Day three sees England play their first match of Euro 2020 with Croatia the visitors to Wembley. Here’s how the key markets look.
“Both England and Croatia are tipped to finish first and second in Group D, but who will finish top?
In a straight forecast, England/Croatia can be backed at 2.915/8 on the exchange while Croatia/England is available at 6.25/1“
Captain Kane keen to carry on fantastic form
For England, the waiting is over and the time has come for Gareth Southgate’s side to start their Euro 2020 campaign against Croatia at Wembley. Can this be England’s year? No team has played more games than the Three Lions without reaching the final. This will be game 32 for England in the Euros.
Southgate is spoilt for choice in attack. England finished qualification scoring an average 4.6 goals per game, and they will be confident of penetrating a Croatia defence that kept just two clean sheet in their eight qualifiers. England are 5/2 to score over 2.5 goals at Wembley and skipper Harry Kane, who was the leading scorer in qualification with 12 goals, is 13/5 to open the scoring.
In defence, Harry Maguire remains sidelined, but could return against Scotland on Friday. Southgate’s side have not conceded a goal in five of their last six matches and are 1.9210/11 on the exchange to keep a clean sheet against Croatia.
England have never won their opening match at the Euros (five draws, four defeats)
Both these sides are tipped to finish first and second in Group D but who will finish top? In a straight forecast, England/Croatia can be backed at 2.915/8 on the exchange while Croatia/England is available at 6.25/1.
Zlatko Dalic’s side are aiming to exterminate England’s impressive run of tournament form at Wembley. Excluding penalty shootouts, the Three Lions have never lost a tournament match at the Twin Towers or new Wembley. Croatia have not reached the Euro quarter-finals since 2008 when they lost to Turkey on penalties, but they are 6/4 to reach the quarters this summer.
Pandev looking to sign off in style
North Macedonia will become the 38th nation to feature in the European Championships and their introduction to the tournament has been made slightly easier by the way their fixtures have fallen. First up is Austria, followed by Ukraine before finishing with their most difficult match against the Dutch.
Optimism is high within the Macedonian camp after recording their most famous victory in March when they beat Germany 2-1 in Duisburg. Veteran striker Goran Pandev opened the scoring that night and the 37-year-old would love to end his career with a goal at a major tournament.
The Genoa forward is 4/1 to be an anytime scorer against the Austrians while Elif Elmas, who led his country with four goals in qualifying, is a generous 6/1 to score in their opening game.
North Macedonia can be backed at 5.59/2 to beat Austria who have never won a match in the two Euros they have qualified for. Marko Arnautovic will be a familiar name in Franco Foda’s squad given his time at Stoke and West Ham, and his six goals in qualifying helped his country finish runners-up to Poland in their qualifying group. Arnautovic is 15/8 to be an anytime scorer.
Deadly Depay to do the damage for the Dutch
It’s great to have the Netherlands back at a major tournament and if nothing else, their fans will add plenty of orange to the stands. Like Italy, the last few years have been a rebuilding process that has paid dividends. Not many of this squad are burdened with disappointments of the past.
Memphis Depay scored six goals and provided seven assists in just 495 minutes of play during qualification
Memphis Depay is a player knocking on the door of being world class. This stage is a chance for the 27-year-old to elevate his game to the next level. Averaging a goal or an assist every 38 minutes in qualifying is a staggering statistic and Depay could have a big game against Ukraine. Depay to score and provide an assist against Ukraine pays out 7.22. The Lyon star could be pivotal in leading his nation to the quarter-finals at 1.768/11.
Ukraine will be desperate for a change of fortune. Managed by the country’s all-time leading scorer Andriy Shevchenko, Ukraine have lost their last five matches at the Euros. Defeat in this contest and they will equal the tournament’s longest run without a win which is currently held by Yugoslavia.
Ukraine have failed to score in their last five matches at the Euros and Shevchenko will hope his ability to find the back of the net with ease rubs off on this squad of players. Ukraine can be backed at 1.834/5 to score at least one goal in their opener.
Wales really need Moore goals to qualify
Wales were within 16 minutes of losing their opening game to Switzerland but they had Kieffer Moore’s head to thanks once again. Four of Moore’s six international goals have been headers, but this one is the most important, so far. Defeat would have cast doubt on their ability to make the Round of 16.
Rob Page’s side will not want to face Italy in their final group game needing to get something to qualify which is why they will really need to beat Turkey on Wednesday. Following their draw, Wales are 5/2 to finish second in Group A.
The Welsh are also 4.67/2 on the exchange to reach the quarter-finals but their performance might convince others that Wales will struggle to get out of the group; they are 8.07/1 to lay. The Swiss are 3.02/1 to make it past the Round of 16.
The draw was the 12th international in which Gareth Bale has failed to score. For a squad that already lacks goals, Bale has to step up and have more of an impact on matches. Bale is 15/8 to be his country’s leading scorer in Euro 2020.
Lukaku leads Red Devils to impressive win
Before Euro 2020 began, Romelu Lukaku was second favourite to win the Golden Boot award at 13/2. The Belgium striker scored 24 league goals for Inter as they won their first Serie A title in 11 years and was expected to carry that form into this tournament. After scoring twice in a 3-0 win over Russia, Lukaku is now the 23/10 favourite to end the tournament as the leading scorer.
It took the 28-year-old just 10 minutes to open his account on a difficult day for football. Lukaku dedicated his tenth minute opener to his Inter team-mate Christian Eriksen who needed CPR after collapsing in Denmark’s 1-0 loss to Finland earlier in the day. Lukaku completed the scoring two minutes from time to highlight his importance to this Belgian team.
Romelu Lukaku’s second goal with his 45th in 43 games under Roberto Martinez
The question is, can Lukaku’s goals lead his nation to their first ever European title? A double for Lukaku to win the Golden Boot and Belgium to win the Euros can be backed at 12.5 on the exchange.
Finland, who won their first ever match in the Euros, have boosted their chances of reaching the Round of 16. Victory over Russia on Wednesday will give them six points before they close their group stage against Belgium. The Finns are 1.491/2 to qualify from Group B.
Source: BetFair Tips