Euro 2016 Semi-finals – Previews and Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for the Euro 2016 Semi-finals, featuring Portugal vs. Wales and Germany vs. France.

Tournament Winner Odds

Below are the tournament winner odds at the time of writing. bet365 odds are shown because they will refund your bet if your side loses on penalties. There is no bet limit that we’re aware of for this promotion.

France – 2.75
Germany – 2.75
Portugal – 4.33
Wales – 9.00

Euro 2016 Semi-finals Predictions

The following Euro 2016 Semi-finals previews are in order of the tournament schedule. Odds will likely change leading up to kickoff. View the latest Euro 2016 odds.


Portugal vs. Wales

Thu Jul 7 – 5.00am AEST – Lyon
Compare odds for this fixture

This fixture features the two sides that are less likely to win the tournament, but it does feature two of the best players in world football, with many trying to build this up as Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Gareth Bale. In reality, Ronaldo has had a quiet tournament. Bale has played a larger role in Wales’ success, but there have been key contributions from other players too such as Aaron Ramsey.

Portugal are in the semi-finals on the back of five consecutive full-time draws. They qualified for the Round of 16 after finishing third behind Hungary and Iceland in Group F. In the Round of 16, after a 0-0 draw at full-time, Portugal then knocked out Croatia in extra time thanks to a 117-minute Quaresma goal. In the quarter-finals they defeated Poland in on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

Wales have had a more convincing tournament run, which has not involved a single draw. They topped Group B ahead of England before narrowly defeating Northern Ireland 1-0 in the Round of 16. Wales then continued to be a bogey side for Belgium, defeating them 3-1 after previously going undefeated against Belgium in the qualifying tournament.

In team news, Wales enter this fixture without Tottenham defender Ben Davies or Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey after they both picked up a one-game suspension for a second booking. Portugal will be without Sporting CP midfielder William Carvalho while defender Pepe is not a certainty after he missed training on Monday with a hamstring problem. Fullback Raphael Guerreiro and midfielder Andre Gomes remain sidelined with injury.

This fixture is tough to pick. Wales have played better this tournament but they are missing two key starters. Portugal have played conservatively and have yet to deliver a strong performance, but you have to give credit to the fact they have a 7-5-0 full-time record in their last twelve competitive matches. I’m leaning towards a full-time draw for this fixture.

In the presence of uncertainty I like to go for higher odds selections so I would back the following:

Back Portugal/Draw in the HT/FT market at 17.00 (bet365)
Back Wales/Draw in the HT/FT market at 17.00 (bet365)
Back Draw/Draw in the HT/FT market at 4.33 (bet365)


Germany vs. France

Fri Jul 8 – 5.00am AEST – Marseille
Compare odds for this fixture

This is arguably the more interesting of the two semi-finals, with the winner likely to become the odds-on favourite to win the tournament. Friendlies aside, France and Germany haven’t played each other often in competitive matches, with this just their fourth meeting since 1958.

To reach this point, Germany topped Group C ahead of Poland due to a superior goal difference. Germany then saw off Slovakia comfortably with a 3-0 win despite missing a penalty. In the quarter-final they beat Italy on penalties after a 1-1 draw. Germany remain the only side who have yet to concede a goal in open play. The penalty conceded against Italy was the only time they have conceded a goal this tournament. What is impressive about Germany at the moment is their ability to take different approaches to different opponents. They played with flair to overcome the defensively-minded Slovakia, then took a more cautious and defensive approach against a strong Italian team.

France’s campaign has had its ups and downs. It took a few late goals to do so, but France topped Group A as was heavily expected. They then came back from conceding a 2nd-minute penalty goal against Ireland to win their Round of 16 clash 2-1. France then put in their best display of the tournament, thrashing Iceland 5-2 in their quarter-final. They have get to play a major team in this tournament, but France certainly have the flair and ability to beat anyone if they play at their best.

France have had the upper hand in recent meetings between the two sides, going 6-2-1 since 1990. Eight of those nine meetings were friendlies, however. Germany have a habit of winning the matches that matter, with France losing all three of their competitive matches since 1958.

In team news, France have the ability to call upon Adil Rami and N’Golo Kante after they sat out against Iceland to serve their suspensions. The news isn’t so rosy for Germany. They will be without Mats Hummels after he received a booking against Italy. Mario Gomez is out for the rest of the tournament with injury, Sami Khedira will miss the semi-final and Bastian Schweinsteiger is in doubt for this clash.

This is certainly a mouthwatering clash. Germany have immense competition history, having won 14 of their last 18 games at major tournaments, losing just once. France, meanwhile have a 15-2-0 record in the last 17 major tournament games played on home soil. In terms of weaknesses, Germany could be without as many as four key starters for this clash, while France have looked suspect at times in defence. If this goes to penalties, keep in mind that Germany have won their last six penalty shoot-outs at major tournaments.

Like the first fixture, I find it difficult to pick a full-time winner, so I’m going to back the draw.

Back the full-time draw at 3.12 (Matchbook)


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