Euro 2020 Bet Of The Day: Swashbuckling Swiss Won’t Roll Over
Enzo previews the first of the Euro 2020 quarterfinals where Switzerland take on Spain and Italy face Belgium.
Switzerland v Spain 2 July 17:00 BST
Both Switzerland and Spain were protagonists in two of the most entertaining games of Euro 2020 so far. The Swiss staged an epic comeback against pre-tournament favourites France and progressed thanks to a penalty shootout victory. Spain saw off a spirted Croatia side in extra time where their much maligned striker Alvaro Morata finally did the business.
According to the bookies this tie is done and dusted. Spain are odds on favourites @ 4/6 with Switzerland priced @ 9/2. Personally I feel these prices do the Swiss, who showed equal amounts of grit and skill to see off France, a bit of an injustice. However I’m still not sure how the Swiss really roll! Are they the team we saw on Monday night or the team that was ripped apart by Italy? The same question can be asked of Spain. Is the laboured 0-0 with Sweden or the 5-0 thrashing of Slovakia a more accurate representation of their capabilities?
To be on the safe side I am going to avoid the W-D-W market altogether and instead stick with goals. Over 2.5 goals @ 10/11 is a fair price and it avoids the possibility of a Swiss flop or another upset. Whatever their true ability, Switzerland have shown they won’t go down without a fight or resort to parking the bus. Three of their four matches have seen over 2.5 goals and this should be no different.
Belgium v Italy 2 July 20:00 BST
After dismissing Austria as no hopers in my last article, I was made to eat a small portion of humble pie when Das Team held out for a spirited draw. Even though Italy did progress in extra time their performance for 90min was flaccid and lacked any penetration in the final third. They played the way I had expected them to before the tournament began, solid defensively but with the front three offering little in the way of creativity or a goal threat. The key turning point in the match was the introduction of Pessina, Locatelli and Chiesa. The trio completely changed the way Italy played with Chiesa making the breakthrough and Pessina adding a second.
Belgium dispatched Portugal without much of a fuss. The match was billed as the clash of the tournament but it turned out to be a rather drab affair. Fernando Santos is a notoriously conservative coach and Portugal didn’t begin to take risks until the very end of the game despite falling behind in the 42nd min. For their part, Belgium didn’t create a great deal of chances and it was only a Thorgan Hazard wonder-strike that proved the difference.
Italy come into the tie as favourites partly due to Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne picking up knocks against Portugal. Even if the duo were available I would still have Italy as slight favourites because I think they are a more well rounded side. However, how this game plays out depends, in my opinion, on Mancini’s team selection. If he sticks with Barella and Veratti in the middle of the park we could see a cagey, low scoring contest with little goalmouth action. On the other hand if Manuel Locatelli starts ahead of Veratti we could be in for a more exciting encounter. With him on the pitch making surging runs deep into the oppositions box, Italy looked a far more threatening side and one that could really trouble the Red Devils ageing defence. In their only real test, Belgium’s backline was run ragged by a first half Danish blitz and looked vulnerable with players running at them.
Regardless of who starts I feel the Azzurri have enough to progress and will be backing an Italy win @ 11/8. If either Locatelli or Pessina get the nod I will also back over 2.5 goals @ 7/5.
Belgium v Italy: Italy win @ 11/8
Switzerland v Spain: Over 2.5 goals @ 10/11