a Catalan crowd which would be unsympathetic due to his likely move to Real Madrid.

But it’s up front where Spain needs to get it right against a Sweden side which can be tough to break down. Enrique is likely to start with current top scorer Alvaro Morata, he has 15 goals in 30 international appearances; and he could be alongside Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio and Celta Vigo’s Iago Aspas to form a potent front three.

Solid Sweden

Jan Andersson has built a well organised Sweden, built on a formidable defence and with the ability to strike on the break.

The Biagult performed well in the UEFA Nations League, winning promotion to the A League and they are a team to be reckoned with, having reached the World Cup quarter-finals in Russia, only to be beaten by Gareth Southgate’s England.

They are a determined bunch, winning their final two games of the Nations League to win the group and guarantee a play-off spot for Euro 2020. The way they have started they may not need that fall back option, particularly if they can spring a surprise in Barcelona.

Striker Viktor Claessen was on target in the 3-0 win over Malta and RB Leipzig’s Emil Forsberg will be a constant threat on either wing.

But I expect the busiest man to be goalkeeper Robin Olsen. The Roma man was one of the stars of Sweden’s World Cup run.

 


 

 

History

This is the first meeting between these two teams in a while. Spain has won three and Sweden two of the last five meetings, the most recent being a 2-1 win for Spain in the Euro 2008 Round of 16

That was the beginning of La Furia Roja’s golden age, when they won the 2008 and 2012 European Championships and the 2010 World Cup

Sweden’s best ever performance came in the 1958 World Cup, which they hosted and reached the final, only to be beaten by Brazil. They reached the semi-finals in the USA in 1994, finishing third, and two years after reaching the semi-finals of the European Championships, hosted in Sweden.

Both teams come into the game in good form. After back to back Nations league defeats to Croatia and England, Spain has recovered to win four on the run, while Sweden is unbeaten in the last six, winning four and drawing two.

Betting Tip

??

Spain vs Sweden Spain Wins Half Time Full Time @ 1.61
June 11, 02:45 (GMT+8)

While Sweden can be a tough nut to crack, Spain has some momentum going and with home advantage should have a relatively comfortable evening.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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SBOBET 12-Jun 2019 Wednesday 9:55 AM (162 days ago)            #34
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Euro 2020: Perisic is Croatia’s Secret Weapon

Croatia 2-1 Wales

The more I see of him, the more you can see why then Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was so keen to snap up Ivan Perisic from Inter Milan last summer.

For here is a player who makes Croatia tick.

What happened in the Stadion Gradski in Osijek was merely further proof that he is a class act.

Highlights of the game

Wales lost despite a goal from David Brooks in their Euro 2020 qualifying match against Croatia
David Brooks celebrates after netting a goal during a Euro 2020 qualifier between Wales and Croatia

Before kick-off much of the talk was about the meeting between Real Madrid club mates Luka Modric and Gareth Bale.

Bale had been linked with a return to England in several reports, as picked up by SBOBET, while Modric warned his international team mates they must be alert and pay special attention, such is his talent and ability to create Euro 2020 qualifying highlights single-handedly.

Aaron Ramsey, James Chester and Paul Dummett all missed out on the squad due to injury.

As for Croatia, they were without Barcelona man Ivan Rakitic and Eintracht Frankfurt striker Ante Rebic, yet it turned out they had more than enough quality elsewhere, led by Perisic.

On paper, this was always going to be the toughest fixture of Wales' Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.

After all, not only are Croatia Group E’s top seeds and ranked fifth in the world but it’s less than a year since they reached last summer's World Cup final.

Both sides knew this Euro 2020 qualifying tie was potentially key as to what follows next summer.

And no-one more than Perisic.

With temperatures around the 30 degrees Celsius mark, Wales manager Ryan Giggs was well aware of the size of the task facing his side and said there would be spells where they would have to ‘dig in’.

Little did he know that they would create such a gilt-edged opportunity so early, one which their failure to convert proved costly.

Bale was the creator and Harry Wilson could only shoot straight at home goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic.

That was the chance as the lively Perisic began to be instrumental at a ground where Croatia had been unbeaten in their previous 11 matches.

Indeed, it wasn’t long before he helped his team make the breakthrough, scampering into the box as the visitors were far too open and fizzing a low cross into the danger zone which James Lawrence could only help into his own net.

Such was the heat, both players were allowed a water break midway through the first half but, when play resumed, the heat remained all on Wales.

Despite this, the next big chance fell to Giggs’ side five minutes before the break.

Youngster Dan James showed his pace and found Wilson who, in turn found Will Vaulks but the midfielder’s effort went straight at the keeper.

Early in the second period and Croatia made them to pay.

Andrej Kramaric had already seen his shot fly in but be ruled out for offside before Wayne Hennessey was beaten by a shot that did count.

Again, the defending was poor. Again, the finish despatched clinically as Perisic smashed home a low effort.

Perisic was tormenting young Connor Roberts and had a team-mate read his intentions on the hour mark it would have been 3-0 and all over.

To their credit, Bale continued to lead by example and drive Wales forward where possible, although it was substitute David Brooks who gave them hope 12 minutes from time.

From a cut-back by the battling Roberts, the Bournemouth man fired in a shot from the edge of the box which took a deflection and looped over the wrong-footed Livakovic.

Brooks again tested Livakovic from a Bale pass in stoppage time but, as the final whistle blew, despite a spirited Welsh effort, it was hard to dispute that the better side had won.

Perisic made sure of that.

Key statistics

Croatia have never lost a home European Championship qualifier - a 33-game unbeaten run stretching back to 1994 - and are unbeaten in all home matches since 2013.

Wales have played Croatia five times, losing four and drawing one.

Croatia have faced Wales in Osijek once before, beating John Toshack's side 2-0 in a 2010 friendly thanks to goals from Rakitic and Drago Gabric.

They have never lost in Osijek, winning nine of their 11 matches there and drawing two.

This was Modric’s121st appearance for Croatia. Darijo Srna is the national record holder with 134.

Midfielder Joe Allen won his 50th cap in this tie.

Lawrence is the first player to score an own goal for Wales since Ashley Williams against Iceland in March 2014.

What’s next?

Croatia entertain Tunisia in an international friendly on Tuesday (June 11) to officially bring their season to a close.

It’s then back to action next season, when the Euro 2020 qualifying betting odds may switch again, as they travel to Sloavkia on September 6.

Wales continue their campaign on Tuesday with a trip to Hungary at the Groupama Arena.

They then also resume next season with another qualifier, also on September 6 at home to Azerbaijan.

 

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Euro 2020: Turkish Delight as World Champions are Toppled!

Turkey 2-0 France

When the world champions come to town, people sit up and take notice.

Turkish people are passionate about football and always like to give a warmer than usual welcome to top sides at both national and international level.

That the national side has failed to qualify for the last two World Cup finals has made occasions like this Euro 2020 qualifying clash even more important.

So, Les Bleus were never going to get an easy ride as they arrived in Konya as the majority of those inside the Büyükşehir Belediyesi Stadyumu were gunning for history.

And my word, they didn’t on a night few Turkish football fans will forget in a hurry.

Highlights of the game

Kylian Mbappe fails to score for France in their Euro 2020 qualifier versus Turkey
France forward Kylian Mbappe looks downcast after losing to Turkey in their Euro 2020 qualifier in Konya

That’s because this was their chance to beat France for the first time in their history.

The added coup of a scalp against the world’s top team made it simply an added incentive.

Euro 2020 qualifying news saw Celta Vigo midfielder Okay Yokuslu ruled out after the knee injury that kept him out of last week’s win over Uzbekistan proved more serious than anticipated.

A knee injury also saw Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante withdraw from the French team which had lost only one of their last 15 matches in qualifying for a European Championship (10 wins, four draws), since a September 2010 defeat against Belarus.

France had warmed up for this by flexing their muscles against South American opposition and the SBOBET Euro 2020 qualifying betting odds made them clear favourites.

That is until two goals in 10 first half minutes stunned Didier Deschamps’ side.

Kaan Ayhan and Cengiz Under had Turkey in dreamland.

A well worked set piece on the half hour saw the unmarked Ayhan head in from close range after Under’s free-kick had been delivered across goal by Merih Demiral.

Ten minutes later and the party was in full swing.

Dorukhan Toköz ran at the defence before playing Ünder through. The highly rated Roma midfielder had work to do but was coolness personified, taking a superb touch before finishing past Hugo Lloris.

France were stunned and they were nearly even further behind before the break as Under delivered another set-piece, this time a corner, and Demiral peeled away at the back post and headed the ball narrowly wide.

Deschamps rang the changes at the break with Ferland Mendy and Kingsley Coman introduced but to little impact.

Indeed, Turkey’s play nullified the likes of Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann, both largely anonymous, and it took a double Lloris save – first to tip over a long-range Mahmut Tekdemir strike and then to deny Kenan Karaman at point blank range - to stop the hosts from scoring a third.

The introduction of Sevilla’s Wissam Ben Yedder, for his competitive international debut, was France’s last throw of the dice but to no avail.

Yes, France looked tired and were below par at the end of a long year.

But Turkey were terrific, outplaying the world champions in every department and thoroughly deserved this victory.

Top of Group H by three points, Under and Co have them dreaming again.

Key statistics

Turkey have conceded just one goal in their last five matches across all competitions.

That newfound defensive resolve has contributed to a five match winning run too.

This was the first time in the last 10 years that France had not managed a shot on target in a single game.

