Euro 2020: Thursday's betting preview and selections with Denmark, Belgium and Netherlands in action
Thursday sees Groups B and C return to the fold as Ukraine, North Macedonia and Denmark look to get their first points of the tournament.
The Netherlands, Belgium and Austria will be looking to build on strong starts and confirm their qualification into the knockout stages with a victory in their matches.
Ukraine play North Macedonia in Bucharest at 2pm, followed by the 5pm kick-off featuring Denmark versus Belgium. The day is finished off with Netherlands against Austria at 8pm, where the Dutch will once again play in Amsterdam.
Ukraine nearly staged an excellent comeback against the Netherlands in their first game, with goals from Andriy Yarmolenko and Roman Yaremchuk cancelling out early second half strikes from Georginio Wijnaldum and Wout Weghorst. Ultimately, Andriy Shevchenko’s side weren’t able to get a point and lost to a Denzel Dumfries header in what was a thrilling encounter.
North Macedonia did manage to find an equaliser against Austria in their first ever major tournament match but lost 3-1. They’ll find Ukraine of similar stature to the Austrians based on the FIFA world rankings with the former in 24th and the latter in 25th. North Macedonia were only 12 minutes away from getting a point in that first game but couldn’t hold out as Michael Gregoritsch and Marko Arnautovic found the net.
Ukraine are favourites at 3/5 with North Macedonia outsiders at 11/2. Yaremchuk was one of the centre-forwards tipped to make an impact at the tournament and his textbook header against the Dutch has increased his notoriety and is 6/5 to score anytime. North Macedonia only had two shots on target against Austria but one of those was a Goran Pandev goal. At 37 years young he is one of the cult players of the Euros. He’s 4/1 to continue his streak at Euro 2020 and find the net during the 90 minutes.
Denmark vs Belgium will be an emotional affair given the harrowing scenes that unfolded in Copenhagen last Saturday. Christian Eriksen is currently stable in hospital and will be in the thoughts of all the Danish players. Being in front of home support yet again should help them and the fans will be looking to support them at every stage of the game as they play a Belgian side who comfortably took apart Russia at the weekend.
Belgium’s fast start will be a message to the other teams in the competition who are aiming to go all the way in the Euros. Tipped as the bookies’ favourite pre-tournament for the Golden Boot, Romelu Lukaku showed why he’s one of the best strikers in the world with two calm strikes in his side’s 3-0 win in St. Petersburg. Substitute Thomas Meunier got his eighth goal for his country after a relatively simple finish in what was the most one-sided contest of the first matchday.
Belgium are currently evens to win with Denmark at 16/5 for this encounter. Lukaku is 6/5 to build on his brace against Russia but it remains to be seen whether either Eden Hazard or Kevin de Bruyne make it back from injury. Yannick Carrasco was utilised in a more attacking role against Russia compared to where he has been playing for his club side Atletico Madrid. He’s more likely to due to his positioning so could find the scoresheet at 4/1 odds. Martin Braithwaite started on the left against Finland but might move into a more central area in one of Kasper Hjulmand’s changes with the Barcelona forward 15/4 to score.
Austria will be looking to keep the momentum from that first win at a Euros by challenging the Dutch who have clear defensive deficiencies. Manager Franco Foda will be impressed by some of his side's quality in their win vs North Macedonia and if they can replicate some of that creativity then they will have opportunities. Marcel Sabitzer’s assist in that match for Stefan Lainer was absolutely extraordinary and already one of the passes of the tournament. David Alaba’s cross for Gregoritsch was at an elite level too and after being so disappointing in Euro 2016, it feels now like Austria can deal with the hype that surrounded them five years ago.
Frank de Boer will be looking to fix the problems that came around against Ukraine but will be encouraged that captain Wijnaldum and novice striker Weghorst got their first goals of the tournament. They were without their best defender in Matthijs de Ligt which was potentially why they conceded two goals in that second half although there was little they could do about Yarmolenko’s wonder strike. Memphis Depay showed good flashes but has the potential to become one of the leading goalscorers in the tournament so will be desperate to open his account.
The Dutch are 8/15 to get their second win in as many games with Austria underdogs at 5/1. Depay is evens to score anytime but Wout Weghorst is better odds at 13/8 considering his clinical start to the competition. Wijnaldum also looks good at 9/4 especially after the way he broke into the box on a few occasions against Ukraine. Gregoritsch and Alaba had a great connection from their victory in the first match and both players will be looking to link again with Gregoritsch 4/1 to score in the 90 minutes. Marko Arnautovic is also pushing for a start after his goal from the bench and is 13/5 in the same market.
Odds and Euros tips via bettingexpert.com.