Euro 2021 Betting: Players to watch out for in the shots markets for the quarter-finals
It’s the quarter-finals of Euro 2021 this weekend and today we’re taking a look at which players could be worth including in your shots bets for the action.
Switzerland v Spain
Switzerland and Spain kick things off tomorrow evening at 5pm in a match which pits the tournament’s current top scorers - Spain - against a Swiss side who have also been free-scoring in their previous two outings, netting six times.
Vladimir Petković’s side produced the shock of the competition in the last 16, beating favourites France on penalties after being 3-1 down heading into the final 10 minutes of normal time! They showed tremendous spirit to fight back from a two-goal deficit in that game and should not be underestimated in this one.
Breel Embolo has been a standout player for Switzerland and currently tops the pile alongside Xherdan Shaqiri when it comes to shots at the Euros with 6 (3 on target). Spain have been impressive in front of goal but have shown a weakness in defence, shipping three against Croatia last time out after having such a foothold in the game.
Embolo has the talent to exploit that and will carry the burden of Switzerland’s attacking expectation on Friday evening. He’s 3/1 to have 2 or more shots on target, which I think could represent some nice value given the issues Luis Enrique’s side have faced at the back in recent outings.
From Spain’s perspective, the obvious candidate is Alvaro Morata, who has registered a whopping 15 shots at goal at the Euros with 8 of those testing the keeper. His price is extremely short though, so we’d instead recommend looking towards defender Cesar Azpilicueta, who offers much better value.
The Chelsea man registered 2 shots on target against Croatia, even finding the net to put Spain ahead early in the second half which was remarkably his first ever international goal. He’s 3/1 for just one shot on target against Switzerland which I feel is a great price given his sensational performance in the last 16.
Belgium v Italy
Moving onto the evening’s late kick-off and we have a blockbuster on our hands. Belgium lock horns with Italy for a spot in the semi-finals and it is almost impossible to separate the two teams on paper.
Roberto Martinez has been dealt a huge blow with the news that both Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard will miss the clash through injury, which means the emphasis will be on the likes of Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku and Thorgen Hazard in front of goal.
With Lukaku’s shots prices so short, I’d be looking towards wing-back Thomas Meunier to have 2 or more shots at 3/1. So far this tournament the Dortmund man has let off 4 shots at goal (2 on target) and with two of Belgium’s key attacking figures out he will have to help out in attack more, something he is never afraid to do as it is.
He let off one in the win over Portugal on Sunday, and I’m tipping him to improve on that with at least two in this one. They don’t have to be on target, remember, which makes the chances of it landing a lot more probable.
For Italy, Manuel Locatelli is an interesting proposition. The 23-year-old is 21/10 to have 2 or more shots against Belgium which I think is another nice angle. So far he’s taken 4 shots at goal with 3 of those landing on target. He is Italy’s joint-top goalscorer with 2 goals at Euro 2021 and is always looking to let off long-range shots at goal.
This match is predicted to be a really cagey affair with few chances, just like it was on Sunday as Belgium sat back against Portugal for the most-part. This enhances the chances of midfielders shooting from distance and aligns nicely for our bet.
Czech Republic v Denmark
Czech Republic and Denmark do battle on Saturday at 5pm and it’s a game that offers some fantastic opportunities looking at the shot markets.
Patrik Schick is having the tournament of his life, scoring 4 goals to close in on Cristiano Ronaldo for the Golden Boot award. His shot stats are incredible, with 13 taken overall - 9 of which have been on target. He is by far and away the best player in the Czech squad in this department, making the 6/4 on offer for him to have 2 or more SoT quite an attractive price.
Schick will be desperate to add to his goal-haul, not only to draw level - or even overtake Ronaldo - in the top scorer chart, but to help propel his country through to the semi-finals. With this considered, he’s my bet for the makeshift hosts.
Denmark’s marauding wing-back Joakim Maehle has firmly put himself in the shop window with a string of impressive displays at the Euros. The 24-year-old - who has two goals to his name so far - is being linked with Inter Milan and Chelsea and it’s clear to see why. He is such an attack-minded defender who is fearless in the final third, best illustrated by the fact he’s registered 9 shots at this summer’s tournament, with just three of those missing the target!
He’s way too short for 1+ SoT at 2/5, but you can get 11/2 for him to have 2 or more - just like he did in the last 16 win over Wales last weekend - with Betfair.
Ukraine v England
I’d be looking towards Man City duo Raheem Sterling and Oleksandr Zinchenko in Saturday's clash between England & Ukraine. Raheem has been the brightest spark in front of goal for the Three Lions, scoring three times in four outings with his latest contribution coming in the sensational win over Germany on Tuesday night.
He will enter this match with sky-high confidence and will be looking to get shots away as soon as he sees the slightest sight of goal. Backing the ex-Liverpool winger to register 2 or more SoT would be my play for this one, that's 11/10 with Paddy Power and 7/4 with Betfred as a single.
To boost the odds, including Zinchenko to register 1 or more on target (23/10) as a double could be a shrewd move, which comes out at just over 13/2 with Paddy's. The Manchester City man scored a terrific goal and won UEFA’s ‘Star of the Match’ award against Sweden in the last 16 which will no doubt provide him with plenty of confidence heading into this do-or-die clash in Rome.
That goal was his only shot of the tournament so far, but playing in such an advanced role for his country will see him presented with more opportunities in the final third and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him try and test Pickford from range on Saturday evening, with chances in the penalty area coming at a premium for the Eastern Europeans due to how well England are defending at present.
We will have dedicated betting previews for each of these matches very soon, so be sure to keep checking our homepage for the latest football tips for the quarter-finals.