It was also the first time since June 2015 (against Belgium) they had conceded two or more goals in the first half of a match.

This was Kylian Mbappé’s 29th consecutive France appearance, the longest run of anybody since Patrick Vieira racked up 44 in a row between 1999 and 2002.

The Paris St Germain starlet lost possession 22 times against Turkey, his highest tally in a single game with France.



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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

What’s next?

Turkey will now travel to Iceland full of confidence for their next qualifier on Tuesday (June 11).

It’s then two qualifiers in four days in September at home to Andorra (September 7) followed by a trip to Moldova.

France aren’t quite finished yet either as far as 2018/19 is concerned. They go to minnows Andorra on Tuesday.

They resume their campaign for Euro 2020 with autumnal home matches against Albania and the return fixture against Andorra.

They are still favourites to reach next summer’s tournament and go one better than they did in the Euro 2016 final.

Yet, as Deschamps noted after the match, it’s ‘back to basics’ for the world champions.

 

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Euro 2020: Azzurri Dominate in Athens

Greece 0-3 Italy

After the ignominy of failing to qualify for last summer’s World Cup Finals, the Azzurri have no intention of back-to-back embarrassments.

Under Roberto Mancini, they are determined to top Group J in Euro 2020 qualifying and be at next summer’s tournament which takes places across multiple cities (London, Amsterdam, Bilbao, Dublin, Glasgow, Budapest, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Saint Petersburg, Munch, Baku and Rome).

Since his appointment, it has not always been pretty, but with Mancini at the helm, they’ve kept six consecutive clean sheets, not conceding in a competitive game since a 1-0 defeat to reigning European champions Portugal last September.

The SBOBET Euro 2020 qualifying betting odds are certainly in their favour right now after this triumph in Athens.

Highlights of the game

Euro 2020 qualifying news was upon us before kick-off with Finland’s narrow victory over Bosnia pushing Greece back into third spot in the table.

Italy would not take their opponents for granted, however.

Ever since Otto Rehhagel led the Hellenic nation to the Euro 2004 triumph, the Greeks have been known for their mean defence and tactical discipline – even if their current side is not at the same level of the triumphant Greece team of 15 years ago.

Just like Mancini, beginning to restore the national team’s tarnished reputation in the eyes of its public, his Greek counterpart Angelos Anastasiadis is trying to escape from the ultra-defensive gameplay that Greece often used in the past. Also similarly to Italy, the current Greek team contains a core of young players, who are trying to impose a possession-based and modern playing style (yet, surprisingly, without an out-and-out striker as they rarely threatened).

That was evident in an entertaining contest in front of a passionate home crowd in Athens where Mancini opted for technique over physical strength in midfield with Nicolo Barella, Jorginho and Marco Verratti all starting.

It worked dividends in a 10 minute blitz midway through the first half in which the Italians scored three times and won the match.

First, Andrea Belotti burst down the left and pulled the ball back.

Nether Lorenzo Insigne nor Federico Chiesa could get a touch but Barella did from 12 yards.

One soon became two as Insigne – who Mancini had urged pre-match to take his chance and add more goals to his game - curled home the ball majestically, a top-drawer finish to give Italy daylight.

Three minutes later it was all over and Greece were left deflated.

Greece players feels disappointed after being dominated by Italy in the recently-concluded Euro 2020 qualifiers
Greece players Zeca and Sokratis Papastathopoulos look dejected as they walk off the pitch following a 0-3 defeat to Italy

A short corner was worked to Chelsea full-back Emerson Palmieri and, from his cross, centre back Leonardo Bonucci planted a header from close range in off the far post, again capitalising on shocking home marking.

It wasn’t until the final quarter that goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu had a shot to save to keep out a fierce half volley from Kostas Fortounis.

Such was their control, Italy could have extended their lead too in the closing stages.

Chiesa ballooned the ball over from seven yards when it seemed easier to score after Belotti set him up. Vassilis Barkas got his fingertips to an Alessandro Florenzi scorcher late on and then palmed a low curling shot from Napoli captain Insigne out of the far bottom corner.

Rome will host the opening game of Euro 2020 next summer. The Azzurri are pretty damn determined to be there.

Key statistics

For the first ever time, Italy have won seven European qualifiers in a row.

Italy have now kept six consecutive clean sheets, their best run since 1990 when they finished in third place in the World Cup.

Italy have scored in all of their past 20 European qualifying matches, a record for the Azzurri.

This was Insigne’s first goal for his country since March last year.



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They have also scored seven goals in the first half of their last two games: one more in the first half than in their previous 20 matches.

These countries had crossed paths nine times before tonight with only one Greek victory, 2-1 at home in a friendly back in March 1972.

Along with that match, there were five Italy successes and three draws, but their most recent competitive meeting until this evening was a 1-1 Turin draw in November 1981.

What’s next?

Greece entertain Armenia on Tuesday (June 11) hoping to get their qualification bid back on track.

That’s their final match before a trip to Finland at the start of next season (September 5).

Italy host Bosnia next week – again on Tuesday in Turin - and it’s then the summer break before resuming their qualification campaign at Armenia in September.

 

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Euro 2020: Red Devils Will be Too Hot for the Scots

Belgium vs Scotland

Euro 2020 football is back after the weekend; and Roberto Martinez’ Belgium can take a firm grip on Group I if they beat Steve Clarke’s Scotland as expected.

This is Clarke’s second game as Scotland manager and a serious test for this team, while it’s a great chance for SBOBET Euro 2020 fans to take a look at one of the tournament favourites in Belgium.

The Red Devils have been at the top end of the world rankings for a decade, and boast some of the best players on the planet, so if Scotland can somehow get a result, it will be one of the shocks of the tournament so far.

Talking Points

Belgium’s star-studded team

The Red Devils are officially the best team in the world, narrowly ahead of World Champions France, and the early Euro 2020 results have put Martinez’ team in charge of Group I on nine points. Brothers Eden and Thorgan Hazard are the best pair of siblings in world football, Thorgan beginning to reach the heights of his elder brother.

 


 

 

Eden Hazard put in a man-of-the match performance as Belgium got their campaign up and running with a 3-1 win over Russia and he’s the only player in this contest who has scored more than one goal in qualification so far, with three already to his name. The Belgium side is packed with some of the Premier League’s best players, including Manchester City’s midfield maestro Kevin De Bruyne and the back three of Vincent Kompany, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld; while Napoli’s Dries Mertens and Borussia Dortmund’s Axel Witsel provide great creativity from the flanks.

This is a team capable of beating the best in the world, but they need to win a trophy to assume the greatness their ability promises.

Scotland’s World Class Wing Back

The visitors don’t have many players who compare to their illustrious hosts but they do have one man who could get in the Belgium team. Liverpool’s flying wing back has had a superb season and looks to be one of Jurgen Klopp’s most shrewd signings. While doing the hard defensive work Robertson has made 11 assists, putting him fifth in that Premier league table. He scored in Scotland’s last game, against Cyprus, and is the most likely player to create something for the Scots.

Andy Robertson scored in Scotland's Euro 2020 qualifying match against Cyprus
Scotland's Andy Robertson has been outstanding playing for Liverpool

Bournemouth’s in demand winger Ryan Fraser could also be a threat. His direct running and sharp delivery has been productive for the Cherries and won admirers from plenty of other clubs. Bournemouth head coach Eddie Howe will do well to keep his tricky wide man on the south coast for another season, but he’s certainly an asset to Scotland.

The Scots won their League C Nations League group, pipping Israel to top spot and gaining promotion to the B League. And Oliver Burke’s 89th minute strike gave Clarke a winning start as Scotland boss as his team ran out 2-1 winners over Cyprus. So they are on a decent run of form, but this game should be beyond their reach.

History

The head-to-heads are in the Red Devils’ favour with eight wins to Scotland’s two and there has been a single draw. Belgium is unbeaten in five in this fixture and has won the last four, the latest being a 0-4 victory in 2018, when Eden Hazard and Manchester United’s Romelu Lukaku were both on target.

Belgium in unbeaten in 20 games at home, winning 16, while Scotland hasn’t registered a draw in 14 games, winning six and losing eight. Clarke’s team is third in Group I, on six points and could draw level with Belgium if they can spring that major shock.

Betting Tip

??

Belgium vs Scotland First Half Over 1.25 @ 1.95
June 12 02:45 (GMT+8)

The Belgium vs Scotland betting odds say this should be a heavily one-sided affair with Belgium at 1.16 to triumph, the draw at 7.20 and Scotland way out there at 13.00 to win. At 43 places lower in the FIFA World Rankings Scotland is indeed an underdog, but there is a spring in the Scots’ step at the moment, with a successful Nations League campaign and a new manager bounce.

But Belgium is no Cyprus! Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne are two of a handful of European footballers who are head and shoulders above the rest, and only Scotland wing-back Andy Robertson, Champions League winner with Liverpool, can really live in the Red Devils’ company.

I think there will be plenty of goals in this game, and a fast start with the hosts potentially two up by the break.

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SBOBET 12-Jun 2019 Wednesday 10:19 AM (162 days ago)            #38
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Euro 2020: Spain Sweep Sorry Swedes Aside

Spain 3-0 Sweden

Spain are once again making short work of qualifying for the European Champions. After thrashing the Faroe Islands 4-1, the Spaniards swept aside top Euro 2020 Group F rivals Sweden, 3-0, at the Santiago Bernabeu.

