The Czech Republic shocked most Euro 2012 pundits – including ourselves – when they topped Group A, but questions marks still remain as they head into their quarter-final clash with Portugal.
Well beaten by their most prestigious opponents in Russia, they turned things around by clinging on to victory over Greece after a lightning start before out-thinking a disappointing Poland. The hosts had been well backed, reflecting the lack of faith in the Czechs, and the money will undoubtedly be against them again this evening.
Their rivals the Portuguese pulled off a surprise of their own by escaping the Group of Death, playing some impressive football once the shackles of the Germany game were discarded. Having fallen behind against the Netherlands, Ronaldo showed his class on the big stage and while it’s difficult to back the tournament’s best player to score at such short prices, his form should guide Portugal into the semi-finals.
The Czechs could prove awkward opponents however, having proved their stubborn side against Poland. Beware the handicaps, which Ireland games aside, paid out just three times in the group stages – one of which was Sweden’s shock win over France! Historically quarter-final clashes have averaged just 2.1 goals in Euro finals since 1980 but the bookies are prepared for unders.
Expect the 4/5 for a Portugal with Paddy Power win in 90 minutes to be clipped before the game kicks-off, so add your cash to the weight of money before the price is compressed! If you prefer bigger odds, consider a punt at the 4/1 for Draw-Portugal in the half-time, full-time Double Result with the same firm.
- The Czech Republic became the first team ever to win a European Championship group with negative goal difference
- Portugal have kept just one clean sheet in European Championship history, while the Czechs have scored in 12 of their last 13 games in the tournament
- Cristiano Ronaldo’s 12 attempts on goals vs the Netherlands was the most by a player in single game at Euro 2012