Swtizerland vs England
It takes one team to actually care about a third place play-off to really make it a game worth watching. While there’s no disguising the fact that both sets of players would rather be on their holidays, Switzerland and England have reason to push for all three points.
The Swiss are in unfamiliar territory in being at this late stage of an international tournament, while Gareth Southgate’s side will want to put in a more spirited display than they did against Belgium in the bronze medal match at the World Cup.
Nevertheless, it’s not likely to be a game packed with great quality or indeed goals, with England winning the last three meetings between the sides without conceding. All three matches remained goalless at half-time, so the odds on another low scoring affair seem very generous.
In fact, a price of 2.22 from Marathon Bet on under 2.5 goals should be gobbled up.
Portugal vs Netherlands
The outright odds on this game are just unavoidable in terms of value, with the hosts priced up as the strong favourites despite the fact that the Netherlands have undeniably been the better side since the World Cup. There are three reasons worth considering that have clearly played an important factor in the bookmakers stance.
Home advantage is one, while the fact that Netherlands not only played a day later but were forced to extra time is another. The most decisive, however, is of course the return of Cristiano Ronaldo, who proved that for all of Portugal’s enviable young talent he is still very much the main man against Switzerland.
He’s not yet faced Virgil van Dijk, however, and that particular battle will almost certainly be crucial to the outcome on Sunday night. When these sides met in March of last year it was the Liverpool man who emphatically came out on top, scoring as the Dutch raced into a 3-0 lead at half-time as Ronaldo played 68 minutes without mustering a single shot.
Given the outcome on that night it’s difficult to see why Ronald Koeman’s are out at 3.5 to win. Were it not for the issue of increased fatigue I’d have the Dutch favourites. That could level the playing field so instead it’s the draw that I’m backing – an outcome the Portuguese are more than familiar with – with a best price of 3.40 from Unibet. The same company offer a double (with under 2.5 goals in the earlier kick-off) at a tempting 7.14.