* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.
It doesn’t get much bigger than the defending European champions playing the current world ranked number one side in a knockout tie, but that’s exactly what we’ve on Sunday evening. And the fact, that we’ve got Belgium v Portugal as early as the last 16, makes this game all the sweeter.
Sunday 20:00 – Belgium v Portugal
ITV / RTÉ Two
There could easily be north of £1bn worth of footballers on the pitch on Sunday and this match – along with England v Germany – has a strong argument for being the tie of the round. But, you don’t care about any of that, you’re here for a steer on bets. With that in mind, we’ve grabbed the delightful data from Andy Robson cheat sheet to tell you where to park your punts.
The record-breaking Cristiano Ronaldo leads the Golden Boot race with 5 goals so far and we wouldn’t be surprised to see him add to that tally here. Ronaldo averages 1.92 shots on target per game on the cheat sheet and we expect him to step up again in this last 16 tie to trouble the top ranked side in world football. You also have the benefit that he will be on free kicks and penalties. He also won’t be subbed unless injured too, which is always a bonus on these markets.
Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne has only played one and a half games, but is already one of the tournament’s top performers. De Bruyne will be Belgium’s main threat and will be on set piece against what is a rough Portuguese side. He is a great price for a shot on target, as he isn’t afraid of a long range effort and the stats show he averages more than one on target per game.
How entertaining have Portugal’s matches been so far? Great going forward and fragile at the back always makes for exciting viewing, so expect another goalfest here. Belgium have netted in all their last 33 matches, whereas Portugal have found the net in 21 of their last 25. It’s quite possible that the game of the tournament is incoming.
We had high expectations for Diogo Jota at this tournament, but understandably he has played second fiddle to Ronaldo thus far. He has still looked sharp though, and is certainly getting shots off. Jota has played at least 80 minutes in all three games and has a cheat sheet average of over three shots a game.
Renato Sanches duly got the nod to start against France and didn’t disappoint, arguably being the best player on the pitch. He kept possession cleverly for Portugal, linking up with defence and attack, all while stifling a talented French midfield. He’s not just a good ball player, he’s physical too and can throw in a tackle when needed.
If Portugal are to have any success against Belgium, they’ll need to restrict Kevin De Bruyne’s output and Sanches will be responsible for that job. We expect a few niggly fouls from the Portuguese man throughout the game and his current price to be booked is a good one to add to our Bet Builder.
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