Six days into the tournament and every team has played at least one game, with France, Belgium, and Italy looking like early contenders to win the whole tournament.
UEFA EURO 2020 Betting Previews for June 17th
Thursday’s action presents three interesting fixtures from Group B and Group C, each with substantial implications for teams fighting to avoid elimination at the conclusion of the Group Stage. First up, it is a battle between two teams that are still looking for their first point.
Ukraine vs North Macedonia
Let us start with the “home” team here, even though the match is being held in Bucharest, Romania. According to FanDuel, Ukraine is currently -140 favorites in Thursday’s early game after turning in a decent performance in its opening loss against the Netherlands, scoring two goals in the final fifteen minutes to tie the game before allowing an 85th-minute winner to Denzel Dumfries.
Ukraine plays a counter-attacking style of football that revolves around compact defending and a low block from the backline and quick transitions from standout players Oleksandr Zinchenko, Andriy Yarmolenko and Roman Yaremchuk, the last two of which found goals in the opener.
The Ukrainians will allow their opponents to control possession if they wish and are a physical group: do not be fooled by their history, because they are capable of turning in an elite performance on their day.
North Macedonia scored its first goal at a major international tournament via Goran Pandev four days ago against Austria, but they were otherwise outclassed—even Pandev’s goals came from the keeper spilling the ball after contact was made from another Macedonian attacker.
Pandev will lead his side in as +430 underdogs after they were beaten handily by Austria 3-1 in their tournament debut. The Macedonians play with the sole goal of working the ball up to their goal-scorer in this tournament, as the 37-year-old frontman is still the most prolific attacking threat on his side.
Macedonia will play with five at the back to counter the Ukrainian pace, but they will be unable to press as a result of their defensive structure and will allow the Ukrainians to easily advance the ball into their half.
There are +250 odds on the match resulting in a tie, which is a real possibility given the lack of star power in this match.
Belgium vs Denmark
Belgium started its tournament with a 3-0 thrashing of Russia, who finished in fourth place at the 2018 World Cup. They are one of the odds-on favorites to win the tournament final and have the presumptive Golden Boot-winner, Romelu Lukaku, leading their line.
Lukaku already confirmed that Belgium will put the ball out of play after the 10th minute for a minute of applause for Denmark native and fellow teammate at Inter Milan Christian Eriksen, who will not be participating in the match: more on that in a moment.
Belgium has an aging defensive line, a former world-class winger in Eden Hazard that is now a shell of his former self, and its best player, Kevin De Bruyne, is dealing with multiple facial fractures, but they are still a tall order for any nation in the tournament.
This may be the final chance for Belgium’s “Golden Generation” to capture the country’s first international hardware, and they have +100 odds of winning the mid-day bout.
Denmark is still reeling after its best player, Christian Eriksen, collapsed during the second match of the tournament and needed CPR and a shock from a defibrillator to be resuscitated.
The Danes have solid players throughout their roster but lack goal-scoring ability, despite having a solid defense and midfield.
Denmark has been granted +300 odds to win Thursday’s contest, with +210 odds going to a draw. Belgium has the advantage in talent, form and momentum, but anything can happen at international competitions.
The Netherlands vs Austria
This match figures to be the most competitive of the day, with both teams having already claimed three points in Group C and Austria claiming the top spot because of goal differential.
The Netherlands had been heavily speculated to be a disappointing team in the tournament because of internal unrest and dissatisfaction with manager Frank de Boer’s decision to play three center-backs, though they looked quite spectacular moving forward in the opener against Ukraine.
Georgino Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay are the two stars to watch for the Dutch, as each possesses supreme talent on the ball and can consistently create attacking opportunities.
The biggest question mark for the Netherlands is whether their opening match was an aberration, or if they have adapted to the formation. This answer will only come with time, though they are -185 favorites heading into Thursday.
The Austrians beat North Macedonia 3-1 in their first action of Euro 2020 thanks to goals from Stefan Lainer and substitute attackers Michael Gregoritsch and Marko Arnautovic— the third member of this trio will not feature against the Netherlands after being suspended one game for verbal abusing a Macedonian player.
Austria has an athletic group that likes to spring into life on defense and win the ball back in the midfield and ultimately gallop into the attacking third. There is a lot of Bundesliga talent on Austria’s roster, most of which feature on matchday.
The underdogs in this match have been given +500 odds to win, a figure that has to be appealing for many. Austria has quarterfinal potential and the Netherlands were out of form entering the tournament: expect this figure to be bet down as kick-off approaches.
There are +300 odds on this match ending in a draw, which is another interesting possibility due to the parity between the two sides. The Netherlands at -185 is a steep ask— consider taking Austria or a draw heavily before siding with the favorites.