For once, Monday won’t feel like an absolute ball ache – because England are in knockout action at Euro 2016.
The final four round of 16 qualifiers are in action on Monday, and both matches promise to offer thrills, spills, and plenty of skills. Come 10PM, we’ll hopefully be celebrating a quarter-final place for England, and some extra money in our accounts thanks to our betting selections.
Monday’s Matches: Italy v Spain (5PM, BBC One); England v Iceland (8PM, ITV)
It sounds a little strange to say it, but Italy have been one of the surprise packages thus far and put in stunning performances to see off Belgium and Sweden before resting players in their final game. The Azzurri will be quietly confident about their chances. Unfortunately, Antonio Conte’s men couldn’t have asked for a harder test in the round of 16.
Vicente Del Bosque’s men may have suffered a late defeat to Croatia but they’ll still be considered one of the favourites to win the competition for a third straight success. There are weaknesses in the Spain squad; getting the ball long enough to capitalise them is a lot easier said than done.
The final round of 16 game is the one we’ve been waiting for: England against the smallest nation in the competition. We’ve all loved Iceland over the past fortnight or so, but the Three Lions will be expected to previal.
Lars Lagerback’s men have shown that they’re no pushovers, though, and can cause problems. The first goal could be vital, and it should be an intense showdown between the two nations. Whatever happens, it should be an exciting final match before the business end of the quarter finals later in the week.
Let’s just hope we win some money too.
Toe Punter v The Bookies
Italy v Spain is one of those mouth-watering ties that we all pray for ahead of any major tournament. It might have arrived a little earlier than expected, but it should be an intense battle from start to finish.
Four years ago, the sides shared a 1-1 draw in the group phase before Spain blitzed the Italians away in the final. On that day, possession was the key and we don’t see it being any different here – even if the squads have evolved since 2012.
Bet: Spain to win in 90 minutes @ 6/5 with William Hill (£10 stake)
In the England match, we’ll be on the edge of our seats no matter what happens. However, we’re looking for the big winner thanks to Sky Bet’s request-a-bet special.
We’d only advise a small stake for interest, but have reason to believe it will land us the big winner.
Bet: Wayne Rooney to score a penalty, Over 1.5 goals, 8+ corners & 40+ booking points @ 25/1 with SkyBet (£5 stake)