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22ND OF JUNE EURO 2016 BETTING PREVIEW: THE GROUP STAGES END

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Wednesday looks to be a perfect summer day, as the Euros serve up the final matches of the group stages! The stakes are incredibly high, which is bound to show on the pitch.

17:00 ICELAND - AUSTRIA

The plot of this match is clear: the winner will progress to the knockout stages, while the loser will have start looking for a flight back home. Admittedly, a draw might be enough for Iceland, but then they'd be at the mercy of results in the other groups. Meanwhile, the Austrians who battled out a goalless draw with Portugal require all three points to progress and they are also the bookies' favourites for the win. However, their showings so far in the tournament have been far from impressive. 

Austria have failed to score even a single goal at Euro 2016, and if you take into account two of the friendlies before the tournament their goal difference of their last four games is a disappointing 1-6. Against Hungary the Austrians were simply poor, and their opponents managed to grab a surprise 2-0 victory. Although the draw against Portugal was a good result, Austria were completely under the cosh for the duration of the match. They can only thank their luck for the result and crucial point. 

Iceland have been the far more convincing side out of the two so far, and although they've mostly been defending against both Portugal and Hungary their defence has been more than resilient. Despite their unselfish defending, the most positive aspect for Iceland is that they have managed to score in both of their matches. Their tactics may be far from joga bonito, but in terms of the chances they've created they are one of the most clinical sides in France.

The game plan is unlikely to change against Austria, and their opponents will have their work cut out if they want to break Iceland's defence down. Austria haven't shown any signs at Euro 2016 that would tip the scales in their favour, as they've only managed four shots on target all tournament. This will have to change if they want to get anything against an Iceland team who have had one of the best defences in the tournament.

Iceland's last matches:

18.6.2016 Iceland - Hungary 1-1 (Euro 2016)

14.6.2016 Portugal - Iceland 1-1 (Euro 2016)

6.6.2016 Iceland - Liechtenstein 4-0 (Friendly)

1.6.2016 Norway - Iceland 3-2 (Friendly)

Austria's last matches:

18.6.2016 Portugal - Austria 0-0 (Euro 2016)

14.6.2016 Austria - Hungary 0-2 (Euro 2016)

4.6.2016 Austria - The Netherlands 0-2 (Friendly)

31.5.2016 Austria - Malta 2-1 (Friendly)

BETTING TIPS:

The odds the bookies are giving are hard to comprehend: Austria may have the edge on paper, but at Euro 2016 Iceland have been the far better team. Austria won't be breaching their defence with ease. They will however be forced to attack with all they've got, as a draw is worth nothing to them. This means that Iceland will have a lot of chances to strike back with fast breaks, making the underdogs an attractive proposition in terms of betting! An even better choice is the double chance 1x, where even a draw in addition to an Iceland victory will bring a win! 

*** Double Chance: 1x 4/5 Unibet / Leo Vegas

** 1x2: Iceland 3/1 Betsafe / Betsson

 

17:00 HUNGARY - PORTUGAL 

Many predicted that Hungary would be rooted to the bottom of Group F, while Portugal would coast their way to the knockout stages. The story has been anything but. Hungary lead the group going into the final round of fixtures, and have all but made sure of their spot in the knockout stages. Portugal have amassed two points, which isn't even close to being enough, so they are in desperate need of a victory.

Portugal won the stat for scoring opportunities against Iceland 27-4 and also edged shots on target 10-4. Against Austria it was a similar story: 23-3 and 6-1. Despite this, the Portuguese have managed to score only once all tournament, an astounding fact considering their dominance in both games. They've undoubtedly been one of the most disappointing teams in the tournament, but they've also suffered from a lot of bad luck.

However, there's no escaping the fact that they are in a position where they have to start scoring, otherwise they can start looking at flights back to Portugal. All eyes will be pointed at superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, who has so far been the most wasteful man in the tournament in terms of scoring chances.

Meanwhile, Hungary have been extremely convincing  at Euro 2016. The note-worthy thing about their games has been their great balance between attack and defence, and it has been one of the main factors behind their success against two very different kinds of opponents. However, this will be a completely different challenge, and Hungary will be defending for their lives for most of the match. The country's defence hasn't been properly tested as of yet, so it'll be interesting to see how they cope. If Portugal can finally find their shooting boots Hungary are in big trouble.

The game will most likely pan out just like Portugal's two previous matches. Against Iceland the Portuguese had as many as 11 corners, while against Austria they had 10. There might be a lot of action near the corner flags against Hungary as well.

Special Bets:

* Portugal to get over 6.5 corners: 1/2 Unibet

Hungary's last matches:

18.6.2016 Iceland - Hungary 1-1 (Euro 2016)

14.6.2016 Austria - Hungary 0-2 (Euro 2016)

4.6.2016 Germany - Hungary 2-0 (Friendly)

20.5.2016 Hungary - Ivory Coast 0-0 (Friendly)

Portugal's last matches:

18.6.2016 Portugal - Austria 0-0 (Euro 2016)

14.6.2016 Portugal - Iceland 1-1 (Euro 2016)

8.6.2016 Portugal - Estonia 7-0 (Friendly)

2.6.2016 England - Portugal 1-0 (Friendly)

29.5.2016 Portugal - Norway 3-0 (Friendly)

BETTING TIP:

Portugal will control the game - that's for sure. Hungary are a nasty opponent defensively and they will be more than happy with a draw. A low-scoring match can be expected. The stakes couldn't be higher for Portugal, so it's unlikely that they'll find scoring goals easy under so much pressure. The most likely result is a 1-0 or 2-0 victory for Portugal, so unders are a good addition to your betting plans.

