The big match on Friday is obviously between England and Scotland in Group D, where the Scots must go all out after their opening-game loss to the Czech Republic.
England were 1-0 winners over Croatia on Sunday but were lacklustre to say the least, registering just two shots on goal for the entirety of the 90 minutes. We’ll also be looking at Croatia against the Czechs in Glasgow but first to Saint Petersburg where Sweden are taking on Group E leaders Slovakia.
Sweden dug deep and kept Spain scoreless on Monday night, sharing the points after a pretty dull match. The final 15 minutes or so were a good watch though as Spain tried to throw all they had at a resilient Swedish defence. Slovakia emerged victorious against Poland having been massive outsiders in Saint Petersburg. Poland were the better side on the balance of play but, as we all know, goals win football matches.
Both sides are enjoying a good run of form. Sweden have won five of their last six matches, drawing the other one. Slovakia are also unbeaten over their six most recent fixtures, winning two and drawing four.
Sweden are favourites here thanks to their recent streak but beating the likes of Armenia, Estonia and Kosovo isn’t really as good as the Slovakian results of overcoming Poland and Russia, and drawing with Austria. While Sweden have a great record of clean sheets of late, Slovakia rarely go a game without scoring.
They surprised the Poles on Monday and a win here would see them qualify for the next round with a game to spare. Sweden obviously need a positive result here too and there’s good value to be had in both teams getting at least one here.
FULL TIPPING PREVIEW: Our trader’s NAP for today’s 2pm kick-off between Sweden & Slovakia
Croatia didn’t really show up against England until after they’d conceded. In the final stages of the game England surrendered possession but they couldn’t find a way through the Three Lions’ solid defence. Against the Czechs they need to do better but their form of late isn’t good.
Croatia have now won just two of their last 10 games, drawing two and losing six. The Czechs’ form over their last 10 outings, meanwhile, reads W5 D1 L4. The market is siding with the 2018 World Cup finalists here but we think the better option is to go with goals.
Uncharacteristically, Croatia have now gone two games without scoring and the pressure is really mounting on them after their defeat to England. Of course they could leave it until the last day and possibly sneak into the Last 16 with a win over Scotland but nobody wants that headache. They simply have to play better here and must go for the win.
The Czechs have the advantage though. They weren’t the best team against Scotland but they were more clinical with their chances and have a great talent in Bayer Leverkusen striker Patrik Schick. A draw would probably be enough to advance to the next round and against this Croatia side who have kept just two clean sheets over their last 17 matches we’re liking the look of BTTS and Overs here.
England continued their impressive run of form against Croatia last Sunday and face a Scotland side who must go all out to get something positive here. The Scots will feel aggrieved after their 2-0 loss to the Czech Republic, having been the better side over the 90 minutes.
England though are massive, massive favourites here and indeed their price has been shortening over the last few days.
However, Scotland do have a glimmer of hope. Much has been made of England’s record of clean sheets but if we remove the games against minnows like San Marino, Iceland, Albania, Romania and Ireland (what have we become?!) we see a very different story emerging. England have only kept two clean sheets over their last six games against decent sides.
Scotland have a good record against the higher-ranked teams, putting goals past Netherlands, Austria, Serbia and Czech Republic over the last year or so. England should come out on top at Wembley but Scotland have shown in recent months that they can be a threat against better sides. We’re going with England to Win and BTTS.
FULL TIPPING PREVIEW: Our 15/2 Bet Builder for Friday’s England v Scotland FREE £5 bet
FRIDAY’S EURO 2020 TREBLE
The above 3 selections in a Paddy Power treble pays out at around 18/1
* 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
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