The last 16 begins tomorrow and runs until Monday, finishing off with England vs Iceland. The group stage was fairly unpredictable, a lot of close games, but for me – BTTS is still the value bet around! Most have been at least Evens.
8 games over the weekend – and bar a couple of mis-matches, most of the odds are evens or above for match markets. Belgium, England and Germany are odds on favourites against Hungary, Iceland and Slovakia but we have seen all three upset the applecart. Hungary look dangerous, and completely fearless, while Iceland have held their own against Portugal and Austria without any real problems. Slovakia should come up short against Germany, but to be fair they beat them just before the tournament, albeit in poor conditions.
I’ve picked my favourite four bets for the coming games:
Switzerland vs Poland: BTTS @ 11/8 (1400 KO, Saturday)
Poland, defensively – were not really challenged too much during the group phase. Three clean sheets, the worst of which was a dreadfully boring 0-0 draw with Germany. Now we are into the knockout phases, we may see teams come a little more out of their shell – and in Switzerland I’m hoping this will happen. The likes of Seferovic missed too many chances, so we could see Embolo start a game. Defensively they look frail, Rodriguez the only solid one – after poor performances against Romania and Albania where they looked like conceding multiple times. France also missed a host of chances, and rested players which had an impact on the result.
BTTS @ 11/8 is a very high price! With Lewandowski on the pitch, and then the likes of Shaqiri/Xhaka on the other side, I fancy both to score.
Wales vs Northern Ireland: Wales Win @ 1/1 (1700 KO, Saturday)
Having seen plenty of Wales over the last three games, and equally the same of Northern Ireland – I really can’t see Chris Coleman’s men having too many issues getting past the Round of 16 tie. Evens is pretty good value, probably the best for this round of games! With all the tougher sides in the other side of the draw, there is a strong chance Wales will face Belgium in the next round.
Germany vs Slovakia: Germany -1 Goal Handicap @ 5/4 (1700 KO, Sunday)
As mentioned, Slovakia actually beat Germany pre-tournament in a friendly, in very poor conditions. This time, with Germany improving as the tournament has gone on, and an ageing, tough tackling defence of Slovakia – it will be different this time around. They could have put about 7 past Ireland had their keeper not had the game of his life, and unfortunately for Slovakia I don’t think that will happen again.
2/3-0 is my prediction, but -1 handicap the tip for this game.
England vs Iceland: England Win + Under 2.5 Goals @ 8/5 (2000 KO, Monday)
England have a lot to prove – after blowing the easy route to glory, they must do things the hard way. Iceland are the first hurdle, defensively sound and they frustrated Portugal and Austria for long periods. With England likely to revert to a full strength team, added to the fact that they are to face the same things that they did in the group stage – I believe Jamie Vardy might be best used as an impact sub. Iceland will setup to frustrate, and with England struggling to break down all three group teams, it could be a case of a 1 goal victory. An early goal should draw Iceland into attacking, but I can’t see that happening based on what I saw in the first few games.
This pays around 26/1 as an accumulator.
Best of luck