For the second game in a row, manager Luis Enrique -- who still isn't with the squad due to a family emergency -- made surprising team selections as he gave a number of newcomers the opportunity to start. But despite the changes, the Spaniards still looked a class above their opponents.

Just like in the Faroe Islands match, captain Sergio Ramos got the scoring started for the Spaniards, who were never truly tested by a Sweden team that was also gunning for top spot in the group.

As a result of their victory, Spain are now in complete control of the group and are well on their way toward qualification.

Highlights of the game

After making some surprising selections against the Faroe Islands, Spain manager Luis Enrique once again named an interesting starting XI against Sweden. He gave Napoli's Fabian Ruiz the start on his first international cap, while Valencia midfielder Dani Parejo and Athletic Bilbao defender Inigo Martinez were also unexpected starters.

Fabian produced Spain's first notable shot on goal on 14 minutes as he tried to curl one into the top corner. But Sweden keeper Robin Olsen's strong hand pushed the shot away. That was the first of Spain's three successive Euro 2020 highlights that could've resulted in a goal.

Spain again tested Olsen with a shot from distance, this time courtesy of Parejo. The Valencia man stroked a sweet volley that was destined for the bottom corner, only to be denied by a diving Olsen.

And on the ensuing corner delivered by Parejo, Olsen parried away a strong header from Sergio Ramos. Ramos had another shot off a corner in first-half stoppage time, but his acrobatic effort sailed way over the goal.

Sergio Ramos helps Spain defeat Sweden in their recent Euro 2020 qualifying match
Captain Sergio Ramos celebrates after scoring for Spain in their Euro 2020 qualifier against Sweden

Spain continued to produce chances off corners in the second half. Parejo found Isco on the edge of the box, but the Real Madrid man's volley wasn't quite on target. Parejo supplied another Isco attempt in the 55th minute, this time from open play. But Isco dragged his shot well wide of Olsen's goal.

The Swedes finally got a shot on target at the hour mark care of Robin Quiason. His relatively tame effort was comfortably caught by Kepa Arrizabalaga, though.

But shortly thereafter, Spain finally got the breakthrough from the penalty spot. Marco Asensio's cross struck Sebastian Larsson's raised arm, which is an automatic penalty these days. Up stepped Sergio Ramos to take the kick, and the Spanish captain made no mistake as he sent Olsen the wrong way.

Spain sealed the win with another penalty in the 83rd minute after substitute Alvaro Morata was brought down by Sweden defender Filip Helander. This time, Morata was given the chance to dispatch the penalty, which he placed in the same corner that Ramos sent his.

And to put the finishing touches on the win, another Spanish sub in Mikel Oyarzabal scored his first international goal with a well-taken strike at the edge of the box.

Key statistics

Sergio Ramos has been in amazing scoring form for his country. The defender has scored in three of their four Euro 2020 qualifiers to date, starting with his winning penalty against Norway.

Ramos has now scored 20 goals for his country in 165 international caps. He's just two appearances away from equalling former Real Madrid and Spain team-mate Iker Casillas record for most all-time caps for Spain with 167.



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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

Moreover, Ramos picked up his 123rd career international victory, extending his record for most wins by a single player in international football history. He recently passed Casillas, who previously held the record with 121.

Dating back to September 2007, Spain have now won 25 out of their last 26 European Championship qualifying matches. With that sort of form, they will invariably be among the top contenders in terms of the Euro 2020 betting odds.

What's next?

The next round of Euro 2020 qualifiers won't come around until September. Spain are set to visit Romania, who are tied with Sweden with seven points in four games, before hosting the Faroe Islands. It's safe to say the SBOBET odds should heavily favour the Spaniards in both matches.

Meanwhile, the Swedes will travel to the Faroe Islands in their next assignment, then host Scandinavian neighbours Norway. The last time those two teams met in Oslo, it resulted in a thrilling 3-3 draw.

 

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SBOBET 04-Sep 2019 Wednesday 2:16 PM (78 days ago)            #39
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Euro 2020: Azzurri Aces Aim for Armenia

Armenia vs Italy

Euro 2020 is suddenly only a blink away and that means the focus will be firmly on the Azzurri as they aim to seal a return to a major championship.

After the shock of failing to reach the World Cup Finals in Russia last summer – and the post-mortem that followed - qualification in Group J resumes with Matchday 5 in the Yerevan Republican Stadium.

Roberto Mancini’s men have a perfect record so far with four wins out of four in Euro 2020 qualifying, three points clear of nearest rivals Finland and with a goal difference far superior to any of their group rivals.

Even still, after what happened 22 months ago, Italy will not rest easy until qualification for next summer’s showpiece is in the bag.

Two wins in four days, starting with Armenia and then at Finland, will virtually seal their place so Mancini will surely impress that on his players.

Two wins in four days, starting with Armenia and then at Finland, will virtually seal their place so Mancini will surely impress that on his players.

 


 

 

Talking Points

Mancini is certainly trying to show who is boss at the moment, admitting he has left Moise Kean and Nicolo Zaniolo out of his latest squad as punishment.

Kean and Zaniolo were Italy’s breakout stars of last season, but the pair courted controversy earlier in the summer as they showed up late for a team meeting ahead of an important European Under-21 Championship fixture with Belgium.

Whether Mancini can afford to act like this further down the line remains to be seen, but for now, he can as Italy have created their own Euro 2020 highlights, including in June in Greece with another comprehensive victory, observed by this SBOBET writer.

What’s more, Italy have won seven European qualifiers in a row for the first time ever.

They have scored in all of their past 20 European qualifying matches, a record for the Azzurri. They have also kept six consecutive clean sheets, their best run since 1990 when they finished in third place in the World Cup.

There’s no doubt the loss of defender Giorgio Chiellini is a blow, as is the absence of Valencia’s Cristiano Piccini, who will be out for around five months with a patellar fracture.

Juventus confirmed on Friday that their captain and veteran defender has suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and will undergo surgery, leaving his status for the rest of the season in serious doubt.

His injury was a shock, given that the stalwart defender had not missed significant time in his entire Juventus career since joining from Fiorentina in 2005.

Euro 2020: Italy will play against Armenia without Giorgio Chiellini
Giorgio Chiellini at the stands during the match between Juventus and Napoli

However, Italy and Juventus will have to make do without one of their leaders. Mancini has been forced to move quickly and called up Lazio defender Francesco Acerbi in his place for the next two matches with Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali also replacing Roma midfielder Bryan Cristante.

Italy have also called up Luca Pellegrini and Stephan El Shaarawy for the qualifiers. Pellegrini has been rewarded for his breakout few months on loan at Cagliari, which earned him a permanent transfer to Juventus.

The place for El Shaarawy may surprise some after the winger’s decision to leave Europe for Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua earlier in the summer.

Also watch out for Andrea Belotti of Torino, who has started the season well with goals in both legs of their Europa League qualifying defeat to Wolves.

Mancini is reshaping the national team on the road to redemption and it’s so far, so good with a generational shift taking place at the same time.

The first stage of that will be virtually complete with victory against Armenia and Finland.

History

This will be the third-ever meeting between the nations. They met twice in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Italy won 3-1 at the venue for this week’s clash with Andrea Pirlo (penalty), Daniele De Rossi and Dani Osvaldo on target for the Italians and Henrikh Mkhitaryan – who has just joined Roma on loan - netting for the hosts back in October 2012.

In the return fixture 12 months later, Armenia surprisingly held the Italians to a 2-2 draw on their own turf in Naples.

Alessandro Florenzi and Mario Balotelli scored for the Italians, with Yura Movsisyan and Mkhitaryan again the goal-getters for Armenia.

It was the final group game for the Italians, who qualified for the tournament, while Armenia missed out on a play-off place.

Betting Tip

??

Armenia vs Italy Italy First Half Asian Handicap -0.75 @ 1.99
September 06, 00:00 (GMT+8)

After two defeats, Armenia have won their last two qualifiers with successes against Lichtenstein and Greece with Alexander Karapetyan, Gevorg Ghazaryan and Tigran Barseghyan among the goals.

The Euro 2020 betting odds strongly back the Azzurri, however.

The odds on Italy 1X2 are @ 1.27 and Armenia @ 6.80. The draw @ 5.40 may appeal to some expecting a surprise.

Asian Handicap odds back the Italians -1.75 @ 2.06 and -1.50 @ 1.83, while Armenia are backed + 1.50 @ 2.05.

Over 3.00 goals @ 2.16, total goal 2-3 @ 1.94, total goal 4-6 @ 2.74 will catch the eye of some, while a repeat of their last clash – correct score 2-2 – will payout @ a whopping 38.00.

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Euro 2020 Qualifying: Ireland can keep Swiss at Arms Length

Republic of Ireland vs Switzerland

The international break is upon us, and we’re heading to Ireland on Thursday for Euro 2020 Qualifying, Ireland vs Switzerland; one of the most fascinating clashes of the week.

The hosts are setting a furious pace in Group D, storming ahead on ten points, with Denmark in pursuit on five with a game in hand, and Switzerland on four, but the Rossocrati has two games in hand. Ireland will hope to extend their lead at the top, but even a draw will keep their opponents at arms length. Games in hand are useful, but everyone would prefer to have the points in the bag.

The very latest Ireland vs Switzerland betting odds pitch the visitors as favourites to win this tie, and that’s no surprise as Mick McCarthy’s Men in Green are 32nd in the FIFA World Rankings, some 21 places behind their opponents; but they’ll have a passionate crowd at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin playing the vital role as the ‘12th man’.

Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic has some good players in his squad, talented and tough in equal measure, and he will demand 100 per cent effort as he tries to peg the hosts back.

 

Talking Points

Ireland’s Home can be its Fortress

The Boys in Green sit at the top of Group D after a 2-0 win over Gibraltar which followed a draw in Denmark sandwiched by a home win against Georgia. An opening win over Gibraltar makes it ten points from four games, and that’s a fine return for McCarthy’s team in a challenging group.

Ireland has conceded only one goal so far in qualifying and they will be tough to break down again, particularly on home soil. Brighton’s Shane Duffy is a colossus at the back and he has hard-working midfielders in front of him in the shape of Aston Villa’s Conor Hourihane and Burnley’s Jeff Hendrick. These boys play for teams used to scrapping it out in the Premier League and they’ll defend like lions against the Swiss.

Ireland fans were hoping to see a return for James McCarthy, but the Crystal Palace midfielder has pulled out of the squad, as has Wolves wing-back Matt Doherty who has a knee problem.

Ireland manager Mick McCarthy keeps an eye on training ahead of their Euro 2020 showdown with Switzerland
Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy during the match

Switzerland’s Premier Quality

England football fans know plenty about Petkovic’s Switzerland, having encountered them in the UEFA Nations League third-place play-off, which the Three Lions won 6-5 on penalties after a goalless draw. And they have also had plenty of time to watch two of the Rossocrati’s top players in the Premier League.

Xherdan Shaqiri came on as a substitute in Liverpool’s 0-3 win at Burnley last Saturday and, after an impressive career at Stoke City, the creative midfield man established himself as a key member of Jurgen Klopp’s side last season. Shaqiri is the visitors’ most dangerous attacking player, capable of unlocking a defence with a killer pass or scoring a spectacular dead ball kick. And in a game like this, one moment of genius could be enough to win the points.

And Arsenal supporters know Swiss captain Granit Xhaka better then anyone, his combative tackling and hammer blow of a shot have added much-needed steel to the Gunners’ core.

Bundesliga fans will recognise two attack-minded stars, including TSG 1899 Hoffenheim’s midfielder Steven Zuber who could be one to watch, his six goals in 22 international appearances show he has an eye for goal.

And Borussia Monchengladbach striker Breel Embolo was on target in his team’s last Euro qualifier, when Switzerland were held by Denmark to a 3-3 draw with a dramatic finish as the Rossocrati let a three-goal lead slip in the last seven minutes.

I can’t imagine Petkovic’s men will be so charitable in Dublin.

History

The previous Ireland vs Switzerland results tell a story of two well-matched nations. Ireland has won four of the head to heads with Switzerland having three victories and there have been three draws.

A Ciaran Clark header was enough to win the last meeting for Ireland, back in March 2016, and I expect an equally tight game this time around. Recent form favours the hosts as Ireland is six games unbeaten, while the Swiss have lost three of their last six, though Nations League clashes against Portugal and England are as tough as they get.

But the last time Switzerland beat Ireland was back in 2004 in Basel.

 

Betting Tip

??

Republic of Ireland vs Switzerland First Half 1x2 Draw @ 1.94
September 6, 02:45(GMT+8)

The latest SBOBET odds suggest all three results are on the cards and it’s a tough, tough game to call.

Ireland is at 3.40 to win with the Swiss at 2.40 and the draw at 3.00. I can see Ireland getting something out of this game, and the Double chance Ireland or Draw is available at 1.60. But I’m going for a little more value with a half time stalemate.

0-1 is the most likely score at odds of 5.00, but with 1-1 not far adrift at 5.40 and 0-0 at low odds of 5.60 we can expect a real battle of attrition.

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Euro 2020: Can Romania End Spain’s Perfect Record?

Romania vs Spain

Spain heads to Bucharest on Thursday, aiming to defend a 100 per cent record in Group F against Romania.

Both teams have made a good start to the Euro 2020 Qualifiers with Spain in 12 points from four games and Romania tied in second place on seven. The Arena Nationala will be bouncing when their own heroes arrive with a three-match unbeaten run. But they haven’t yet faced Spain, and this is their biggest test so far.

Romania head coach Cosmin Contra is without a key player, and that could come back to haunt him against one of the best sides in the world. The Euro 2020 betting odds tell us Spain is one of the four teams most likely to lift the title, along with France, England and Belgium, and the hosts will need to be at their best, as well as riding their luck if they are to end Spain’s perfect run.

A win for La Furia Roja will put them on 15 points from five and with a foot in the 2020 finals, while any sort of result for Romania will keep their hopes of second-place well and truly alive.

Talking Points

Romania without Star Man

After collecting two yellow cards in Romania’s last outing, Alexandru Chipciu will be missing from the Romanian eleven. The 30-year-old right-back picked up two yellow cards in the 4-0 win over Malta, as well as scoring, and he looks likely to be replaced by Romario Benzar.

Romania hope to shock the in-form visitors when they face off in Euro 2020, to secure the points
Romania's Alexandru Chipciu in action with Norway's Markus Henriksen

Chipciu’s absence is all the more frustrating for Contra as the Tricolori have recovered from an opening match loss to Sweden, to take seven points from their next three games, including an impressive away draw in Norway. The hosts have goals in them, and George Puscas, with three, and Claudiu Keseru, with five, are expected to start upfront.

Contra has an experienced centre back in Sassuolo’s Vlad Chiriches to marshal his defence, and that will a big job against Spain’s free-scoring forwards.

 

Moreno at the Helm

Spain head coach Luis Enrique stepped down in June due to personal issues, which has left his assistant, Robert Moreno, in charge for the time being. Moreno has recently said he would be happy to step aside if Enrique decided to return, but in the meantime, he’s preparing La Furia Roja for the trip to Bucharest.

In his fourth international in charge, Moreno is without injured stars Marco Asensio and Isco, but he hasn’t been afraid to leave out other big names. Celta Vigo skipper Iago Aspas is missing out. He had a quiet game against Real Madrid recently but his omission has come as a surprise, while Bilbao defender Inigo Martinez has also been left at home.

 


 

 

Romania will be aware of the threat of centre forward Paco Alcacer and will need to work hard to avoid being overrun in midfield, where Manchester City’s Rodri will be alongside Atletico Madrid dynamo Saul Niguez.

Last time out Spain made short work of Sweden with a 3-0 Euro 2020 win after Sergio Ramos opened the scoring, and the Los Blancos legend will, once again, lead the Spain team and command its defence.

 

History

While there is a chasm in the ability and depth of these two squads, the head to head results are quite impressive from a Romanian point of view. The hosts have lost only four of the last 12 clashes with Spain, winning three and drawing five. And, when playing at home, Romania is unbeaten in five against La Furia Roja.

The last meeting was a goalless draw in a friendly back in 2016, but with two lively attacks on show I’d be surprised if we saw a repeat of that.

The Tricolore has lost just once in 14 games and is solid on home soil, unbeaten in six, but then Spain is on a winning streak of five.

 

Betting Tip

??

Romania vs Spain Spain First Half 1x2 @ 2.03
September 6. 02:45 (GMT+8)

Spain has a perfect set of Euro 2020 results so far and Romania will have to put on the performance of the weekend to mark an end to that. The double chance of Romania or Draw is available at 2.65.

Romania is at 6.60 to win with SBOBET, with the draw at 4.40 and Spain as low as 1.43 to come away with three more points. Keseru and Puscas will try to stretch the Spain defence, but Ramos and his team are well equipped to cope.

Over 2.50 goals is available at 1.88, and I think the visitors will make a fast start and be ahead by the break.

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Euro 2020 Qualifiers Match of the Weekend: Germany vs Netherlands

Germany vs Netherlands

Of this weekend’s Euro 2020 Qualifiers, Germany vs Netherlands is the pick of the bunch and we’re expecting a battle royal at the Imtech Arena in Hamburg!

It’s their fourth meeting in 11 months, with one win each in the last three, and these two rivals have clashed with increasing intensity as a resurgence in the Netherlands has coincided with an unsettled period for Germany. So long the top dogs in Europe and 2014 World Champions, Joachim Low’s side is now in the chasing pack and working hard to keep pace with the Oranje.

The pre-match Euro 2020 Germany vs Netherlands betting odds suggest that home advantage gives Germany the edge, but, on the back of a UEFA Nations League final, the Netherlands are one of the most dangerous opponents in the game right now. But what makes this clash so fascinating is the fact that defeat for Ronald Koeman’s team would be quite a blow. With three points from two games, a loss for the Oranje would leave them nine points behind both Germany and current Group C leaders Northern Ireland, and that would be one big gap to make up.

Talking Points

Germany light up front

The complete team which dominated the world in 2014 has been partly dismantled over the last two years and an abject performance at the 2018 World Cup had their passionate fans in despair.

Low is lacking quality up front with Timo Werner the only out and our striker in his squad, so he will be looking for goals from elsewhere.

Euro 2020 Qualifiers, Germany vs Netherlands: Serge Gnabry is expected to lead the hosts in victory
Serge Gnabry in action during Germany's Euro 2020 Group C qualifier match against Netherlands

Borussia Dortmund has made another decent start to their Bundesliga campaign, with six points from three, and midfield pair Marc Reus and Julian Brandt could well start for Germany, with Reus in particular a goal threat. And Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos is always a as asset in with a dead ball opportunity. Meanwhile Bayern’s Serge Gnabry has seven goals in eight internationals, including one in March when Germany won a five goal thriller against the Netherlands in the earlier Group C qualifier.

