ITALY face Portugal on Sunday in the Under 21 Championships. We asked Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) for his best bets.
Italy U21 v Portugal U21 | Sunday 19:45 | BT Sport 1
Italy’s surprise defeat to Sweden on Thursday night has put them under massive pressure here. A defeat could end their campaign, but it’s unfortunate their up against a side as good as Portugal.
The Italians were well fancied going into this tournament after coming out of tough group involving Serbia and Belgium. Six wins out of eight saw them finish top of the pile and a play off win against Slovakia was achieved,
Confidence in this side may have been misplaced though as the Italians failed to win any of their three post-qualification friendlies. Defeats to Serbia and Denmark were plumped up by a good 2-2 draw against Germany.
The young Portuguese side breezed through qualifying with eight wins out of eight. True, their group was hardly boot-quaking with Israel, Norway, Azerbaijan and Macedonia up against them but by beating the Dutch home and away in their play off they cemented their reputation as an outstanding side. Three winless friendlies followed before that accomplished win over England on Thursday night.
The bookmakers have priced this up just as I suspected with the Portuguese best price 7/5 with Skybet and Italy 5/2 with Boylesports. To be honest I need to see a price edge to get involved so in this unpredictable tournament (so far) I’ll play on the Correct Score markets instead.
A 1-0 win for Portugal seems a reasonable bet at 13/2 after they beat England by the same scoreline. I’ll chuck an interest in the 1-1 draw in too at 11/2 and a 2-1 win for Portugal at 9/1. That’s enough.