How the Bookies See it
- Winner: Belgium 8/13, Draw 5/2, Hungary 11/2 - Coral
- First Goalscorer: Romelu Lukaku 17/4, Christian Benteke 11/2, Divock Origi 11/2 - BetVictor
- Half Time/Full Time: Belgium/Belgium 6/4, Draw/Belgium 3/1, Draw/Draw 19/5 - Betfred
- Hungary have enjoyed a magnificent tournament so far, slaying a hapless Austria 2-0 in their first game before fighting back to earn a late 1-1 draw with another of Euro 2016’s surprise packages, Iceland. Arguably, the jewel in Hungary’s crown thus far was a highly entertaining 3-3 draw with Portugal, a game in which the Hungarians led three times before being cruelly pegged back each time by goals from Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo.
- Belgium’s dismal 2-0 opening-round defeat to an Italy side who were widely dismissed before the tournament came as something of a reality check for a team ranked second in the world. The Red Devils soon booked up their ideas as they convincingly overcame Republic of Ireland, before dispatching a lackluster Sweden with a solitary goal to send themselves through as Group E runners-up.
Prior to the tournament, many dismissed Hungary’s chances of even making it out of the group, but a win and two hard-fought draws later, and the side who had not been to a major international tournament for 30 years found themselves sitting top of the pile and heading into the quarterfinals as Group F winners. Bernd Storck’s men, who are 100/1 outsiders with SkyBet to lift the trophy, will have certainly won over many supporters around Europe with their style of play and dark horse status, despite possibly being overshadowed in the underdog stakes by plucky debutants Iceland. The Hungarians are 7/2 with William Hill to qualify for the next round, while Betfred are offering odds of 13/2 that the nation ranked 20th in the world will snatch the win this weekend. Balázs Dzsudzsák’s double against Portugal sees him top the list of Hungarian scorers and the winger is a reasonably priced 14/1 with PaddyPower to net first in this clash, while the 37-year-old former West Brom and Fulham favourite Zoltan Gera is 25/1 with Bet365 to break the deadlock for the second game in succession.
Rumours of unrest within the Belgian camp followed their opening round loss to Italy, but players and staff were soon quick to quash the allegations, so much so that they remain amongst the favourites to win the championship at 6/1 with BetVictor. The Red Devils have an embarrassment of footballing talent at their disposal and are well-stocked in the striking department, with the Mersey-based trio of Romelu Lukaku (17/4), Christian Benteke (11/2) and Divock Origi (11/2) all featuring in BetVictor’s first goalscorer market. Belgium have struggled to make a breakthrough in the first 45 minutes of games in the group stage, so a bet in the half time/full time market may be a shrewd move. Betfred have Draw/Belgium priced at 3/1, while BetVictor have Hungary/Belgium priced at a very tempting 33/1.
The last few matches of the group stage have finally seen the competition come to life after a number of overly cagey opening outings. Hungary are the joint-highest scorers in the tournament, while Belgium have managed to net four times in their last two games, so be prepared for plenty of efforts on goal. PaddyPower are offering odds of 4/1 that fans of both sides will witness a goal fest and see the net bulge over 3.5 times in the 90 minutes. Hungary’s resilience against Austria and Iceland was perhaps overshadowed by their inability to keep Portugal at bay and this may be a major factor in deciding this tie.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Lukaku to score first or last 9/5 - William Hill
*Please note that odds may fluctuate in the run-up to kick-off.