Low is blessed with choice at goalkeeper though, with Barcelona’s Ter Stegen and skipper Manuel Neuer now sitting alongside Arsenal’s Bernd Leno.

Best Centre Back Pairing in the World

There is little argument in world football that there is no finer centre back partnership than that of Virgil Van Dijk and Matthijs De Ligt. Van Dijk is one of the main reasons Liverpool won the Champions League last term, and pushed Manchester City all the way in the Premier League. And De Ligt’s £75M transfer from Ajax to Juventus was one of the signings of the summer. Together they are a formidable pair, strong in the air, clinical in the tackle; both with excellent reading of the game and great feet.

Van Dijk’s club teammate Georginio Wijnaldum has been an ever more influential part of Liverpool’s midfield, quietly going about his business and he could link up in front of the back four alongside Barca’s Frenkie de Jong; while up front Ajax’ Quincy Promes and Lyon’s Memphis Depay have plenty of pace and are playing with real confidence.

The Netherlands want to win this group, but should all else fail they have a play-off place guaranteed due to their Nations League success, after winning their group and condemning Germany to a drop to League B.

History

For all the Netherlands’ buoyancy and Germany’s transition, the hosts have a psychological edge in that they are unbeaten in six, while their opponents have failed to win in six away games.

Both teams have scored with freedom in the campaign, Reus and Gnabry have three goals each, as has Depay.

The head to heads are in Germany’s favour by 16 to 11, with 16 draws over the past 43 meetings.

The Netherlands’ 2018 Nations Cup win was their only victory in eight against Germany

Betting Tip

??

Germany vs Netherlands Over 2.75 @ 1.87
September 7, 02:45 (GMT+8)

Germany is slightly odds against at 2.01 to win with the draw at 3.30; and an away win is 3.60.

I think it will be a hard fought game and may well end in a draw. 1-1 is available at 6.40 and 2-2 is 12.00, and with attacking flair on both sides I think 2-2 could be good value.

Eight of the last ten games between these two teams have yielded three goals or more, and both teams have scored in 15 of the last 19.

It’s sure to be an entertaining clash and you’ll be able to keep up with all the Euro 2020 Germany vs Netherlands highlights as they happen, right here at SBOBET.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

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SBOBET 06-Sep 2019 Friday 8:39 PM (76 days ago)            #43
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Euro 2020: Five From Five for the Azzurri!

Armenia 1-3 Italy

Italy made it a perfect 15 points from five games with a 3-1 win over Armenia at the Yerevan Republican Stadium, to bring Euro 2020 qualification within touching distance.

The Azzurri failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, knocked out by Sweden in the play-offs, so making it to the European Championships is an absolute must. After dominating in Greece with a 0-3 win, Italy had taken a stranglehold on Group J.

Armenia made it tough for Roberto Mancini’s team though, and held on with ten men until the last quarter of an hour. But eventually, Italy’s quality and numerical advantage were too much for the hosts.

The Euro 2020 betting odds place Italy just behind the top group of France, England, Spain and Belgium. Things will change over the next six months though, so keep an eye on all the odds at SBOBET as the tournament approaches. Italy will need to improve if they are to have a chance of winning the tournament, but for now, they are doing all they need to.

Highlights of the game

On the back of two wins, Armenia started the game full of confidence, fired up in front of a passionate crowd and on the front foot from the off.



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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

And it was no more than they deserved when they took a shock lead. After a lightning break, Tigran Barseghyan slid a lovely ball through to top scorer Alexander Karapetyan and he fired the ball into the corner.

It was a brilliant finish to round off a great team move, but not exactly what Mancini expected!

His team gradually found their feet and began to dominate, and the host’s keeper Aram Airapetyan kept his side in front with a superb fingertip save to deny Federico Bernardeschi. But he couldn’t do anything on 27 minutes when Emerson had all the time and space he needed to jink his way down the left and stand up the perfect ball for Andrea Belotti to volley home at the far post.

Bernardeschi curled a shot inches over the angle. But then, as it looked like Armenia would head into half time all smiles, they suffered a hefty blow when Karapetyan received a second yellow card for a raised elbow.

It seemed harsh as the Armenian made minimal contact on Leonardo Bonucci, but the referee saw it otherwise. And that earned him a chorus of boos as he blew for half time.

Before that, Italy had a chance to go 2-1 ahead when Federico Chiesa put one on a plate for Belotti. However, he missed from four yards with the goal at his mercy.

Roberto Mancini will have impressed upon his players the importance of winning in Armenia and the huge chance they had against ten men. But there was no ferocious onslaught at the start of the second half.

Armenia captain Henrikh Mkhitaryan has struggled to sparkle in the Premier League with Arsenal, and has recently made the move to Roma. But he is his nation’s best player and he made an electrifying run into the Italy half only to be chopped down by Nicolo Barella as he was about to pull the trigger. It was a very good yellow card for Barella to take as the resulting free-kick flew over.

The Azzurri continued to struggle to carve out a clear cut chance and were limited to long-range shots. But eventually, on 77 minutes, Lorenzo Pellegrini converted from a Bonucci flick to put the Italians in front.

Italy are a force to be reckoned with in this Euro 2020 qualification stage
Italy squad celebrate after scoring a goal during the Euro 2020 group J qualifying match against Armenia

And it was a slice of bad luck for the hosts which took the game away just two minutes later. Belotti turned and hit a good low shot which hit the post and bounced in off the unlucky Airapetyan.

Key Statistics

Italy is on the rise back up the FIFA Rankings at 16th a full 82 places above Armenia in 98th so this was an outstanding effort from the hosts to push their visitors so hard, and with ten men for the whole of the second half.

But Italy has now won eight European qualifiers in a row for the first time in their history.

Belotti’s goal was his first in a year and a half but he could easily have had a hat-trick.

Meanwhile, Alexander Karapetyan’s strike was his fifth in seven games.

What’s next?

Next up, Italy is away to Finland - who are currently in second place with nine points. The Fins have a not so secret weapon in striker Teemu Pukki who has started the Premier League season in devastating form, with five goals for newly promoted Norwich City.

But when the Group J Euro 2020 results are all in at the end of this international break, I suspect Italy could be as good as qualified.

Marco Verratti will miss the Finland game as he picked up a yellow here, but Armenia arguably have a bigger loss when they take on Bosnia and Herzegovina at home without Karapetyan.

 

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SBOBET 06-Sep 2019 Friday 8:42 PM (76 days ago)            #44
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Euro 2020: McGoldrick Wins Crucial Point for Ireland

Ireland 1-1 Switzerland

An 85th minute header by David McGoldrick rescued a vital point for Ireland tonight, which keeps Mick McCarthy’s side three points clear at the top of Group D.

A match between two of the best organised teams on the planet, Euro 2020 Ireland vs Switzerland was always going to be a battle of attrition, and so it was until it came to life in the latter stages.

A 74th minute strike by Fabian Schar looked to have given the Swiss a priceless win but Ireland fought back for a deserved point. The Men in Green started the game six points clear of the Swiss and head coach Mick McCarthy said he’d be happy with a point when asked the question last week. Ireland is still unbeaten in the big man’s second reign and he’ll be delighted by his team’s brave performance.

The Ireland vs Switzerland betting odds pointed to a tight game with the visitors marginal favourites. Swiss coach Vladimir Petkovic has said Ireland is an unpleasant side to play against, which I’m sure the Irish took as a complement!

Highlights of the game

Burnley’s Jeff Hendrick was making his 50th appearance for Ireland tonight and he looked lively on the opening stages, bursting through with lovely control and sliding a ball into the path of James McLean but his shot was blocked by Nico Elvedi.

Shane Duffy headed a late equaliser to grab Ireland a point against Denmark recently, but he does his most sterling work at the back, and he made a superb block before launching another Ireland breakaway.

Switzerland skipper Granit Xhaka expressed his disappointment at Xherdan Shaqiri’s late request to be omitted from the Swiss squad and that was the big Ireland vs Switzerland news in the run up to the game. Xhaka tried to make up for the Liverpool man’s absence but he fired his first attempt on goal, a 25 yard free-kick, well wide.

In an encouraging first half for the Irish they had the crowd on its feet just before the break when Callum Robinson was inches away from turning in a David McGoldrick cross.

We tipped a half time stalemate at odds of 1.94 and Robinson was mighty close to scuppering that one!

Switzerland looked the more threatening side in the second half and Breel Embolo had a great chance to finish off a slick move. But he lost his footing at the crucial moment, and Seamus Coleman made a timely interception to head a dangerous cross from Embolo over his own bar.

Things began to heat up when Shane Duffy went down injured and that prompted a bout of pushing and shoving. But Switzerland delivered a huge blow minutes later when, after a quick passing move, Embolo squared to Fabian Schar and he fired low into the corner.

With just 15 minutes to go, Ireland came out on the attack and Stevens won a corner which was cleared desperately by Switzerland.

And then on 84 minutes, Glenn Whelan came within a whisker of levelling when he hit a scorching shot which crashed back off the crossbar. But the Irish recycled the ball and when McLean’s cross was deflected, McGoldrick was there to head home his first goal for his country.

And what a vital goal that might turn out to be.

Key Statistics

The pre-match SBOBET odds had the draw at 3.00, with 1-1 at odds of 5.40, and in the end that was a fair reflection of the game.

The last time Switzerland beat Ireland was back in 2004 in Basel, but saving this game was particularly sweet for McCarthy. In his first stint as Ireland head coach he suffered a 1-2 defeat at the hands of the Swiss in his opening game.



