Northern Monkey Punter

Euro 2024 ante post football selections

Here are my ante post selections for Euro 2024, hosted in Germany, which kicks off this Friday (14th June 2024):

Bet Summary 

(Sunday 9th June 2024)

  • Spain outright 8/1 Bet 365, William Hill, each-way (2 places, 1/2 odds)
  • Portugal outright 15/2 Paddy Power, each-way (2 places, 1/2 odds)
  • Romelu Lukaku (Belgium) top goalscorer 16/1 Bet 365, Coral, Ladbrokes, 14/1 William Hill* (4 places, 1/4 odds), each-way

*William Hill are offering a £5 free bet, every time your player scores, when you stake £20 in the ante post top scorer market (via a SSBT and PLUS card in shop: full terms here)

(Monday 10th June 2024)

If anyone has access to Rhinobet (their trading platform looks similar to some other online firms so the same bets may possibly also be available elsewhere) they have put up a number of specials that lured me in:

  • Spain to win Euros & Mbappe top scorer 60/1 Rhinobet (specials) - small bet
  • Spain to win Euros & Rodri to win Best Player of Tournament - 60/1 Rhinobet (specials) - small bet
  • Yamal (Spain) to win UEFA Young Player of the Tournament - 10/1 Rhinobet (specials) - small bet

(Tuesday 11th June 2024)

  • England-Serbia, Group C dual forecast, 15/8 Bet 365, Coral
  • Portugal-Turkey, Group F straight forecast, 2/1 Bet 365, Coral
  • Serbia, Austria, Croatia, Switzerland and Turkey to qualify from their respective Groups - 6.27/1 five-fold with Bet 365 - small bet
  • Denmark, Austria, Croatia, Switzerland and Turkey to qualify from their respective Groups - 5.17/1 five-fold with Bet 365 - small bet

Reasoning (9th June 2024)

As much as I’d love to see England ‘bring it home’ with a squad ram-packed with attacking talent, I am one of those fans who has reservations about Gareth Southgate and his ability to get the best out of this wonderfully talented squad. At 11/4, I’m inclined to look elsewhere for a bet, especially after England’s dismal showing against Iceland on Friday - hardly a performance that inspired confidence going into a major tournament.

In order to come up with my ante post selections I’ve ranked each country defensively and offensively, based on my assessment of perceived ‘quality’ in their announced squads, then compared that with the betting list to see who may offer some value as an alternative.

Top of my attacking list were England, blessed with Foden, Saka, Palmer (albeit unproven at international level) and Kane, with France, Portugal and Spain next on the list. Netherlands and Germany were up there along with a surprisingly high ranking for Serbia, who boast Mitrovic, Vlahovic and Milinkovic-Savic among their arsenal. Belgium, with De Bruyne, Doku, Trossard and Lukaku, also ranked in my top 10.

Defensively, England, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany and the Netherlands were all tight at the top, with only Italy marginally behind. Switzerland and Austria made the top 10, even though not up there in my corresponding attacking list, as did Croatia and Denmark, who ‘tied’ for 10th on my scores.

So looking at who fared well in both lists and looking for discrepancies with the actual betting, England aside (opposing on value grounds), France look to have a solid chance at 4/1, although at double their price, and having featured prominently on both attacking and defensive ability, SPAIN and PORTUGAL look value prices around 8/1 and 15/2. Do they really only have half the winning chance France do, and less than half the chance a Gareth Southgate-led Three Lions do? I think the discrepancies are too big for both. Both England are Germany are countries I’d expect to be bigger, personally.

Portugal breezed through a weak qualification group (only conceding twice) and with the likes of Cancelo, Dias, Bernardo Silva, Joao Felix, Bruno Fernandes, Ramos and the effervescent Ronaldo to call upon, they could make light work of a qualification group (E) that includes Turkey, Czechia and Georgia. 

I do have reservations about current coach Roberto Martinez, however, who failed to get the best out of a talented group with Belgium, but the Selecao potentially face a third-place qualifier if they top their group, giving them a fantastic opportunity of progressing to the next phase of the knockouts, and, if Groups C and D play out to form, Martinez’s men will probably avoid England or France until the final.

