The quarter-finals of Euro 2016 began yesterday with Portugal beating Poland by way of penalties in the first of four big-stakes matches across France. Ricardo Quaresma, who scored the winning goal in his side’s last 16 clash against Croatia, bagged the crucial spotkick after Jakub Blaszczykowski’s kick was saved.
Portugal now progress to the semi-finals to face either Wales or Belgium, with Germany vs Italy and France vs Iceland the remaining two fixtures before the last four.
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Major international tournaments are covered extensively by numerous betting outlets, with William Hill for one offering enticing odds on each quarter-final as well as other markets such as Euro 2016 top goalscorer and the outright tournament champion.
Wales, for example, are currently at 9/2 to progress past Belgium to the semi-finals with William Hill.
Before Iceland’s incredible win over England on the weekend, Wales had been considered the tournament underdogs-in-chief. Led by Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale, Chris Coleman’s side topped Group B, destroying Russia 3-0 in their last group game. They squeezed past Northern Ireland in the last 16 and enter the quarters in what is their first ever European Championship.
Their opponents, Belgium, are currently third favourites for the tournament outright with William Hill, at 4/1. Chelsea attacker Eden Hazard inspired them to a resounding 4-0 win over Hungary in the last 16, with the winger scoring a dazzling third goal for Marc Wilmots’ side.
Bale will once again be the key man for the Welsh, with the 26-year-old William Hill’s third favourite for the Euro Golden Boot this year, at 5/1, just behind Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo on 6/1. France attacker Antoine Griezmann, at 5/2, is the current favourite to take home the prize.
The French play Iceland in what looks like a mismatched quarter-final on Sunday at the Stade de France in Paris. However, considering that the minnows knocked out England in the last 16, held Portugal to a 1-1 draw in the group stage and beat Holland in their Euro 2016 qualifying group; France would do well not to underestimate their last eight opponents.
Iceland are currently at a tasty 15/2 to beat France and 12/1 to reach the Euro 2016 Final on July 10th. Unsurprisingly, when it comes to outright tournament winners, Iceland have the longest odds of any of the remaining eight teams at 33/1. Who fancies a flutter on the ultimate Euro underdogs!
Germany vs Italy is the last of quarter final matches, with the reigning world champions meeting the 2006 world champions on Saturday at the Stade de Bordeaux.
The Germans are second favourites for the tournament with William Hill, at 3/1, with the Italians at 11/2 in fourth. Certainly the tie of the round, both sides have been brilliant so far in France, with Joachim Low’s Germany yet to concede a goal in the competition. Antonio Conte’s Italy saw off the challenge of Belgium in the group stage and beat reigning European champions Spain in the last 16.
If they beat Germany, they could meet hosts France in the semis, with Italy certainly having to prove themselves against the very best in order to reach the showpiece final.