Mike Norman: Italy to join England or Germany in the final
Mike says: “One side of the draw looks pretty easy, the other side looks damn tough. It never works out like that of course but we’ll give it a bash.
“It’s no surprise to see England and Germany dramatically shorten in the To Reach The Final market given that their half of the draw has opened up very kindly. They play each other in the Round of 16 of course, and whoever wins that clash of the titans will face either Sweden or Ukraine in the quarter-final. The winner of that will face either Czech Republic, Denmark, Netherlands or Wales in the semi-final, a game in which Germany or England will be strong favourites to win.
“So it has to be a permutation of Germany and England to reach the final, and I’m more than happy to pair them with Italy from the other side of the draw.
“We’re going to need luck, whoever you back from that side of the draw is going to need luck, but for me Italy have been the most impressive team in the tournament to date. Even when they made eight changes for the Wales game they still outclassed their opponents and could have scored three or four.
“Roberto Mancini‘s men are likely to face Belgium if getting past Austria, but it could easily be Portugal, a tough but winnable game. And it could be France in the semi-final, so it’s not easy, but that’s why we’re getting 15/1 for each bet and I’m more than happy with that.
Mike’s bet: Back Germany/Italy @ 16.015/1 and England/Italy @ 16.015/1 in Name the Finalists
Charlie Mullan: France to be highest scoring team
Charlie says: “France safely navigated their way through Group F, or this summer’s Group of Death, relatively unscathed. A win and two draws were enough for Les Bleus to finish top and secure their place in what looks to be the easier side of the draw. Facing – and scoring against – Portugal and Germany in the group will make them battle-hardened for the rest of the tournament and they should be able to beat Switzerland in their Round of 16 tie without too much fuss.
“Kylian Mbappe has yet to open his account but Monday’s match could be the perfect game for the Paris St-Germain star to break his duck. With Mbappe’s not scoring, France will be grateful that Karim Benzema is back scoring goals again. And with Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud and Ousmane Dembele all in the squad, goals should not be a problem going forward.
“If France can roll past the Swiss, they will face either Spain or Croatia in the quarter-finals which should not strike too much fear within the French camp. France were the highest scoring team five years ago with 13 goals, although they failed to score against Portugal in the final. Les Bleus may only have four goals now, but they have hit the woodwork three times and there will be plenty of opportunities to score more goals, if they control their side of the draw.”
Charlie’s bet: Back France to be the highest scoring team @ 9.617/2
Nathan Joyes: Kjaer to be crowned Player of the Tournament
Nathan says: “Whatever happens this Euros, Simon Kjaer will be the hero of the tournament for his quick thinking to help save Christian Eriksen’s life. He stepped up as both a captain and friend instinctively, which has been acknowledged and respected by football fans all over the world.”
“Having opened at a massive 751.00750/1 to be crowned Player of the Tournament, this was instantly cut, but there’s reason to believe his current price at 19.018/1 is still worth chancing.”
“On the pitch, Denmark fell short against Belgium, where, like many, they struggled to contain Kevin de Bruyne on his reappearance. However, all this was forgotten about when the Danes produced a powerful performance against Russia to qualify for the Round of 16 in second place.”
“It’s also worth noting that Denmark would have kept a clean sheet if it wasn’t for a controversial penalty awarded to Russia. They were strong at the back throughout, led by their skipper.”
“The reason for my selection is Denmark’s potential route to the semi-finals. They face Wales in the Round of 16, before a potential quarter-final tie against either the Czech Republic or the Dutch. They’ve managed to escape the other side of the draw, avoiding the likes of Belgium, Portugal, Italy and France.”
“If they are going to reach the semi-finals or further, Denmark will need leadership – something Kjaer has offered throughout this tournament and a semi-final appearance may just earn him that Player of the tournament award for his heroics.”
Nathan’s bet: Back Simon Kjaer to be Best Player of the Tournament at 19.018/1
Max Liu: Lukaku to win the Golden Boot
Max says: “Romelu Lukaku is on a roll for Belgium, scoring 23 goals in 21 appearances in all competitions for his country since the end of the 2018 World Cup. He’s scored three so far at Euro 2020, taking his total for the season for club and country to 41.
“Belgium have gone under the radar a little so far, winning their three matches without ever quite hitting top form. There’s a sense perhaps that they’re talented squad has promised much at tournaments in the past without quite fulfilling its potential (although third place at Russia 2018 wasn’t bad).
“Next up Belgium play Portugal for whom Cristiano Ronaldo has scored five already and is 1.9620/21 favourite to win the Golden Boot. I’m not convinced, however, by Portugal. They’re not as fluent as they should be in attack and, for all that we were told pre-tournament that they were no longer reliant on Ronaldo, they look to be exactly that.
“Defending has been a problem for the champions so far, conceding six goals, and Lukaku should terrorise Pepe and co. I could see him hitting a brace to draw level with Ronaldo in the scoring charts, firing Belgium into the last eight where they could play Italy. Lukaku scored 24 goals in Serie A this season and against Italy’s defenders would know exactly what to expect.”