As the nation prepares for England’s Euro 2012 quarter-final with Italy on Sunday, the draw looks a very plausible outcome at 2/1.
That would see the sides play out extra-time, and as that has occurred in five of England’s last seven quarter-final outings in major tournaments, there seems a great chance it could happen again.
Those five matches include England’s last two marches to quarter-finals, both at Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup, and that trend may see some punters opt for the Three Lions to qualify by any means at 4/5.
In each of the last three European championships, it is worth noting that three games have gone on to extra-time during the knockout stages, and this game could be one to do so at the first hurdle past the group stage.
It will also be of interest to punters that almost half of all knockout matches played at European championships have remarkably finished level, with an astonishing 45 per cent of elimination ties doing so.
Italy’s recent showings at major tournaments would also suggest that the 2/1 price about a draw is highly tempting, given them needing extra-time in each of their last two matches past the group stage of major tournaments.
Their last meeting of this kind was the 2006 World Cup, which Italy went on to triumph in, whilst they also finished level with France after 90 minutes in Euro 2000, but failed to take the trophy home on that occasion.
The notoriously conservative and reserved style of the Azzuri could also lead punters to side with the draw, and the Cesare Prandelli’s sides’ two stalemates from three matches in Poland and Ukraine show they maintain a penchant for grinding out a draw.
England have also recently demonstrated a greater emphasis on organisation rather than adventure under new boss Roy Hodgson, and all factors would appear to point to a draw between the sides this weekend.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.