England v Scotland Game Features in Our Betting Week Review
It’s been a thrilling week in the Euros, with the match between England and Scotland being the main talking point. Both teams can still reach the knockout stages and could join Wales, who have already qualified.
Scotland Frustrate Auld Enemy to Keep Hopes Alive
Your enjoyment of Friday’s much-anticipated clash between England and Scotland depended on whether your loyalties lay North or South of the border. With England fans disappointed with the 0-0 draw, but Scotland fans delighted in frustrating their Auld Enemy, and it is a result that keeps them in the competition.
It was the first time the two teams had met in a major tournament since Euro 96, and England on three points would guarantee a place in the knockout rounds. On the other hand, Scotland needed to take something from their neighbours to keep them in the competition as they lost their opening game 2-0 to the Czech Republic.
With so much excitement surrounding this game, it seems inevitable with hindsight that the game wouldn’t live up to expectations with clear-cut chances limited.
England enjoyed 60.2% of the possession but was largely sluggish after a decent start that saw John Stones hit the woodwork with a header from a Mason Mount corner. As Scotland grew into the game, they had chances. Jordan Pickford in the England goal saved well from Stephen O’Donnell, and Reece James made a good goal-line clearance from a Lyndon Dykes effort.
The reaction at the final whistle spoke volumes. The Scotland players celebrating while the England players looked dejected as boos rang out from the home crowd at Wembley.
Tomorrow is a vital day when the group will be decided. England play the group leaders, the Czech Republic, and know that a win will see them crowned group winners, and a draw will see them qualify as runner-up. Scotland needs to win against Croatia, or their tournament is over.
A huge blow to Scotland is that today it has been announced that Billy Gilmour has tested positive for coronavirus. The 20-year-old gave a man-of-the-match performance against England on his first senior start for his country. The Chelsea man broke into the national team after some great performances at club level for The Blues under Thomas Tuchel. He will now have to self-isolate for ten days and will miss Scotland’s vital clash against Croatia.
The draw was great news for bookmakers. England was as short as 8/25 for the win, with the Scots priced @ 509/50. The draw was 111/25.
England is heavy favourites to beat the Czech Republic @ 3/5 whilst Scotland are underdogs in their clash @ 15/8.
Mixed Fortunes for Welsh Bettors
The Welsh are very vocal in their support for their team, and they are also active in the betting stakes, leading to mixed fortunes for the backers of The Dragons. Although with the national team safely through to the knockout rounds, they are unlikely to be concerned.
In matchday 1, they faced Switzerland, who were heavily favoured @ 24/25, and despite going behind in the 49th minute thanks to a Breel Embolo goal, Kieffer Moore marked his return to the starting line-up by scoring the equaliser in the 74th minute. Switzerland thought they had snatched a late winner with ten minutes to play, but VAR came to the rescue to disallow a goal from substitute Mario Gravanovic. Wales hung on for a 1-1 draw priced at 221/100.
Matchday 2 will live long in the Welsh hearts and minds, a 2-0 win against the backdrop of loud support, the vast majority of the 30,000 fans being Turkey supporters. With Turkey fancied by many (despite a 3-0 loss against Italy in their first game), they were priced @ 37/20 with the draw 52/25.
Wales won the game (183/100) thanks to Aaron Ramsey’s first half goal (42) and a very late Connor Roberts goal. The Dragons ignoring calls to play the ball in the corner and went for the goal, a gamble that paid off. In matchday 3, the mighty Italians stood in the way. You could get 8/1 for a shock Welsh win over the 1/2 priced Gli Azzurri. However, what was more important was the goal difference for the Welsh, as Switzerland was expected to beat the Turks.
As expected, the class of the Italians was evident, and it was no surprise when Italy took the lead after 39 minutes through Matteo Pessina. The only shock was the fact that the dominant Italians scored only one goal. It was a back to the wall performance by the Welsh, and their job was made much harder when Ethan Ampadu was sent off with 30 minutes to play.
An excellent rear-guard performance by The Dragons kept the scoreline to 1-0, and Wales almost grabbed an unlikely draw, Gareth Bale volleying wide late on. Switzerland duly beat Turkey. However, the 3-1 final score was not enough to displace Wales, who qualified as runners-up in the group, although Switzerland’s four points are likely to be enough to see them progress.
Bookmakers Loving Winless Spain
Punters who have been backing Spain in the Euros have had a torrid time so far. The La Roja are no strangers to success, winning the European Championship in 2012 and winning the biggest prize in International football, the World Cup in 2010. Therefore, it’s understandable that many were convinced that Spain would do well and backed them.
Spain started their tournament against Sweden last Monday and was instilled as heavy 9/25 favourites. With Spain player attacking football and a squad featuring the likes of Álvaro Morata (19 goals in 41 goals), Ferran Torres (6 goals in 12) and Dani Olmo (3 in 12), the goalscorer market was a popular choice. The game ended 0-0 (103/25), which wiped out all these bets.
So, with just a point on the board, Poland was the next opponents, and with Spain needing the points, they attracted a fair few bets, with most of the money once again going for a Spain win (8/25). Poland was huge underdogs, with the average price offered for them is 967/100. Once again, the game ended in a draw that was priced @ 459/100.
Will it be the third time lucky for the Spanish? They sit third in Group E on two points, two behind group leaders Sweden. They face Slovakia in the last game and are in real danger of leaving the tournament early. The bookies think this is unlikely; Spain is priced @ 1/5, Slovakia 14/1.
Spain to get a third draw is priced @ 11/2.