How the Bookies See it
- Winner: Croatia 8/5, Draw 2/1, Portugal 9/4 - Bet365
- First Goalscorer: Cristiano Ronaldo 10/3, No Goalscorer 5/1, Mario Mandzukic 11/2 - SkyBet
- Correct Score: Draw 0-0 11/2, Draw 1-1 11/2, Croatia 1-0 6/1 - BetVictor
- Croatia have really emerged as the dark horses for this tournament. A convincing 1-0 win over Turkey filled the players and supporters with joy, but these scenes of jubilation were sadly overshadowed by crowd trouble in their second group game against the Czech Republic. The Croats held a comfortable 2-0 lead over their Group D counterparts before a monumental collapse in the last 15 minutes, a result that a number of the players blamed on the ugly scenes inside the stadium. Luckily, a final group game win against defending champions Spain saw the joy return to the Croatian camp.
- Portugal have failed to win a single game at Euro 2016 and only managed to qualify for the last 16 on goal difference, yet remain one of nine unbeaten sides left in the competition. A shock 1-1 draw with footballing minnows Iceland in their opening game followed by a goalless affair with Austria wasn’t the ideal start for the Euro 2004 finalists. But the team, and particularly Cristiano Ronaldo, seemed to regain some form in front of goal in their last match as they played out a scintillating 3-3 draw with Hungary.
Croatia will be on a high after beating Spain in Bordeaux, a result that ended the reigning champion’s 14 game unbeaten run at the European Championships, an impressive sequence that stretched back to 2004. With a world-class midfield that features the likes of Luka Modrić, Ivan Rakitić and Ivan Perišić powering the team, Croatia have the makings of a formidable team and will really fancy their chances of making it all the way to the final, an outcome that Ladbrokes have priced at 15/4. The Group D winners netted five times in their first three games and will be looking to increase this total against a porous Portuguese defense, with BetVictor offering very generous odds of 12/1 on a 2-0 victory for the Croats.
Portugal have established themselves as the Euro 2016 draw specialists after emerging on level terms in all three of their group games. The Iberian side are still searching for their first win, but are yet to taste defeat this time out in a competition that has previously seen them reach the final in 2004 and the semi finals in 1984, 2000 and 2012. Cristiano Ronaldo rediscovered his lethal touch in front of goal against Hungary, netting twice, and is unsurprisingly favoured by the bookmakers to add to his tournament tally in this game. William Hill are offering odds of 11/1 for the Real Madrid superstar to score anytime and Portugal to win. Of course, given their previous outings, it would be very difficult not to lean towards Portugal snatching another draw, 2/1 with PaddyPower, while BetVictor are offering odds of 4/1 that the game will be decided by spot kicks.
Croatia’s win against Spain saw their odds of winning the tournament slashed from 22/1 to 10/1 with PaddyPower and a convincing performance against an ageing Portuguese side could really boost their confidence ahead of a quarter final meeting with either Poland or Switzerland. The side who are 27th in the FIFA Rankings are a very tempting 125/1 to demolish Portugal 4-0 and Ivan Perišić to score at anytime. The Portuguese are able to boast a 100 percent win rate against their opponents, but their poor run of form and defensive instability against Hungary may leave them open to a shellacking from an impressive Croatia side.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Croatia to win 3-0 30/1 - BetVictor
*Please note that odds may fluctuate in the run-up to kick-off.