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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

Goals have been a problem for Ireland with none of the four strikers in their squad having scored an international goal, before McGoldrick popped up with five minutes to go.

It was Switzerland centre-back Fabian Schar’s eighth international goal, but his first for three years and he’ll be gutted it was only worth one point.

What’s next?

Full back Enda Stevens picked up a yellow card and that means he’s unavailable for Ireland’s next competitive game, a trip to Georgia in October. Before that the Irish have a friendly at home to Bulgaria on Tuesday.

Switzerland is at home to Gibraltar next, where the minnows were on the end of a 0-6 thumping at the hands of Denmark tonight as Christian Eriksen bagged a brace.

Fabian Schar 74th minute strike could have given Switzerland a win until David McGoldrick scores late header for Ireland in Euro 2020 match
Fabian Schar scores a 74th minute lead for Switzerland over Ireland during Euro 2020 qualifying match in Dublin

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SBOBET 06-Sep 2019 Friday 8:49 PM (76 days ago)            #45
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Euro 2020: Spain Get Their First Ever Win Against Romania

Spain 2-1 Romania

Spain managed to hold on against the gritty Romanian team in Bucharest to stay perfect in Group F of the Euro 2020 Qualifiers.

Paco Alcacer and Sergio Ramos scored two goals to bring La Roja to victory - all this while having only 10 men in the lineup as Diego Llorente was sent off at the game’s latter stages.

The centre-back was given a red card by the referees after he clumsily clipped the legs of Romanian forward George Puscas just outside the box.

But even with the disadvantage, it was a convincing victory for Coach Robert Moreno who is more than happy to see his team executing his game plan to perfection. He recently replaced Luis Enrique few weeks ago to take the manager position.

Enrique decided to step away from national duty after his daughter died last week due to bone cancer. The Athletic Bilbao boss received some heartwarming tributes to commemorate his child.

With the win, Spain’s Euro 2020 Qualifiers odds of booking a spot for next year’s UEFA Championship are definitely high since they are on top of the table with 15 points, while Romania is at the fourth spot with seven.

Allow SBOBET to re-live some of the best Euro 2020 Qualifiers highlights in this matchup.

Highlights of the game

Diego Llorente was dismissed during the Euro 2020 qualifying match of Spain and Romania
Spain defender Diego Llorente receives a red card during the Euro 2020 group F qualifying against Romania

Spain looked faster and more aggressive from the get-go as Paco Alcacer almost gave his team a quick lead in the match’s first 40 seconds. The BVB Dortmund skipper received a lovely pass from Jesus Navas and he kicked the ball past Ciprian Tatarusanu, but the shot was a bit too wide.

Sergio Ramos had his chance in the eleventh minute when he tried to head one in for La Roja after a corner kick. However, Tatarusanu’s fast reflexes deflected the ball out of harm’s way.

Speaking of Tatarusanu, the Lyon goal keeper was put to work early on as Spain kept on pushing pace while dominating possession. Two minutes after Ramos’ header, Jordi Alba was left in disbelief after his strike gets knocked out of bounds again.

After a foul to Dani Ceballos inside the box by Romania, Sergio Ramos chipped one in via penalty kick to put Spain over the lead before the half-hour mark.

The Robert Moreno-mentored squad came close to doubling their lead after a set-up volley by Rodrigo to Paco Alcacer. However, Tatarusanu was there yet again for Romania.

Fast forward to the start of the second half, Alcacer finally scored a goal of his own for Spain after they probed Romania’s porous defence. Dani Ceballos and Jordi Alba worked their magic by slicing through the yellow wall and they found the cutting Alcacer for an easy finish.

Fabian Ruiz tried to guide one in few minutes later, but his strike curved just outside near the post.

Florin Andone got in the scoreboard right after checking in via a low header off of a clever pass by George Puscas.  The 26-year-old striker capitalised on Sergio Ramos lack of attention to give their raucous home fans a sliver of optimism as they tried to mount a comeback.

With Diego Llorente being sent off via a red card after a dangerous challenge to George Puscas, Romanian boss Cosmin Contra had more reason to feel a bit confident at least for the time being.

Robert Moreno’s team had to see out the last 12 minutes with only 10 men after Llorente’s mishap and it was good to see all the other guys stepping up to prevent another Romanian goal.

George Puscas came close for an equaliser in added time, but he was denied multiple times by Kepa Arrizabalaga on those chances to cap off La Roja’s strong display in getting their first ever win in Bucharest, Romania.



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ข้อสงวนสิทธิ์: อัตราต่อรองมีความถูกต้องณเวลาที่เผยแพร่

 

Key statistics

To outline La Roja’s dominance in this fixture, they had more total shots (21) and shots on target (10) in this matchup.

They also controlled possession at 75-per cent and their passing was superb as well (759 passes at 91-per cent accuracy)

Paco Alcacer’s goals have been a constant for Spain as he has scored in every outing for his national team so far this season.

Sergio Ramos’ penalty goal was his 10th playing for La Roja, while Florin Andone’s lone goal for Romania was his first for the country since 2015.

What’s next?

La Roja are set to go up against the winless Faroe Islands on Monday at the 30,000-seater Estadio Municipal El Molinon in Gijon, Spain.

Meanwhile, Romania will fly over to Malta to face the home team at the Ta’ Qali National Stadium at the same match date.

 

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SBOBET 09-Sep 2019 Monday 12:45 PM (73 days ago)            #46
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Euro 2020: Can Portugal Get That Elusive Win?

Serbia vs Portugal

Portugal has yet to win in the Euro 2020 Qualifiers and they would love to finally get one at the expense of a familiar foe in Serbia. The game will be held at the Stadion Rajko Mitic in Belgrade, Serbia where the hosts are looking to get a victory in their home pitch. With ten points on the board, Ukraine currently has the top spot and they appear to be the favourite in Group B while Luxembourg and Serbia are drawn level with four points each. Portugal and Lithuania are at the bottom having two points and one point respectively. The Orlovi are looking to gain the upper hand against the Navigators to where they drew level the last time they faced each other in the tournament. On the other hand, the star-studded cast of Portugal is going to be hell-bent to live up to expectations in order to get an outright spot for next year’s prestigious tournament. SBOBET gives you a quick overview on what’s ahead on Saturday.

Talking Points

Can Portugal bring back their dangerous form? Despite being dubbed as one of the best teams on the planet coming into the tournament, Portugal struggled to find their footing in two games so far at the group phase. After winning the inaugural UEFA Nations League few months ago, the Fernando Santos-coached squad was held to a goalless stalemate against Ukraine and then a 1-1 draw in their reverse match against the Serbians at home. Portugal will have the daunting task of catching up against the leaders of Group B. But having played only in two matches so far, perhaps there’s still time to catch up especially with their world class talent at their disposal.

Joao Felix have to prove himself in Euro 2020 as he is expected to be the cornerstone of Portugal in the future
Joao Felix during his training

Joao Felix will be a household name for years to come in Portugal of course. And big things are expected for the 19-year-old striker as he will be the cornerstone not only for the national team, but for the Atletico Madrid as well in the La Liga. Cristiano Ronaldo will continue to take the star billing as he looks to add to his 158 caps and 88 goals in international play. Even with his advancing age -- barring any health issues – the Juventus forward is expected to produce some of the best Euro 2020 Qualifiers highlights in this game. The team will also be bolstered by their young guns in Diogo Jota, Bernardo Silva, Daniel Podence, and Ruben Dias, while Jose Fonte will provide veteran leadership and experience at the defence considering Pepe’s absence. Coach Fernando Santos will have all the necessary tools at his disposal which is why we can definitely expect a much better showing from his team this time around. How will Serbia’s new coach fare? Ljubisa Tumbakovic was hired to become Serbia’s new boss after sacking Mladen Krstajic last month with their disappointing 5-0 loss against Ukraine in their previous fixture. The 66-year-old manager has won six Serbian league titles with Partizan Belgrade and he had a short stint as Montenegro’s team manager back in 2016. Tumbakovic will have the task of steering the Serbians to the cusp of qualifying for next year and he will inherit a roster filled with top-notch players. Guys like Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Luka Milivojevic, Sasa Lukic, and even Nemanja Matic will compete for midfield positions while Real Madrid skipper Luka Jovic and Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic are going to carry the team in terms of their attack. Nemanja Maksimovic and Aleksandar Kolarov are to bring in a unique mix of youth and experience as they’ll hold the backline for the Eagles, and for sure they’ll have their work cut out for them against a loaded Portuguese team. Serbia are currently tied with Luxembourg in Group B with four points each. A win here, obviously, would be big especially for Tumbakovic who is more than eager to prove his worth to the national program.

 


 

 

History

Serbia and Portugal have mostly found themselves in a tight affair. All in all, these two squads have faced each five times. The home team has yet to win in their head-to-head against Portugal -- who got to win two while three of their five matches ended in a draw -- including their encounter last March.

Betting Tip

??

Serbia vs Portugal Portugal Asian Handicap 0.00 @1.58
September 8, 02:45 (GMT+8)
Per Euro 2020 Qualifiers odds, Portugal are placed at 2.15 to win while Serbia are at 3.20. There are 3.30 odds for a draw in what will be a highly-intense affair. Expect these teams to put on a great show in this fixture. However, with most of their players cancelling each out, you might not see a lot of goals in this one. Initially, I had this at a 1-1 draw just like before. However, the lethal duo of Cristiano Ronaldo and Joao Felix might give the Navigators the slight edge here for a 1-0 victory.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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Euro 2020: Oranje Delight in Hamburg!

