Poland v Portugal – Stade Velodrome at 20:00 live on

The first quarter final of Euro 2016 takes place tomorrow evening at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille, with Poland and Portugal squaring up to book a place in the semi final against Wales or Belgium.

Portugal have made it to this stage in each of their last 6 European Championships since 1996 and are favourties to make their 5th semi final in their last 7 appearances at the competition. In their last 3 Euro’s, A Selecção have been beaten in the final, quarters and semi finals, whereas Poland, prior to this year, had never won a match in the finals of a European Championship.

The White Eagles have made it out of the group stages for the first time and were seen as one of the dark horses in the tournament. Poland were expected to be a tough team to beat, which they have proven, undefeated in their 4 matches so far, conceding just once, a sublime effort from Xherdan Shaqiri in the last 16. They are also unbeaten in their last 3 head-to-heads with Portugal, W1 D2, but come into this match as 4.0 underdogs.

Having been the top scores in qualifying, averaging 3.3 goals per game, Poland haven’t really got going in attack, scoring just 3 goals in four matches, making them the lowest scoring side in the quarter finals. In fact they have never scored more than one goal in a match in 10 games at the Euro finals.

Much was spoken about Robert Lewandowski and the threat he poses, however, he has faced some stern defences, often doubling up marking him, forcing him to drop deep or drift out wide. That’s not to say he hasn’t done well though, still causing problems for opposition defences, but you want the chances to fall to him, rather than creating them.

Portugal will have to be sound tactically at the back, as others have managed against Poland and proved they can do so in their goalless draw against Croatia in the previous round.

Fernando Santos’ charges are yet to win a match in 90 minutes in the competition, including matches against Iceland, Austria and Hungary. Cristiano Ronaldo hasn’t live up to expectations, but like Lewandowski, has often been marked well, visibly frustrated at times, left with only half chances. He did put in a good performance against Croatia as did Portugal as a team but I think they too short for this match at 2.29 considering they are yet to win and Poland are yet to lose.

There is some value in backing the underdogs here on the Asian Handicap betting market with a half a goal advantage at 1.75 in what should be a very tight and low scoring match.

With Portugal having scored 4 and Poland just 3, goals are unlikely here between two sides of similar ability. It’s not surprising the the Asian goals line is 1.75 with another goalless draw possible. If either side is to win this, I’m expect it to be by a goal to nil, but I expect an edgy start, and for them to go in at half time level.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Under 0.75 goals first half at 1.83 & Poland +0.5 full time at 1.75

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @SC457.

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