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13 JUNE - EURO 2016 BETTING TIPS: BELGIUM VS ITALY MONDAY'S GEM!

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Our betting tips got off to a good start, as all of our big ***-star bets came off: Germany -1.5 (17/10), Poland (3/4) and Wales - Slovakia over 1.5 goals (29/50). The Euros have three matches scheduled for Monday, with the late kick-off featuring a real gem, as Belgium face Italy.

EURO 2016 BETTING TIPS & PREVIEW

14:00 SPAIN - THE CZECH REPUBLIC

It would've been interesting to be in Spain's locker-room after their final friendly before the Euros. Vicente del Bosque probably had a lot to say to the reigning European champions after their 0-1 loss to Georgia despite having more than 75% of the possession. The Spaniards also had 17 attempts on goal, but for some mystical reason they couldn't seem to find the net as only three of those were on target! Spain's attacking therefore requires a lot of work if they want to replicate their Euro 2012 success. A week before that defeat they did beat South Korea 6-1, so there's no cause for panic just yet.

Meanwhile, the Czech's lost their final friendly prior to the Euros 2-1 to the same South Koreans Spain had thrashed a week earlier. The teams are miles apart on paper, and Spain come into the game as huge favourites. However, the Czech's did show they have to be taken seriously in the qualifiers, as they beat the Netherlands twice and Turkey once. They also won against Russia a couple of weeks back, so although they aren't as strong as they once were, the Czechs are still a force to be reckoned with.

The noteworthy thing about the Czechs' qualifying campaign was that they conceded 14 goals, the largest amount of all the teams that made it to France this summer. They've managed to keep a clean sheet only once in their last 22 fixtures, and that solitary shutout can't really be called an achievement as it came against lowly Malta! If the Czechs want to have any chance of surprising Spain, they need to find some newfound defensive resilience. If this doesn't happen, Spain's skillful forwards and midfielders could be in for a field day at the Czechs expense.

Spain's friendlies before the Euros:

7.6.2016 Spain - Georgia 0-1

1.6.2016 Spain - South Korea 6-1

29.5.2016 Spain - Bosnia & Hertzegovina

The Czech Republic's friendlies before the Euros:

5.6.2016 The Czech Republic - South Korea 1-2

1.6.2016 Russia - The Czech Republic 1-2

27.5.2016 The Czech Republic - Malta 6-0

BETTING TIP:

Goals galore can't be expected, as the Czechs are unlikely to find the back of the net. They also have a chance to stay in the game for a long time if they can keep the skillful Spaniards at bay. Spain's odds are too bad to be considered, so a low-scoring match is our order of the day.

** Under 2.5 goals 17/20 Unibet / Leo Vegas

17:00 IRELAND - SWEDEN

Things are crystal clear before Ireland's and Sweden's opening match at Euro 2016. As Belgium and Italy have far better squads, this match is both sides' best chance of claiming a place in the knockout stages and third place in Group D. As only the four best third-placed teams progress, three points are paramount for both teams on Monday. This can sound like a brutal assessment before a ball has been kicked, but it would be a big surprise if either side got anything from their matches against Belgium and Italy.

Ireland's dress rehearsal for the Euros didn't go as they'd hoped, as they suffered a 2-1 defeat at home against Belarus. Ireland's performance was so hopeless that assistant coach Roy Keane announced that he wanted to kill some of his players after the final whistle. All is not lost however, as the Irish managed to earlier grab a draw against the Netherlands.

Elsewhere, Sweden thrashed fellow Euro-hopefuls Wales 3-0 in their final friendly prior to the Euros. It wasn't just the scoreline that was convincing, as Sweden's defence managed to keep the Welsh from having a single shot at their goal all game! The Swedes last faced the Irish in the qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup. That time out Sweden ran out 2-1 winners after a tightly fought encounter in the first match, while the reverse fixture finished goalless. In terms of the odds Sweden are billed as slight favourites, but Ireland won't roll over without a fight - an angry Keane on the touchline will make sure of that.

Ireland's friendlies before the Euros:

31.5.2016 Ireland - Belarus 1-2

27.5.2016 Ireland - The Netherlands 1-1

Sweden's friendlies before the Euros:

5.6.2016 Sweden - Wales 3-0

30.5.2016 Sweden - Slovenia 0-0

BETTING TIP

Zlatan brings the Swede's firepower that the Irish simply don't have. Sweden also edge this match in terms of form. The favourites' odds are well, favourable. However, the best odds available are for over 1.5 goals, which should be almost guaranteed to happen as both sides desperately need a win!

*** Over 1.5 goals 11/20 Betsafe

1x2: Sweden 29/20 Bet365

20:00 BELGIUM - ITALY

The Group of Death kicks off with a real gem, as Belgium face Italy on Monday night. Belgium have been billed as one of the favourites to claim the title, and there squad is truly impressive. Meanwhile, Italy don't have the same quality they used to, but in the friendlies before the tournament they have performed better than their rivals.

Belgium prepared for the Euros with three friendlies, of which they won two: 3-2 against Norway and 2-1 against Switzerland. Between the wins they had a bad performance and 1-1 draw at home against Finland, and the Belgian media's reaction was fierce. Manager Marc Wilmots came under a lot of fire due to Belgium's lack of a game plan, and his defensive organizing skills were also criticized. All of Belgium's friendly opponents bulged the Red Devils' net, with Norway even managing it twice. The absence of Vincent Kompany seems to have had a big effect.

On the other side of the equation, Italy's defence has been pure steel prior to the Euros. Two clean sheets in their final friendlies against Finland and Scotland is impressive in itself, but this is made even more spectacular by the fact that the Italians didn't allow a single shot on their goal in either of those matches! Their Juve-inspired back-three of Barzagli-Bonucci-Chiellini have played together for so long that they have more than enough skill and experience to stop the Belgians in their tracks. Of course, this will be a far tougher test than any friendly match could ever be.

It's hard to pick a favourite for this match, as both sides' strengths counter each other entirely. Italy do have the ability to inflict a lot of damage with their counter-attacks, so if the Belgians continue to struggle defensively the Italians have a big advantage. However, Belgium's attacking prowess is so adept that if they show up on the day they're a tough team to beat.

Belgium's friendlies before the Euros:

5.6.2016 Belgium - Norway 3-2

1.6.206 Belgium - Finland 1-1

28.5.2016 Switzerland - Belgium 1-2

Italy's friendlies before the Euros:

6.6.2016 Italy - Finland 2-0

29.5.2016 Italy - Scotland 1-0

BETTING TIP:

The bookies have valued the Belgians far too highly in the odds, and Italy's defence will make sure there's no chance of an open match. Even a 0-0 draw wouldn't be a surprise. As a lot of goals is unlikely the likelihood of a draw is much bigger. The most interesting betting idea for Monday's late kick-off is the double chance x2, where both a draw and an Italian win mean a win!

** Double Chance: x2 57/100 Unibet / Leo Vegas

 

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