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Saturdays games kick off with Group F teams Belgium facing the Republic of Ireland in Bordeaux. After a disappointing performance in their first match, and a result to match, Belgium are going to have to do better against Ireland. Martin O'Neill's side put in a more than reasonable performance against Sweden and the metaphorical kick up the backside applied by assistant manager Roy Keane certainly looked to have done the trick.
While the Republic of Ireland looked every inch a “team”, Belgium looked like a group of highly expensive players roughly cobbled together. I've had my say in the past about Marc Wilmots and whilst he's done a fantastic job of uniting a nation that is split by both culture and language, he has failed to mould a group of fantastic players into a coherent team and this is where he's going to come unstuck.
I think Belgium will improve after their chastening result against Italy but how far that improvement stretches is still to be determined. I think this match will end in a draw and as a result I was very happy to see Ladbrokes offering 3.75 on that outcome.
Iceland and Hungary both knocked the form book back into its place on the shelf with fantastic results last time out. Hungary were pretty impressive at times against Austria although they did give away a few opportunities that better sides would have made them regret later.
Iceland put in a battling performance and came away with a point that delighted their fans and shocked the rest of us.
I love the team spirit this side has and even if that point is all they end up with in this competition (I think they'll get more) their fans will still party just as hard.
I like Both Teams To Score in this one. I got on at evens a couple of days ago but the soccer odds have since moved out and you can now get 2.15 with BetVictor.
Portugal v Austria is the final game of the day and both of these sides have something to prove. Portugal would appear to be doing pretty well if you look at certain stats, they're progressive in their play and make chances but the quality of those chances hasn't been great and with no natural no.9 for Nani and Ronaldo to play off, you end up looking for one of the worlds best players to adapt his game a little and still manage to be very effective. I'm not saying he can't do it but it is asking a fair bit of him.
Austria were poor in their first game and I think they'll find this one tough as well. The Portuguese defense may not be the youngest but it has plenty of experience and I can see them holding out for a clean sheet in this one. That means that the attack ahs to do less to get the game won. I can see Portugal getting a couple of goals in this match so I'm going for Portugal -1 as my soccer pick, which can be found at 2.8 with Pinnacle