There are a host of betting markets and among the most popular wagers are those on which player will be the first goalscorer and who will score anytime, but do you agree with the bookies and where is the best value to be had?
How the Bookies see it
- First goalscorer odds: Romelu Lukaku 5/1, Christian Benteke 11/2, Divock Origi 11/2, Michy Batshuayi 11/2, Kevin de Bruyne 6/1, Eden Hazard 6/1, Shane Long 7/1 - Coral
- Anytime goalscorer odds: Lukaku 17/10, Benteke 2/1, Origi 2/1, Batshuayi 2/1 - BetVictor
- Match result: Belgium 8/11, Draw 14/5, Rep of Ireland, 9/2 - Totesport
- Belgium failed to score against Italy. Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and Laurent Ciman scored their most recent goals in a 3-2 friendly victory over Norway. Midfielder Marouane Fellaini has the most international goals of anyone in the squad with 15.
- Ireland’s only goal against Sweden came from Wes Hoolahan’s excellent finish. Captain Robbie Keane is his country’s record goalscorer with 67 goals, although he has not scored an international goal since Ireland’s qualifier against Gibraltar last September.
Belgium’s performance against Italy was one of the most disappointing of the tournament so far, having been tipped as potential champions. Coach Marc Wilmots, whose tactical decisions reportedly did not go down too well with some of the players, must be torn over who to pick up front after Lukaku’s subdued display. Benteke, Origi and Batshuayi are all good options and the generous odds on all four forwards reflect the uncertainty in the Belgian camp, so it may be shrewder to stick with one of the more likely starters.
Kevin de Bruyne was also very quiet in the defeat by Italy but should be given another opportunity and fans will be hoping it was just a blip following his excellent season for Manchester City. Eden Hazard looked more lively and offers perhaps the best value of the Belgians at around 6/1 to score first, having ended the season well at Chelsea. He has the skill to make a goal out of nothing and should find the Ireland defence more to his liking than the Italian brick wall.
The first Ireland player in the betting is Shane Long, who can be found at 9/1 to be first goalscorer with 888Sport. The Southampton player’s speed and work-rate make him a real nuisance, but Belgium have some excellent defenders and if they iron out the problems from the Italy game they will be hard to break down. Belgium have been described as a ‘wounded animal’ by Martin O’Neill and should have the superior quality to win, so a punt on Hazard is certainly one to consider, either in the first goalscorer or anytime goalscorer market.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Eden Hazard to score anytime - 5/2 at Betfred
Please note, odds may fluctuate before the game