Germany 2-4 Netherlands

It was billed as the Euro 2020 match of the weekend and you know Germany and the Netherlands are never going to let you down.

Our pre-match Germany vs Netherlands betting tips predicted goals, and after an entertaining first half, we had five in the second in front of a packed crowd at the Imtech Arena in Hamburg.

Joachim Low’s Germany thought they’d grabbed a point when they made it 2-2 from the penalty spot after an astonishing decision by the referee, but a spectacular finish from substitute Donyell Malen put the Oranje back in front before Giorginio Wijnaldum rounded things off in injury time.

And that all means Ronald Koeman’s Oranje is now back in the hunt in Group C, three points behind second-placed Germany with a game in hand, while Northern Ireland still holds top spot.

Highlights of the game

The Netherlands settled into the game quickly, knocking the ball around with more than a hint of the Total Football made famous by the Oranje in their 1970s heyday.

But it was Germany who broke the deadlock on nine minutes, breaking quickly after Quincy Promes lost possession in midfield. Lukas Klostermann got his shot away which Jasper Cillessen parried and when the ball fell to Serge Gnabry he fired into the far corner.

The visitors continued to pass the ball around and Germany were happy to sit and watch, preparing to strike again on the break if the chance presented itself. Manuel Neuer had an inexperienced defence in front of him but they kept a good shape as the Netherlands probed. And Koeman’s team’s first big chance came to Matthijs De Ligt as he met a deep cross but his header flashed wide.

Serge Gnabry and Toni Kroos’ goal not enough to help Germany beat Netherlands
Germany's Serge Gnabry controls the ball during the Euro 2020 group C qualifying soccer match against Netherlands

As Germany kept their shape chances were few and far between and Memphis Depay headed a rare chance over. But then, three minutes before the break, the ball broke for Marco Reus in the Dutch penalty area and Cillessen made an outstanding one-handed save.

The pattern continued in the early minutes of the second half and Germany fired a dangerous ball into the six-yard area which De Light did brilliantly well to clear. Moments later Van Dijk dealt with an equally incisive ball.

The Netherlands carried on fizzing the ball around and at the end of one move, Georginio Wijnaldum brought a great save from Manuel Neuer diving to his right. And just before the hour the Oranje got the equaliser they deserved when Ryan Babel crossed into the danger area and Frenkie de Jong finished calmly for his first senior international goal.

Five minutes later the Netherlands were ahead and it was a scrappy goal. Virgil Van Dijk leapt to meet a corner and Neuer made a brilliant save, but the ball was scrambled back into the middle by Ryan Babel and it bounced into the net off the hapless Jonathan Tah.

Apparently, the referee was determined to get Germany back in the game and gave the weirdest penalty you would ever wish to see. De Ligt made a tackle and as the ball flew up in the air and bounced down it flicked De Ligt’s hand when he had no way of seeing it. Toni Kroos couldn’t believe his luck and slammed the penalty home.

Where’s VAR when you need it?!

It was sickening for the Netherlands but they weren’t done, and when Wijnaldum burst into the area he flicked up a delightful ball for substitute Donyell Malen to smash a volley high into the net.

And it was Oranje joy in injury time when Wijnaldum skilfully finished off another flying Dutch attack.



Over +3.50 @ 2.03


 

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

 

Key statistics

The Netherlands dominated the ball in the first half, with over 60 per cent possession, but Germany did more with it when they had the chance, cutting through the most expensive centre back pairing of all time in De Light and Virgil Van Dijk.

But the Dutch were scintillating in the second half winning the shots on target count by nine to five.

A late goal by Nico Schulz gave Germany a crucial 2-3 win in the Netherlands back in March and this was sweet revenge for the Dutch, inflicting a first defeat in seven on the Germans.

What’s next?

Next up Germany has a crunch away game to Northern Ireland on Monday night and Low’s team needs to improve.

Ronald Koeman takes his Netherlands to Estonia, who lost at home to Belarus today and are rooted to the bottom of Group C.

Keep an eye on the SBOBET tips when we take a closer look at those games and as the very latest Euro 2020 news rolls in.

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Euro 2020: Is Scotland Brave Enough to Face Red Devils?

Scotland vs Belgium

As a country which prides itself in fighting against the odds and thriving as an underdog, Scotland has a chance to show its bravery on Monday night against the best team in the world.

One of the big favourites for Euro 2020 and sure to feature in the SBOBET tips next summer, Belgium heads to Hampden Park on Monday night local time, to take on Steve Clarke’s Scotland in a Group I clash which could see the Red Devils all but confirm their ticket to the finals in 2020.

With five wins from five Roberto Martinez’ team is in imperious form in a group in which it is head and shoulders above the rest. Only Russia is still in touch with the Red Devils, after beating Scotland at Hampden on Friday, where John McGinn’s first international goal had given the hosts a lead. It only gets tougher for the Scots as they try to keep their slim chances of qualification alive and a win against Belgium would be a minor miracle.

 


 

 

Talking Points

World Class Robertson

This weekend’s Euro 2020 results haven’t been kind to the Scots and skipper Andy Robertson says his team must get a result against Belgium: “It doesn’t matter how far we are behind Belgium,” he says, “they were always going to win this group comfortably. The worrying thing is how far we are behind Russia. They are now six points clear and that is going to be hard to get back.

“There is no option but to get a result and if we don’t get one on Monday, I think it will be verging on impossible to get through this group.”

Robertson knows Belgium is a big step up from Russia and having lost that game, getting a point against Martinez’ men will be a huge ask. But he is the one player in Scotland’s ranks who could probably get into the Belgium team so he needs to lead from the front.

Since his transfer from Hull City to Liverpool Robertson has quickly become one of the European Champions’ best players as a speedy wing back with great positional sense and a wicked cross which provided numerous assists for Jurgen Klopp’s team last season.

The captain is the man to look to if we are to find any encouragement for the hosts in our pre-match Scotland vs Belgium betting tips.

Belgium are three points clear at the top of Euro 2020 Group I with maximum points from five games
Belgium's Thomas Meunier, Yannick Carrasco and teammates celebrate after the match

Belgium’s Riches

In contrast to their hosts, the Red Devils have an abundance of talent in their squad and the conveyor belt shows no sign of slowing up. The Golden Generation is still top of the FIFA rankings despite not yet winning a major trophy and there’ll be plenty of support for their case is 2020. A 0-4 win over San Marino moved Belgium eight points clear of third place in Group I, thanks to goals from Dries Mertens and Nacer Chadli and a brace from Michy Batshuayi. The Chelsea striker has shown promise for a couple of years but, with greater responsibility at Stamford Bridge, he seems to be stepping up a gear or two.

That put him on three goals in the competition, alongside Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku. Hazard put in a man of the match performance when Belgium brushed aside Russia with a 3-1 win, but he is unlikely to feature having had an injury-hit start to his career at Real Madrid.

We could well see Kevin De Bruyne though, and that will be enough to strike fear into the Scots, and then there is the emergence of Leicester City’s Youri Tielemens as another attacking midfield threat.

History

The return match in Belgium was Steve Clarke’s second game in charge of Scotland and ended with the Red Devils winning 3-0 and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a similar outcome on Monday.

Roberto Martinez’ Belgium is clear in the head to heads with nine victories to two and one drawn since 1971. Indeed Scotland hasn’t won in four against the Red Devils and Belgium’s five-match winning streak looks ominous alongside Scotland’s back to back defeats.

Betting Tip

??

Scotland vs Belgium Belgium First Half @ 2.06
September 10, 02:45 (GMT+8)

The Red Devils have been top of the FIFA Rankings for some time now while Scotland sits 47 places lower down, just clinging on to the first page! And at 1.46 to win the visitors look nailed on to make it six wins from six. Scotland is available at odds of 5.40 while the draw is 3.95, but I think a decent alternative bet would be Over 2.50 goals at 2.00.

I just can’t see Scotland holding out for 45 minutes.

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SBOBET 09-Sep 2019 Monday 2:06 PM (73 days ago)            #49
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Euro 2020: Hungary and Slovakia in Group E Shootout

Hungary vs Slovakia

There’s a fascinating Euro 2020 clash at the Groupama Arena in Budapest on Monday night, when Hungary hosts Slovakia in a crunch Group E clash.

In a tight group which also includes 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia, as well as a competitive Wales side which features Manchester United’s Daniel James and Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale. But while neither Marco Rossi’s Magyars nor Pavel Hapal’s Slovakia is blessed with many household names, they are both in the mix for qualification, Hungary joint top on nine points with their visitors three behind.

Neither team will feature in the top end of the Euro 2020 betting odds here at SBOBET but either could easily qualify for the finals next summer, the winners of this game will put themselves in a strong position. If that happens to be Hungary, then they will open up a six point gap over their opponents.

 


 

 

Talking Points

Still Any Two from Four

The Euro 2020 results in Group E have seen ups and downs for the four top teams and only three points separate these two and Croatia and Wales. Azerbaijan are the whipping boys, yet to earn a point and with a goal difference of -8.

Croatia is the Group E favourite, level on nine points with Hungary and blessed with talented players, such as Ivan Perisic, who ran Wales ragged when they met. And Hungary’s next opponents received a football education on Friday night, losing 0-4 at home to the Croats.

