1pt Both Teams to Score Turkey v Wales @ 11/10
0.5pt Italy to win 1-0 @ 9/2
1pt Russia v Finland draw @ 11/4
We have seen all twenty-four teams in action now in Euro 2020 as we move into round two of group games.
Not everything has gone to plan for this column, but we have had plenty of near misses and hopefully we will get the rub of the green in the second round of matches.
Before yesterday’s action, we were six points down. But for a late Netherlands winner and an Alexander Isak shot blocked on the line we would have been in profit so let us keep the faith and look ahead to the opening games in round two that get underway on Wednesday.
Such is the proximity of the venue to their opponents, Wales will face a partisan Turkish crowd but they have plenty to build on from their hard earned point against Switzerland on Saturday and the pace of Daniel James could be a real threat against a Turkish side that looked leaden-legged in their opening 3-0 defeat to Italy.
I certainly don’t expect a repeat of the last meeting when Turkey edged a 10 goal thriller 6-4 back in 1997, it will be much tighter than that.
There is no doubt the pressure is on Turkey after a poor performance against an admittedly excellent Italy on Friday night. They never got going at all and Senol Gunes will no doubt ring the changes. Many people saw them as dark horses for the tournament after recent performances in competitive fixtures and they must take all three points in this match.
That will suit Robert Page who can utilise the pace of James, Gareth Bale and David Brooks who will be playing off Kieffer Moore. The Cardiff hitman will be full of confidence after his opening game strike and Wales have all the attributes to cause Turkey terrors.
I was tempted to tip Robert Page’s men up at around 9/4, but I can see an open game as Wales will not want to be relying on getting a result against Italy to qualify. Therefore, both teams to score at 11/10 looks more than fair.
I think we are all looking forward to seeing Italy back in action but I expect a tight affair when they face Switzerland at 8pm in Rome. The Azzurri left a lasting impression with their aggressive pressing style on Friday and can see why they are on this huge twenty-eight game unbeaten stretch.
The Swiss themselves picked up after a poor 2020 and the draw with Wales brought an end to their six-game winning streak. They will not give Roberto Mancini’s men as much time on the ball as Turkey did, but I still think the Italians will edge it by a single goal. 9/2 for a 1-0 Italy victory makes some appeal.
An early Lukaku strike saw Russia’s game plan go out of the window on Saturday and they eventually succumbed to a 3-0 defeat. They will need to win this game against a Finland side who obviously came through that traumatic game in Copenhagen, but I cannot entertain backing the Russians at 4/6.
Finland are almost assured of a place in the knockout stages, but a point will confirm it and they were so well organised at the weekend, they may well achieve it. Quotes of 11/4 for the draw looks the play.