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Euro 2016 Gameday Analysis & Preview
Euro 2016 Round Of 16 Predictions & Betting Lines Analysis
By Paul Seaton
France (-225) vs. Republic of Ireland (+850) 9.00am ET
Sunday's action kicks off with hosts France, who welcome the Republic of Ireland. The two sides could hardly have reached the knockout phase by more different means, with Les Bleus cruising through their three games, winning two and tying one to top Group A.
With Dimitri Payet in fine form, France are now favorites to win Euro 2016 at +400, having edged out Romania 2-1 thanks to a last-minute Payet winner, beating Albania 2-0 and looking brightest in a 0-0 tie with Switzerland. France can definitely improve, and despite being part of the tough-looking side of the draw with Germany possibly looming, they look good.
Ireland, by contrast, scraped into the knockouts via a late Robbie Brady winner against Italy after tying 1-1 with Sweden in their opener. They were comprehensively beaten 3-0 by Belgium in their second outing. Check out the Irish victory against the Italians on Wednesday night right here:
Who looks best value for what will be an emotional night in Lyon on Sunday? The Republic of Ireland will no doubt be looking for revenge after a Thierry Henry handball controversially ousted Eire from a previous European Championships qualifier, but they will be hard-pressed to get a victory.
The best route almost certainly lies from set pieces, with the mercurial Wes Hoolahan always capable of providing an assist just like he did against Italy for Brady's wonder goal.
Ireland also have the ability to dig in to defend a lead, so if they score first, you know the pattern of the game will be attack against defense. We don't love France as a straight bet at -225, but the +550 on offer for France to win in Extra Time looks good value. On that basis, the 0-0 correct score market looks overpriced at +600 too. We think France will stagger into the next round, but it won't be easy.
Pick: Frane (-225)
Germany (-235) vs Slovakia (+800) 12.00 noon ET
Germany have possibly one of the best draws for the knockout phase as they play Slovakia, who have an outstanding player in Marek Hamsik but can be wide open at the back, as proved by the goals they conceded to both Wales and Russia in their group stage.
They can certainly be dangerous opponents, as they proved in the game against Russia when they needed a win and had to play with abandon to come out 2-1 winners. This is indicative of the nervous nature Slovakia feel when they are near success in this tournament.
Beating Russia was Slovakia's first tournament win and they locked up qualification by tying 0-0 with a disappointing England on Monday evening.
Germany looked more than convincing in qualifying for the next phase, beating Ukraine 2-0 before a stalemate against Poland set up their final group game against Northern Ireland.
The Germans won by a solitary goal from Mario Gomez, but there was always the feeling that if they needed another to overtake Poland's goal difference then they would have scored with ease. Kroos and Ozil in particular have passed the ball superbly at Euro 2016 and we like the +750 bet on Germany being runners-up.
As for the game itself on Sunday, Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos are due a goal and if they both score then you'll be delighted to have backed it at +1000. They are +900 to win 2-1 and we wouldn't put you off that bet either.
Pick: Germany (-235)
Hungary (+575) vs. Belgium (-160) 3pm ET
One of the shocks of Euro 2016 so far has been Hungary's progression to the knockout phase as they finished top place of Group F.
The magical Magyars of the 1950's are in danger of being overshadowed by the 2016 generation, who, along with Wales, scored six goals in the group phase and topped Group F. It is a staggering achievement for a country of Hungary's size and they'll go into the game against Belgium with no fear.
Belgium come into the game in good form, having recovered from an opening game defeat to the Italians to win their second game 3-0 against Ireland. Edging Sweden 1-0 in their final game, Marc Wilmots' side have plenty of attacking players who may star. Lukaku, Hazard and De Bruyne are top players, but sometimes Belgium are liable at the back.
It's on that basis that we'd tip Hungary to progress at +300. While Belgium can run riot, they play in a similar way to Portugal, who found it difficult to deal with the Hungarian attack. Dzsudzsak to score and Hungary to win the game 2-1 is +10000, astonishing value given Dzsudzsak's prowess in the tournament so far.
Pick: Hungary (+575)
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