But Slovakia is still in contention having opened its Euro 2020 campaign with a 2-0 win over Hungary in a tight game decided by a first half goal from Ondrej Duda and a late second courtesy of Albert Rusnak. And they do have one star name. After a fine career in Serie A with Napoli, Marek Hamsik moved to Dalian Yifang at the end of 12 years in Naples. He became the Italian club’s top scorer and top appearance maker of all time with 121 goals in 520 games, and at 31 years of age he has the vision and ability to unlock any defence, arguably still at the top of his game.

Can Marek Hamsik add another goal in his record when they face Hungary in Euro 2020 Qualifiers
Marek Hamsik fights for the ball against Ante Rebic

Hamsik has two goals already in the tournament and is the visitors’ best hope of a win.

Impressive Magyars

Since the opening defeat to Slovakia, Hungary has been clicking through the gears nicely, with impressive wins over Croatia and Wales and a comfortable victory over Azerbaijan. Rossi has been dong an impressive job, with limited resources, leading his team to good performances which have put them in a superb position to defy expectations and reach the finals.

Mate Patkai and defender Willi Orban have two goals each, Patkai scoring the decisive goal in the win over Wales which sent Hungary to the top of the group. Rossi has been careful with his squad, resting experienced striker Adam Szalai in the 201 friendly loss to Montenegro on Thursday.

Bristol City midfielder Adam Nagy could feature, a cultured player, he could dictate the tempo of the game if Hungary makes a good start.

History

The hosts have a fine history on the international stage and older fans will hope a return of the good times may be around the corner. Hungary are twice runners up in the World Cup and twice semi-finalists in the European Championships, with the era of the Magnificent Magyars inspired by the great Ferenc Puskas, who scored an incredible 84 goals for his country.

Of course, Slovakia only became an official country as recently as 1993, so their progress to becoming a competitive European nation is as much as their fans could expect. Having qualified for the 2016 finals, reaching another tournament showcase is still within their grasp.

Both teams are in decent form; Hungary has four wins in six while Slovakia has three in six, though the visitors will have to shake off the 0-4 drubbing at the hands of Croatia.

In four previous meetings Hungary is yet to win, and is yet to score a goal against Slovakia, losing three and drawing one.

Betting Tip

??

Hungary vs Slovakia First Half Over 0.75 goals @1.77
September 10, 02:45 (GMT+8)

This is a really tough game to call with all three results firmly in play. Hungary is marginal favourite at 2.46, with the draw at 3.00 and Slovakia available at odds of 2.63 to grab a crucial three points.

The previous clashes haven’t been full of goals, but neither team has been shot shy in this campaign, scoring 13 between them, and I think there will be at least one goal in the first half.

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Euro 2020: Can Germany Get Back on Track in Ireland?

Northern Ireland vs Germany

Joachim Low takes Germany to Windsor Park in Belfast on Monday in a must win game, to shake off the anguish of Friday’s humiliation at home to the Netherlands This is a huge match in the Euro 2020 story, as an unlikely Group C leader in Michael O’Neill’s Northern Ireland faces a giant in world football, which has recently been floored. The hosts have four wins from four and sit proudly at the top of a group which contains two European powerhouses, but this is the first time they have faced one of them. So far O’Neill has guided his side to two wins over both Belarus and Estonia, and while the real battle starts here, you can only beat what’s in front of you and that’s exactly what Northern Ireland has done. Momentum is vital in football and so is a passionate home crowd, which is guaranteed at Windsor Park. The question is, can Germany overcome both of those factors to get their own campaign back on track?

Talking Points

Germany’s defensive woe As all SBOBET Euro 2020 fans know, Germany has been, for decades, the model of football efficiency, and as recently as 2014 Champions of the world. But they have been undergoing a period of transition, painfully evidenced by a group exit at Russia 2018 and relegation in the first ever UEFA Nations League. And after starting this campaign in impressive form, Germany was outplayed, out-thought and outclassed in a 2-4 defeat at home to the Netherlands on Friday night in a game which dominated the Euro 2020 highlights of the weekend. It wasn’t just the quality of the Netherlands’ passing and creative flair which took the eye, but also the catastrophic manner in which Germany’s defence parted in a second half when they conceded four goals. Captain and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer had an inexperienced back four in front of him, and while Lukas Klostermann looked good going forward, the Netherlands found it all too easy to break down Germany’s resistance, aided by an own goal courtesy of the unlucky Jonathan Tah.
Germany are 3 points behind Northern Ireland in Euro 2020 Group C table
Celebrates after scoring their goal against Netherlands

Germany still has players of real quality though, in the likes of Marcus Reus, Toni Kroos and FC Bayern’s Serge Gnabry, who opened the scoring against the Dutch to make it four so far in this campaign. And of course, Low’s side did manage to beat the Oranje back at the start of this campaign, and followed that up with a 2-0 win over Belarus and an 8-0 hammering of Estonia. Ireland’s rested players In the last round of games a late Paddy McNair strike against Belarus gave Northern Ireland a fourth win in four to take O’Neill’s side top of Group C by three points; and while Germany was toiling in Hamburg, the Ireland boss gave some of his players a rest during a friendly win over Luxembourg. The Irish won that game thanks to an own goal from Kevin Malget, while the likes of Conor Washington, Jonny Evans and Craig Cathcart were rested. Hearts striker Washington is expected to make a start, along with Evans and Cathcart, while forward Josh Magennis, top scorer with two, could start alongside Washington, with the experienced Kyle Lafferty also in contention. Burnley’s young goalkeeper Bailey Peacock- Farrell may well be the busiest man on the night when Germany comes to town, but the ten in front of him are sure to fight hard to protect him.

 


 

 

History

Northern Ireland has five wins on the bounce, though Germany is a different quality to any of those five opponents and O’Neill’s team hasn’t won against these opponents in eight attempts, losing the last seven. The last meeting, a World Cup qualifier in 2017, ended in a 1-3 win for Germany with Magennis on target for the Greens. The underdogs have won three home games in a row though, and Windsor Park will be bouncing on Monday night!

Betting Tip

??

Northern Ireland vs Germany Northern Ireland + 1.50 @ 1.86
September 10, 02:45 (GMT+8)
It’s difficult to make a strong case for Northern Ireland in this tie, but the hosts are sitting at the top of their group with a perfect record. And Germany looked worryingly vulnerable against a talented Netherland’s team. But the very latest Northern Ireland vs Germany betting odds bring the stark reality home that a win for the hosts would be quite a shock. You can get odds of 6.20 on a Northern Ireland win, with a draw at 5.00, while Germany is as short as 1.32. A double chance of Northern Ireland or draw is at 2.82 and that would be a superb outcome to keep the Irish eyes smiling. I think it unlikely, but neither do I expect an easy ride for Germany.

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uro 2020: De Bruyne Torments Scots as Belgium March on

Scotland 0-4 Belgium

Belgium maintained their 100 per cent record in the Euro 2020 qualifiers with a comfortable win in Scotland, a result which all but ended the hosts’ hopes of making the finals.

The Red Devils simply blew the Scots away in a blistering first half. Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne pulled the strings, making all three assists, while Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku was on target again with the opening goal. De Bruyne then added a late fourth to round off a sensational display.

Scotland skipper Andy Robertson and his team held crisis talks in the aftermath of their recent home defeat to Russia but there wasn’t a lot he or his team could do as De Bruyne put on a first-half master class.

The pre-match Scotland vs Belgium betting odds gave the hosts little chance, with the Red Devils at 1.46 to win. By the half-hour, Scotland’s hopes had disappeared from sight.

The win makes it six from six for Roberto Martinez’ team, who look every bit the number one side in the world.

Highlights of the game

Scotland knew they’d face an onslaught from the Red Devils, but they would have hoped to last longer than 10 minutes before their defence was breached!

Romelu Lukaku is in good shape after his move from Manchester United to Inter Milan and he was the man to break the deadlock, with a big hand from a Manchester City player.

Romelu Lukaku started the onslaught with an early goal for Belgium in their Euro 2020 qualifiers match
Romelu Lukaku gestures as Belgium overpower Scotland in their recent Euro 2020 qualifying clash

After an injury-hit season last term, De Bruyne is back to his best. As the visitors broke at pace he squared the perfect ball for Lukaku, and the striker fired comfortably past David Marshall.

And it was 0-2 on 24 minutes when the Red Devils cut through the Scotland defence with far too much ease. De Bruyne made his second assist of the night, this time firing in a dangerous cross which Thomas Vermaelen steered past the helpless Marshall.

The Red Devils were all over their hosts. Leicester midfielder Youri Tielemens had a shot which flew narrowly wide.

The Red Devils were slicing the Scotland defence open at will, and it was 0-3 soon enough as Belgium’s other centre-half was on target. De Bruyne picked up his third assist of the night when Toby Alderweireld rose highest to head home his corner, and that was game over shortly after the half-hour.

Maybe De Bruyne should have his own Euro 2020 highlights package!

As the Red Devils moved down a gear or two in the second half, Stephen O’Donnell broke into the Belgium area and went down under a challenge from Vermaelen, earning himself a yellow card for diving.

And then, as it looked like Belgium had settled for three, De Bruyne got his goal. Lukaku returned the favour, holding the ball up before releasing De Bruyne to fire coolly into the bottom corner.

The Manchester City man had it all his own way tonight as Belgium moved 11 points clear of third place in Group I.

Key statistics

Belgium winning the half-time shot count by eight to two, and four to one on target, was no surprise; we tipped the Red Devils to be ahead by half-time but didn’t really expect the game to be over by the break.

While the visitors eased off in the second half, they had another four shots on target, while Scotland managed two.