Euro 2020 Betting Preview: First 20 Minutes Crucial Between England And Scotland

Betfred's Matt Hulmes breaks down the best bets across day eight of Euro 2020
18:08, 17 Jun 2021


1pt Draw HT/ England FT @ 3/1

1pt Croatia & Sweden double @ 3/1

1pt Croatia to win & both teams to score @ 4/1

1pt Alexander Isak to score anytime and Sweden win @ 9/4

Twenty-five years and three days since England and Scotland did battle in Euro 96 at Wembley, the Auld Enemies rival each other once again at the home of football.

That June Saturday afternoon will be forever remembered for Paul Gascoigne’s magical strike and dentist chair celebration while current England manager Gareth Southgate watched on at centre half. 

A quarter of a century on and we have come full circle for another tournament showdown now played under an arch and not behind the twin towers of Wembley (8pm ITV).

England are rightly short priced favourites at 1/3, Scotland are 10/1 to repeat their win here in 1999 in Euro 2000 qualifying and the draw is 4/1. 

Team news will be interesting as I expect Southgate may plan for a more attacking approach and drop one of the holding midfielders although Kalvin Phillips had a stormer on Sunday. There was clammer from the crowd for Jack Grealish to play and he may come into the side while a natural left-back is expected to replace Kieran Trippier. 

If Scotland to set up defensively, I would like to see Southgate opt for a trio of Grealish, Foden and Mount to pick passes and supply Kane, with a deep back line negating any effects Sterling and Rashford’s pace would have of getting in behind.

Jack Grealish
Jack Grealish

Scotland fans will be hoping to see Che Adams from the start after he entered at half-time on Monday which saw an upturn in Scotland’s creativity while Billy Gilmour may also be thrust into action alongside Scott McTominay to protect their defensive line.

Derbies do not always run true to form but on all recent evidence, it should be three points for England and progress to the last 16. Scotland’s back line was caught out on numerous occasions against the Czech Republic and England will be looking to put on a show, although the probable return of Kieran Tierney is a positive for Steve Clarke. 

A repeat of their 2-0 win at Euro ’96 at 5/1 is not out of the question and the first 20 minutes will be crucial. An early England goal could see them run riot and it is 11/10 for an England victory with three or more goals in the game and they are 10/11 to win by two goals or more. 

Harry Kane is odds on to score anytime at 4/5 and get off the mark for the tournament and 2/1 to get the opener while Raheem Sterling is 15/8 to get a second goal of Euro 2020.

The best play though maybe a draw at half-time and England to win at full-time which is available at 3/1. A tight Scotland defence for the first forty-five minutes which is breached in the second half seems a very viable scenario.  

Earlier at 5pm on BBC is the other group D game where Croatia and Czech Republic meet at Hampden Park. Croatia caused England few problems last weekend but are rightly favourites at 6/5 to beat Czech Republic (13/5) who scored two fantastic goals against Scotland but also lived a charmed life at times. The draw is 12/5. 

Croatia isn’t the team that beat all bar France at the 2018 World Cup but they are still a good side and Luka Modric should get more ball time than he did at Wembley. He could be the difference and Croatia can land the odds here although it could be an entertaining match. Croatia to win and both teams to score at 4/1 looks fair.

Luka Modric
Luka Modric

Patrick Schick scored twice at Hampden Park and is 5/1 to score first and 5/2 for a third goal of the tournament.

Friday’s first game sees Sweden take on Slovakia, who shocked Poland in their first game, at 2pm in ST Petersburg (BBC). 

Sweden came close to pulling off a shock win against Spain, with Alexander Isak shot cleared off the line and Marcus Berg missing a gilt edged chance in the second half, but they were second best for large parts in Seville.

Their young striker Isak did cause Spain problems and he had a fantastic season at Real Sociedad, scoring 17 times in La Liga. 

He is worth siding with to open his account this summer at 15/8 and it is 9/4 he scores in a Swedish success.

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