Portugal v Germany – Ander Stadium, Olomouc at 17:00 live on BT Sport 1
The U21 European Championship moves on to the semi-final stage today and the first game in this knockout round double header, is one that will have fans and Asian handicap betting professionals licking their lips in anticipation of what should be a high quality encounter.
However, this match up is seemingly happening a game earlier than the pre tournament betting markets were expecting. Neither German nor Portugal were able to sustain their undoubtedly impressive football for more than 45 minutes at a time and ultimately that led to Germany missing out on top spot in Group A.
The Germans were held to 1-1 draws by both Serbia and the Czech Republic, but burst into life for a short spell against eventual group winners Denmark, which sums up the problem Horst Hrubesch has with his hugely talented young squad.
If he can extract a full 90 minute performance from his players, they will demonstrate exactly why they are still priced up at just 2.38 to lift the trophy on June 30th.
Despite topping Group B, Portugal also drew two of their three games and Rui Jorge remains frustrated with his teams lack of goals in the tournament so far. The Portuguese scored 22 goals while winning all eight of their qualifying games and despite still lacking a true goal scorer that they can rely on, they were not expected to struggle to find the net at the Championships.
Portugal lead the average possession stats at the tournament so far but Germany are not far behind and with both sides struggling to consistently find their best football, this could turn out to be a tight and tactical battle that is settled by the smallest of margins.
The Asian handicap betting line for this match has been set at 0.25 and there is value on the Portuguese, who are very well organised at the back and should make this an uncomfortable game for the favourites. With that in mind we are backing Jorge’s youngsters to land us a profit tonight.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Portugal +0.25 at 2.05
Denmark v Sweden – Letna Stadium, Prague at 20:00 live on BT Sport 1
The second semi-final sees the classy Danes up against neighbours and rank outsiders for the title Sweden.
The Swede’s managed to slip through to the knockout round after a creditable draw with Portugal in their final group match, left them ahead of Italy on goal difference in second place. Coming into the event the Swedish team were not expected to make much of an impression against the quality opposition they were pitted against.
But with England leaving numerous star names at home, Italy underperforming and Portugal struggling to score, Hakan Ercison’s experienced squad were able to take full advantage to progress to their fifth semi-final.
Meanwhile, Jess Thorup’s Denmark team topped Group A despite losing 3-0 against Germany but they have shown glimpses of the silky football that they are capable of and should be confident of reaching their first ever U21 European Championship final on Tuesday night.
Although, Sweden and Denmark scored three and four goals respectively during the group stage, neither team really impressed in front of goal. Sweden managed just eleven shots on target in their three matches, while Denmark only hit the target ten times while winning Group A.
Sweden were clearly underrated coming into this tournament but with eleven players in their squad with senior caps, experience has paid off for them and they do not give up, having secured all four of their points thanks to goals in the last five minutes of matches.
But the Danish squad is equally experienced and possess higher quality individuals which could tip the balance in their favour here tonight. The betting markets make the Danes 2.30 favourites which looks about right.
However, with this looking like a tight and tactical match, we will look to the Asian handicap betting goals market for some value. These teams have both failed to create many good openings in their three games so far and that trend should continue here.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Under 2.25 Goals at 1.93
Prices correct at the time of writing.
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