Our football expert shares betting tips for the two UEFA Nations League semi-finals taking place in Holland. The club season has just ended, but national bragging rights are up for grabs in Europe.
Netherlands v Croatia (Wednesday 19:45 UTC+01:00)
The first of this week’s UEFA Nations League semi-finals takes place at De Kuip in Rotterdam. Both sides will be eager to progress into the final and lift the trophy for differing reasons. 1×2 2.02 3.40 3.70.
Netherlands have not garnered any silverware since Euro 1988, where they triumphed over the USSR in the final 2-0. Their last World Cup run came to an end after a penalty shootout against eventual winners Argentina in the quarter-finals. A similar result in this match stands at 9.50.
However, the Dutch have lost just one match in 90 minutes in their last 22 matches since being knocked out of the Euros in 2021. With the loss coming in their inaugural Euro 2024 qualifier they were humbled by the French 4-0 in March this year.
Liverpool FC’s Cody Gakpo leads Oranje in goal-scoring opportunities in ordinary time with 3.05 and to score first at 5.50. However, overall their striking capacity is diminished with the omission of an injured Memphis Depay.
The last two World Cup campaigns have been solid for Croatia – after thwarting giant slayers Morrocco – they finished third place last December in Qatar. While 1998 saw them reach the final, they ultimately lost to France 4-2. This competition may well be the last chance for the Balkan nation’s golden generation to lift the trophy.
Hrvatska has only lost one of their last fifteen matches, and in a similar fashion to their opponents, was again to Argentina at Qatar. The Croats started their Euro 2024 qualifiers mildly better with a 1-1 draw home against Wales, the solitary goal coming from Andrej Kramarić. He’s the frontrunner to score in 90 minutes and to score first for the Red & Whites with 4.00 and 8.50 respectively.
With home advantage and a younger side, the Dutch are favoured to qualify at 1.45. Though the Croats cannot be discounted to progress 2.42, especially with an overall more veteran side helmed by Luka Modrić 6.00.
Spain v Italy (Thursday 19:45 UTC+01:00)
The second of this week’s UEFA Nations League semi-finals takes place at De Grolsch Veste, Enschede. Recent decades have seen success for these nations in various international competitions, though they will be hungry to bring home this competition’s trophy for the first time. 1×2 2.25 3.20 3.40.
Mirroring the fate of fellow Iberians Portugal before them, Spain crashed out of the World Cup quarter-finals against Morocco. España appointed a new manager – Luis de la Fuente – merely two days afterwards. However, they lost their last game away 2-0 at Hampden Park in Scotland this March past. Although dominating all statistics and maintaining a mammoth 75% of possession, they rarely provided a credible threat. Indeed questions will now be asked whether they will be able to break through what is popularly considered a stronger Italian defence. A similar result against them of 2-0 is at 11.00.
Recent tribulations aside the Spanish will be keen for revenge against reigning the Euro champions. They were then knocked out of the 2020 competition by them on penalties, it was 1-1 after ordinary time and a similar score isn’t unlikely at 6.50. Álvaro Morata was the lone goal scorer that day and could potentially threaten again, with fifteen goals across the La Liga and Copa del Rey this season under his belt – in ordinary time he’s at 2.90 Joselu scoring a late brace off the bench against Norway earlier in the year, adding to a fairly modest display. Dani Leipzig midfielder Daniel Olmo was the other goal scorer that game, as is now 4.25 in this one.
It’s been an interesting few years for Italia on the international stage. Playing away at Wembley they beat England in the Euro 2021 final to bring the silverware back to Roma. Veteran Leonardo Bonucci brought the Blues back into the game after an early goal from Luke Shaw. The Juventus defender has 120 international caps and will no doubt play a pivotal role in his side’s defence, though is unlikely to score again at 17.00.
Azzurri commenced their Euro 2024 campaign losing 2-1 against rivals England in March. On loan Club Atlético Tigre forward Mateo Retegui was the only goal scorer, he’s at 3.60 anytime this match. The other qualifying match was a lacklustre 2-0 over Malta, a match where most pundits would have expected a lot more. The Blues attack is spearheaded by Ciro Immobile, the prolific Lazio striker has scored fourteen goals across all competitions this season. He stands at 3.50 anytime or 6.50 to score first.
Both sides have had a fairly poor start to their respective Euro 2024 qualifying campaigns. Though have proven successful on the international stage historically, though recent form has been a mixed bag. Spain will be keen to prove itself after a disappointing World Cup campaign and Italy to get back on track to Euro-winning ways after failing to qualify for the World Cup at all. The last time these two sides met was back in October 2021, and a 2-1 result to Spain wouldn’t be unexpected again at 10.00.
**Odds are subject to change. Odds accurate as of 12:00 UTC+00:00 Wednesday 14th June**
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