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bet365 Euro 2024 Semi Finals - preview and bets

3 minute read

Four evenly contested quarter finals have been decided, leaving some real heavyweights of European football to battle it out at the penultimate stage.

EURO 2024.
EURO 2024. Picture: Racing and Sports

France and England are still playing below their best but surviving. Either can go on and win if they suddenly put it together, but their ten games to date collectively have seen them score a paltry eight goals, conceding four. It is pretty late in a tournament to find form – one would have expected it to happen by now.

Spain remains the form side and deserved favourites.

The suggested wagers to date have returned 51 units for 31 invested, with 5 units on France to win the tournament at $5.00 still alive.

Here's how the semis shape up:

SPAIN v FRANCE: Wednesday 10 July at 5.00am.

Despite their high profile in the game, meetings between these nations have been rare of late. They last met in this tournament in 2012 when Spain won 2-0 in a quarter final. They then were pooled in the same qualifying group for the 2014 World Cup, with a win to Spain in Paris and a draw in Madrid the outcomes.

Otherwise, only Friendlies and a 2021 Nations League fixture have seen them collide.

Spain was the better side for much of their pulsating quarter final clash with Germany, but the hosts did click up a gear after going one down early in the second half. The late equaliser was well-deserved, and the tight Spanish defence was tested more than at any time in the tournament.

A classic header by substitute Mikel Merino, who contorted his frame amazingly to generate the required power, spared fans of the torture of penalties with just a couple of minutes left on the extra-time clock.

The experience and youth blend of this squad is perfect. Manager Luis de la Fuente also has a rich pool of talent to call upon off the bench, and his substitutions have been spot-on all the way through.

France advanced on penalties over Portugal in a disappointing match. Mbappe again failed to stand-out in a game that was light on genuine goal scoring chances. While their defence remains reliable, we have now witnessed 450 minutes of French football in this tournament without a goal in open play. Camavinga missed a golden opportunity, but overall it was French gloveman Maignan who was the busier of the two keepers.

Spain will be without Pedri (injured) and Carvajal (suspended) – both are significant absentees. However, there is sufficient depth in this squad to cope and on form it would be brave to suggest that France can turn things around enough to get to the final.

Prediction: Spain to progress at $1.80* with bet365.

THE NETHERLANDS v ENGLAND: Thursday 11 July at 5.00am.

Surprisingly, the last time these nations met in a major tournament was at the 1996 Euros when Sheringham and Shearer both scored braces in a 4-1 win. England manager Gareth Southgate started in that match.

Expectations for that English side were very high but as usual, they came up short. Fast forward to a new generation and even more is demanded. However, this richly talented squad continues to limp through the tournament, and they have relied on moments of individual brilliance, from Bellingham against Slovakia and Saka against Switzerland, to bail them out of trouble.

The Swiss had their chances to put it to bed, but it was the dreaded penalty shoot-out that decided things. Five perfect spot kicks under immense pressure was a big confidence booster going forward; at least something positive came from the performance.

The Dutch came from behind to win for the second time in the tournament when they defeated the brave Turks on Sunday. Aside from a comfortable victory against Romania, Ronald Koeman's men have been behind for a lot longer than they have been ahead in the past month.

The introduction of the towering Weghorst after the break gave the Dutch a more imposing look going forward after a lacklustre first half show. Two goals in quick succession turned the game on its head but the Turks still put The Netherlands under the pump late – heroics from keeper Verbruggen and defender Van de Ven prevented a fourth quarter final from four going into extra time.

This is D-Day for England. They meet a powerhouse for the first time and will need to lift considerably on what they have shown to date. Kane's aerial threat should be largely neutralised by Van Dijk so expect the likes of Foden and Saka to look to get to the by-line and cut balls back. I have a feeling there might be some goals in this one, and something special from Bellingham, or Palmer, or Rice to get the Three Lions to their second consecutive Euro final.

Prediction: Fulltime result - England to win at $2.50* with bet365.

Suggested wagers

Spain to win the tournament: 6 units at $3.50* with bet365.

England to defeat Netherlands and both teams to score: 2 units at $6.50* with bet365.

*Odds correct at 9.45am Monday 8 July 2024.

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