Portugal v Austria: Euro 2016 so far makes outsiders the value
An Austria side with Premier League champion Christian Fuchs, Bayern Munich ace David Alaba and Stoke star Marko Arnautovic running through its spine may have fluffed their Euro 2016 opening lines, but they scream double-chance value at 10/11 against Portugal.
Group F appeared to be one of the tournament’s weaker pools before the tournament kicked off in earnest, and after Marcel Koller’s men’s shock 2-0 loss to Hungary, allied with tiny Iceland’s magnificent draw against Portugal, it doesn’t look much better.
Cristiano Ronaldo had plenty of pelters fired at him after condemning Iceland’s ‘small team mentality’ following the 1-1 draw, but humility isn’t all the 31-year-old lacks – he could also do with a decent international teammate or two.
The sight of Nani pilfering a first-half goal, after both former Manchester United wingers spurned early chances, highlighted the bizarre lack of attacking talent within the Selecao ranks, with Swansea reject Eder thrown on late to try and rescue three points.
Portugal are rapidly losing their tag as a tournament team, having made at least the semis in three of the past four European Championships, with an early exit from the last World Cup following disappointing group-stage results against Germany and USA.
Ancient centre-half Ricardo Carvalho is surely an accident waiting to happen, while mega-money Bayern Munich signing Renato Sanches was given more than 20 minutes to find a winner, but could only show flashes of his clear potential.
Their next opponents are clearly no mugs, despite their opening match blowout – Austria topped a qualifying group containing Sweden, Russia and Montenegro, outscoring all-but six teams who eventually made the tournament in the process.
Aleksandar Dragovic will be a loss to their likely rearguard action, after the centre-half was sent off against Hungary, but Koller has Kevin Wimmer, fantastic for Tottenham on occasion last term, to replace him.
Euro 2016 has already thrown up some eye-catching shocks, from Iceland’s draw to wins for Northern Ireland, Hungary and Wales, with each based on sound, solid defending against a fancied foe.
There seems little value in backing Portugal, a team without any true centre-forwards, to triumph at 10/11, but the same price about the other two win-draw-win outcomes begs for a bet.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.