Euro 2020: Betting preview and selections for key games featuring Wales, Italy and Russia

Wednesday sees the return of Groups A and B as the second set of Euro 2020 group matches get underway.

By Betting Expert
Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 10:31 am
Wales star Gareth Bale. Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images
Wales star Gareth Bale. Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

At 2pm Finland take on Russia in what is a huge game for the Russians if they want to salvage anything from the tournament. They were soundly beaten by Belgium in St. Petersburg and even a draw would be deemed a disappointing result against a nation they dwarf in size and player selection.

That tie is followed by Turkey vs Wales and the Welsh will be looking to build on their improved second half against Switzerland, where Kieffer Moore's header gave them a point in Baku. This fixture will also be played in the Azerbaijani capital but the atmosphere will be more intense than Wales’ opener as the majority of the 31,000 fans in attendance will be cheering on Turkey.

Italy versus Switzerland wraps up the day with the Azzurri back in Rome hoping to emulate their flawless 3-0 win against Turkey. Roberto Mancini’s side were well drilled on and off the ball as they dominated the very first game of Euro 2020. Italy started off the tournament 9/1 to win the competition but have seen their odds reduced to 7/1 due to those three points which saw strikes from Ciro Immobile, Lorenzo Insigne as well as an own goal from Merih Demiral.

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Finland’s game against Denmark was marked by harrowing scenes as Christian Eriksen collapsed in the 41st minute, the match was restarted and finished with the Finns getting the three points due to a Joel Pohjanpalo header. Eriksen is recovering in hospital and said he is 'fine under circumstances'. For Finland, Pohjanpalo is 4/1 to continue his good start to Euro 2020 and score in the 90 minutes. He’s not quite as likely as strike partner Teemu Pukki who is at 21/10 in that same market. The Norwich City forward was struggling for fitness against Denmark after an injury at the end of the season but will hope to play his way into shape and will aim to take advantage of what looks like a sloppy Russian defence.

Despite the tragic circumstances of Denmark vs Finland, the second half was played and the Finns were resolute with goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky making himself a hero after a penalty save from Tottenham Hotspur’s Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. A repeat result for the Finns if they were to beat Russia is at 11/1.

Russia are still outright favourites at 8/13 over Finland at 5/1 with Artem Dzyuba 10/11 as the bookies’ tip to score anytime. Aleksei Miranchuk was surprisingly not in Stanislav Cherchesov’s team going into the match with Belgium given he is one of the only individuals in the squad to play in a major European league. The Atalanta attacking midfielder was brought on in the 63rd minute and will surely be due a start if Russia are going to win this game. He’s at 11/4 to score anytime.

Turkey and Wales will be nervous ahead of a game in which a defeat for either side could put their chances of qualifying from the group in jeopardy. Turkey looked mentally and physically shot after their opening day defeat. Despite this, they are still favourites for the game at 11/8 with Robert Page’s Wales at 23/10.

Page will no doubt keep Kieffer Moore in the starting eleven after a beautifully glanced header that sent the Welsh support in Baku into raptures. The Cardiff City striker is 3/1 to score anytime. Gareth Bale, who showed some excellent touches against Switzerland, is still ahead of Moore at 2/1 and will be desperate to open his account for the tournament.

Turkey will have to regroup before they play a Welsh side who grew in confidence as their draw vs Switzerland progressed. Manager Senol Gunes will certainly be thinking about changes in what will be a crucial match as they look to bounce back. Brentford’s Halil Dervisoglu who has featured on loan for Galatasaray could be due a start and is 11/4 to score anytime. He got three goals in his last four appearances for the Turkish club who are looking to sign him on a permanent deal. Burak Yilmaz is still backed to score anytime at 2/1 and he’ll want to find the net on the biggest stage in a stadium that should be full of Turkish support.

Italy are at 4/7 to beat a Switzerland side who will be aiming to keep it tight in defence if they’re able to prevent being dominated like Turkey were in Rome. Italy’s counter-pressing and ability to create chances from winning the ball back high up the pitch will be a warning to the Swiss. Even more of a danger will be Ciro Immobile who is 13/10 to score anytime. The Lazio forward has always scored goals in Serie A but hasn’t always been able to translate that form on the international stage but his excellent movement and predatory instincts helped him finish well against Turkey.

Domenico Berardi also looked lively last Friday and was constantly getting in good positions in the penalty area. Italy’s flexible front three meant he could make runs from right to left and wasn’t always picked up by the Turkish defence so could definitely be presented with an opportunity. He’s at 12/5 to score anytime and has five goals in 12 appearances for his country which is a good ratio for a wide forward.

One of the best individual performances of the first matchday was Breel Embolo for Switzerland. The Borussia Monchengladbach striker was technically excellent, physically strong as well as showing superb dribbling ability as he gave Chris Mepham and Joe Rodon a tough time in Baku. His header in the 49th minute was the least he deserved and Wales were lucky when Embolo put the ball on a plate for teammate Kevin Mbabu who should have made it 2-0. Embolo is at 11/2 to score over the course of the game and will be the main concern for Roberto Mancini and his Italian team.

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