* Under 2.5 goals: 13/20 Betsafe / Betsson

 

20:00 ITALY - IRELAND

Italy's resilient defending continued in their second match against Sweden, as Gianluigi Buffon didn't have a single save to make. The defensive trio of Barzagli-Bonucci-Chiellini have been incredible in both of Italy's matches, and there's no reason why their good form shouldn't continue as they've played with each other for such a long time. If you count two of the friendlies prior to the tournament Italy haven't conceded for an astounding 360 minutes!

With the Italians defence performing as well as they are, only the brilliance of the opposition can break them. In addition to Sweden,even Belgium failed to find a way past them, so it seems rather unlikely that the Irish would be the first to unlock them. Ireland were weak against Belgium, succumbing to a 3-0 defeat after a strong showing from the Belgians in the second half. Ireland's defence looked more like Swiss cheese than steel that time out. Meanwhile, Ireland managed to shoot only twice all game at Belgium's goal, so it was a bad performance in more ways than one. Now they face the meanest defence in the tournament, so they need more than a couple of aces up their sleeves if they have any hope of scoring on Wednesday. The Irish would require all three points for any hopes of progressing from the group stages, but nothing points in the direction of that actually coming to pass.

Italy have already secured their place in the knockout stages, so manager Antonio Conte may rotate his squad in the last group stage match. However, their defence is unlikely to change as the same trio also played in all of Italy's friendlies before the tournament. Winger Antonio Candreva received a slight knock against Sweden, and he was sidelined for the squad's training session on Sunday. Veteran goalkeeper Buffon also had some kind of problem that forced him to sit out the session. If Conte chooses to rest some of his star names Ireland have a slim chance of getting something from the game, otherwise it would require a major improvement from their showings in their last couple of matches.

Italy's last matches:

17.6.2016 Italy - Sweden 1-0 (Euro 2016)

13.6.2016 Belgium - Italy 0-2 (Euro 2016)

6.6.2016 Italy - Finland 2-0 (Friendly)

29.5.2016 Italy - Scotland 1-0 (Friendly)

Ireland's last matches:

18.6.2016 Belgium - Ireland 3-0 (Euro 2016)

13.6.2016 Ireland - Sweden 1-1 (Euro 2016)

31.5.2016 Ireland - Belarus 1-2 (Friendly)

27.5.2016 Ireland - The Netherlands 1-1 (Friendly)

BETTING TIP:

Although Italy don't necessarily have much to play for, they're still the clear favourites for the win on Wednesday. Ireland need to go all out for a win, so Italy can play the game they love the most: tight defending with quick counter-attacks. The odds for an Italian victory are off the charts and betting on the Azzurri is a must!

*** 1x2: Italy 7/5 Betsafe / Bet365 / Betsson

 

20:00 SWEDEN - BELGIUM

Belgium were anything but convincing in their opening game of the tournament against Italy, but in the second match against Ireland a completely different Belgium showed up - especially in the second half. However, it must also be noted that the opponents were a level or two below, and there was a lot Ireland's weakness in the equation. This doesn't change the fact that the three goals scored will surely lift Belgium's spirits, and this couldn't have happened at a worse time for Sweden.

The Swedes have struggled with similar issues going forward as the Belgians did against Italy. Their problems are on another level altogether, as they've failed to muster even a single shot on target all tournament! The teams attacking has been more than woeful, as even their superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic has looked an average mortal - and that's saying a lot. Admittedly, Belgium's defence is vulnerable, but if the Swedes continue to attack like they've done so far they won't cause them a lot of problems. Sweden need a win to keep any hopes of the knockout stages alive. 

Belgium's number one striker Romelu Lukaku is the kind of player who scores his goals in bunches. The Everton-forward is almost unstoppable once he hits top gear, but he also suffers from long dry spells in front of goal. One of those barren runs came to an end at Ireland's expense, and with those two relieving goals Lukaku is now a far more dangerous proposition to Sweden's defence. Lukaku's awakening was crucial for a Belgium side in desperate need of points to progress from the group stages.

Special Bets:

To score: Lukaku 37/20 Unibet

Sweden's last matches:

17.6.2016 Italy - Sweden 1-0 (Euro 2016)

13.6.2016 Ireland - Sweden 1-1 (Euro 2016)

5.6.2016 Sweden - Wales 3-0 (Friendly)

30.5.2016 Sweden - Slovenia 0-0 (Friendly)

Belgium's last matches:

18.6.2016 Belgium - Ireland 3-0 (Euro 2016)

13.6.2016 Belgium - Italy 0-2 (Euro 2016)

5.6.2016 Belgium - Norway 3-2 (Friendly)

1.6.2016 Belgium - Finland 1-1 (Friendly)

28.5.2016 Switzerland - Belgium 1-2 (Friendly)

BETTING TIP:

Although the stakes are huge and Sweden are yet to get a shot on target all tournament, we think there are going to be more goals than the bookies expect. Sweden have so far been able to more or less play for a draw - now they need to win! The Swedes will have to go in search of goals right from the start, and Belgium's defence has been unconvincing. Meanwhile, Belgium are on paper one of the strongest teams going forward in the tournament. As Sweden open up their game chances can be expected at both ends of the pitch.

** Over 2.5 goals: 7/5 Betsafe / Betsson

 

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