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17 JUNE EURO 2016 BETTING PREVIEW: WILL ITALY BEAT SWEDEN?

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14:00 ITALY - SWEDEN 

Italy were almost magical in their opening match of Euro 2016 against Belgium. The Belgians controlled possession and shifted the ball around the edge of the box, but the Italians stood firm and limited Marc Wilmots' men to only a few good scoring chances. The Juventus trio of Barzagli-Bonucci-Chiellini were rock-solid, forcing Belgium to try their luck with long-range strikes that didn't trouble veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon. The Italians on the other hand struck the Belgians with all kinds of attacks, fast on the break and slowly waiting to puncture the defence on occasions, so the Swedish defenders could be in for a long day's work.

Meanwhile, Sweden were slightly lacklustre in their opening game, a 1-1 draw against Ireland. Sweden failed to muster a single shot at Ireland's goal, as even their equalizer was an own goal by an Irish defender. Failure to break Ireland down bodes ill now that they face an even tougher opponent.

On Italy's side we have to highlight winger Antonio Candreva, who tormented the Belgian defence for the whole game. The skillful wing wizard is dangerous every time he gets the ball, and is capable of both creating opportunities for himself and his teammates. 

There were few players on Sweden's side who could be given a positive review against Ireland, but John Guidetti's arrival did seem to bolster their attack significantly. We expect him to make the starting lineup on Thursday. The Yellow and Blues do have their talisman, Zlatan in their ranks who can do what he wants on a football pitch, but Sweden's struggles against Ireland didn't convince us and we don't think they'll be able to challenge the Italians properly.

Special Bets:

To get an assist: Candreva 3/1 Unibet

Italy's last matches:

13.6.2016 Belgium - Italy 0-2 (Euro 2016)

6.6.2016 Italy - Finland (friendly)

29.5.2016 Italy - Scotland 1-0 (friendly)

Sweden's last matches:

13.6.2016 Ireland - Sweden 1-1 (Euro 2016)

5.6.2016 Sweden - Wales 3-0 (friendly)

30.5.2016 Sweden - Slovenia (friendly)

BETTING TIP:

Italy's tactics mean that a lot of goals can't be expected. The Italians were the most convincing team in the whole tournament in the opening round of fixtures, while Sweden flattered to deceive. Italy's defence - if anyone can keep Zlatan quiet. A 1-0 or 2-0 win for Italy is the most likely result. The odds have fluctuated a lot since the opening round of games, and Italy's odds are currently a more than viable option.

** 1x2: Italy 9/10 Betsafe / Betsson

 

17:00 THE CZECH REPUBLIC - CROATIA

Friday's second game sees two sides who both convinced in their own way in the opening round come up against each other. The Czechs battled impressively against favourites Spain, and their defence in particular shone in the waves of Spanish attacks. They also managed to create a couple of chances of their own, from which one of them the Spaniards were rescued by a goal-line clearance by Cesc Fabrégas. However, Spain did finally manage to break through courtesy of a Gerard Pique header in the 87th minute, but despite losing the Czechs looked rather good.

Croatia's first performance at the Euros was great, although their opponents Turkey weren't at their best. Croatia's strong midfield grabbed the game by the scruff of its neck, and the Turks struggled to muster almost anything that mildly resembled an attack. The 1-0 scoreline could've been much worse for Turkey, as Croatia had several good scoring chances that they failed to convert. All in all a fantastic performance in both defence and attack.

The Czechs won't be in for a much easier match than the one against Spain, as Croatia's midfield will probably take control of the game. This will force the Czechs to yet again defend deep, while offensively they'll have to rely on counter-attacks. Croatia showed that they have what it takes to create magnificent goal-scoring opportunities, especially when Real Madrid's Luka Modric is on song.

Special Bets:

To score: Luka Modric 5/1 Betsafe

The Czechs last matches:

13.6.2016 Spain - The Czech Republic 1-0 (Euro 2016)

5.6.2016 The Czech Republic - South Korea 1-2 (friendly)

1.6.2016 Russia - The Czech Republic 1-2 (friendly)

27.5.2016 The Czech Republic - Malta 6-0 (friendly)

Croatia's last matches:

12.6.2016 Turkey - Croatia 0-1 (Euro 2016)

4.6.2016 Croatia - San Marino 10-0 (friendly)

27.5.2016 Croatia - Moldova 1-0 (friendly)

BETTING TIPS:

The Czechs defended admirably against Spain, but they'll be more adventurous in attack against Croatia. At heart the Czechs are an attacking side, capable of scoring a lot of goals. The odds for unders have fallen extremely low, so overs are definitely worth a try! Croatia's odds are also acceptable.

* 1x2: Croatia 41/50 Unibet

** Over 2.5 goals: 13/10 Betsafe

 

20:00 SPAIN - TURKEY

Thanks to their win against the Czechs, Spain have now gone 13 matches in the Euros without a defeat (10 wins 3 draws), and they're showing no signs of slowing down. Spain were just as strong on the ball as everybody expected, having 67% of possession and edging the goal-scoring opportunities 17-7, despite a strong performance from the Czechs. Croatia succeeded in breaking down Turkey on many occasions, and the Spaniards are of a different level altogether.

Turkey failed to find their best form against Croatia, and the 1-0 scoreline slightly flattered them. It felt like Turkey had no intention of winning, especially after Croatia broke the deadlock. Now the Turks need at least a point against the reigning European Champions or their tournament will most likely end with an exit at the group stage. Turkey won't be lacking on fighting spirit on Friday, but they need to find some sense to their attacks and control their fiery tempers if they want to get anything from Spain.

If Turkey can't lift their game from the level it was against Croatia they're in for a cold shower on Friday night. Spain's midfield dynamo Andres Iniesta ran the game against the Czechs, and the best player of the last Euros is showing signs of reaching his best form at the perfect time. The miniature magician provided his teammates with a lot of scoring opportunities in their opening match, but strikers Alvaro Morata and Nolito didn't have their shooting boots on. Morata was particularly wasteful against the Czechs, and the Juventus-star will be fired up to make up for his mistakes. The Turkish defenders aren't as adept as their Czech counterparts, so Morata will get his chances.

Special Bets:

To score: Morata 32/25 Unibet

To get an assist: Iniesta 16/5 Unibet

* Turkey to get over 2.5 cards: 27/25 Unibet

Spain's last matches:

13.6.2016 Spain - The Czech Republic 1-0 (Euro 2016)

7.6.2016 Spain - Georgia 0-1 (friendly)

1.6.2016 Spain - South Korea 6-1 (friendly)

29.5.2016 Spain - Bosnia & Hertzegovina 3-1 (friendly)

Turkey's last matches:

12.6.2016 Turkey - Croatia 0-1 (Euro 2016)

5.6.2016 Slovenia - Turkey 0-1 (friendly)

29.5.2016 Turkey - Montenegro 1-0 (friendly)

22.5.2016 England - Turkey 2-1 (friendly)

BETTING TIP:

The Spaniards are the bookies' clear favourites - as they should be. Turkey have struggled defensively, despite the fact that they only conceded once against Croatia. Spain have a relieving win on their belt and this match promises to be more entertaining. Small bets on overs are the order of the day.

* Over 2.5 goals: 21/20 Betsafe

DON'T FORGET TO CHECK SATURDAY'S TIPS: A ***-STAR GEM AVAILABLE!

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