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Cross Game Multi Tips: Jack Lampden picks out the value in this Thursday's Euro 2021 play-offs

Cross Game Multi Tips: Gylfi Sigurdsson is still Iceland's main man despite falling down the pecking order at Everton
Cross Game Multi Tips: Gylfi Sigurdsson is still Iceland's main man despite falling down the pecking order at Everton

Eight countries are competing in four play-off finals on Thursday evening to try and win a spot at next summer’s rearranged European Championships. I’ve done some digging into each of the ties to try and unearth some value bets; my football predictions are as follows...

Dusan Tadic 1+ Shot on Target @ 11/10 with Betfair

Since making his move to Dutch champions Ajax, Dusan Tadic has gone from strength to strength after a spell of mixed fortunes at Southampton.

When arriving on the South Coast as one of Ronald Koeman’s first signings, the playmaker linked up superbly in the early months with Graziano Pelle and chipped in with several goals and assists as a result. Although there can be question marks about his physicality, there’s no doubting the 31 year-old’s technical ability and he’ll be far the best player with the ball at his feet on when the team’s line up on Thursday night.

Tadic can play across the midfield three but is often deployed as a number 10 for his country, arguably his best position where he can dictate the tempo in the final third. Tadic has registered a shot on target in each of his last eight matches for club and country, so the 11/10 price here looks quite generous in a match where I would expect Serbia to largely dominate from the first whistle in what looks to be an uphill struggle for a stubborn Scotland outfit.

The attacking midfielder also takes penalties which is always a boost for a bet like this as if a spot kick is given and he’s on the pitch, we just need him to get it on target for the bet to land whether the ball goes in or not.

Euro 2021 odds

Gylfi Sigurdsson 1+ Shot on Target @ 11/8 with Betfair

Many countries over the years have learnt not to underestimate this rigid, physical Icelandic team and you certainly wouldn’t put it past them to reach another major tournament with victory in Budapest on Thursday.

One man that always comes to mind when talking about Iceland is one that is all too familiar to Premier League followers – Gylfi Sigurdsson. Although Sigurdsson may not feature front and centre in Carlo Ancelotti’s plans at Everton, he is still the talisman for his national team. In Iceland’s most recent internationals, Gylfi has started as a centre forward in a front two and in one of those games against Romania he found the net twice in a game where he hit three shots on target.

Like Tadic, Sigurdsson is well-known for his set-piece prowess so any free-kicks around the edge of the box or penalties he will be first in line to be over the ball and success in these types of scenarios could be the difference in what is expected to be a tight affair against Hungary.

In addition, any chance the forward will get to have a pop from range he won’t hesitate, as we’ve seen so often over the years domestically. I’d have expected the 11/8 odds to be closer to 10/11 in truth so there’s certainly some value to be had with Betfair and it’s a price I expect to drop prior to kick-off, especially if the team news is in favour again with our man starting more advanced than normal.

Ezgjan Alioski and Aleksander Mitrovic to be Carded Double @ 9.38/1 with William Hill

Another couple of names we’re all familiar with for my final selection in a couple of games I am expecting plenty of cards in. Alioski has been featuring regularly for Leeds in their return to the top flight of English football and it’ll come as little surprise that he’s one of the first names on the team sheet for North Macedonia.

The country, which has recently changed its name, is locking horns with Georgia after success in the Nations League not too long ago and are looking to reach their first ever major tournament with a win here so Alioski and his fellow countrymen will be putting everything on the line to make history here.

The versatile player has been booked in 4 of his last 6 national team games including last time out against Thursday’s opponents Georgia and Anthony Taylor, the man with the whistle, is no stranger to dishing out the cards at international level (10 in his last North Macedonia match) so I’m happy to include the Leeds man as the first part of this double to have his name taken again.

Today's football tips

To complete the double is Serbian hot-head Aleksander Mitrovic who has always had a fiery streak in him. The Fulham striker is integral to the way Serbia play, leading the line and possessing a real threat in the box. He does however have a tendency of picking up a silly card or two for dissent, as we saw in his most recent outing at West Ham where he got involved in a scuffle which earned him a booking.

Mitrovic was also booked in his last Serbia game for an argument and we’ve another favourable referee involved in the game Mitro is involved in against Scotland – Spaniard Antonio Lahoz – so another show of ill discipline and a subsequent card certainly isn’t out of the question, particularly if the result is not going the home team’s way and frustration sets in.

The double will bring home over 10 times your stake if it lands and I think it’s worth a small investment, this time with WilliamHill. I’d also suggest keeping an eye on the prices for goalkeeper bookings in-play as with these ties being settled on the night and no second legs, time wasting from teams who are in the lead is likely and some big prices can be found for the eagle-eyed.

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