With each-way betting on two places at 1/2 odds, it’s effectively ‘money back’ if we also cover Spain in the same market to the same stake, and either makes the final.

While I have reservations about Martinez, the same reservations don’t apply with for Spain, who won the Nations League Final (beating Croatia on penalties) last summer under Luis de la Fuente, so I’ve backed them too.

This Spain side might not be as intimidating on paper as La Roja of the ‘golden era’, which won two European Championships and a World Cup between 2008 and 2012, but it is packed full of experienced, solid in-form players neverthless. 

Attacking full-backs Dani Carvajal and Alex Grimaldo (if selected, Marc Cucurella is another option) are both players I rate highly, and Rodri is player who I rank as one of the best in Europe for Man City. 

Unai Simon and Laporte are solid at the back and Pedri and Barcelona wonder kid Yamal are attractive offensive options to support Alvaro Morata, who failed at Chelsea but has otherwise enjoyed a very good career. Olmo and Oyarzabal are others performing well in Europe this year who add strength to the cast.

Spain are in the ‘group of death’ with Italy, Croatia and Albania. They face Croatia next weekend, then Italy the following Thursday, so they aren’t going to have it easy (hence why I’m backing Portugal too), but if they can navigate through Group B as winners, they’d face one of the third-place qualifiers as well. Even if they finish runner-up in Group B, they’d then face the runner-up of Group A (Germany, Switzerland, Hungary and Scotland), again providing them a viable chance of progression to the quarter-finals.

With respect to the top-scorer betting, Kane and Mbappe are at the top of the market and obviously have strong chances for nations expected to progress far into the knockouts. However, of those at bigger prices, ROMELU LUKAKU looks of interest at 16/1 (or you can take Hills’ 14/1 and get a free bet every time he scores).

Lukaku was the top scorer in qualification, with 14 in eight games, and given Belgium are up against three teams who ranked down the bottom end of my defensive rankings in Slovenia, Ukraine and Romania, there is a chance ‘big Rom’, who was often labelled a ‘flat-track bully’ during his time in the Premier League, can run amok in the Group matches - supplied by De Bruyne, Doku and Trossard, even if the Red Devils aren’t necessarily expected to go all the way.

The burly unit spent last season on loan from Chelsea at Roma, scoring 21 in 47 league and cup appearances, so he arrives in Germany with a strong season under his belt. 

Crucially, he’s also expected to be on penalties. 

Five goals saw Ronaldo (tied with Czechia’s Schick) finish top goalscorer at Euro 2020. At Euro 2016 Griezmann top-scored with 6, with a raft of players tied for place money on 3. Six players tied on 3 in Euro 2012, and although the format of the competition has changed slightly in recent years, with the four best third-place qualifiers now progressing to the knockouts, if Lukaku bags a brace in one of the group games, he might end up finishing in the shake-up if he could muster four.

Reasoning (10th June 2024) 

Rhinobet might not be a firm everbody has access to but, for those who do, they are offering several specials that interest me to small stakes for a fun involvement at big prices.

As per the bets posted above yesterday, I think Spain are overpriced - probably by a couple of points - and with Manchester City’s Rodri a key, calming figure in the centre of their midfield, I like the 60/1 for him to win Player of the Tournament and Spain to win the competition.

The 60/1 special on Spain to win the tournament and Mbappe to finish top scorer also tickled my fancy for another speculative stake at a price. France could go deep into the tournament and, if they do, Mbappe will no doubt be a key man, so having a few quid on this special offers a bit of insurance across the markets. Spain could face France in the semis, if both win their Groups and progress through the earlier knockout rounds as expected.

The 10/1 special for Barcelona wonder kid Lamine Yamal to win UEFA Young Player of the Tournament is also of interest. 

The 16-year-old has burst onto the scene this season and has already clocked up 57 appearances for club and country, not only for Barca in La Liga and the Champions League, but also internationally.
He’s bagged two goals and several assists from around half a dozen starts in Euro 2024 Qualifiers and friendlies for Spain. 

If Spain go far in the tournament, he’ll likely be one of the eyecatchers. 

Reasoning (11th June 2024)

England and Portugal are expected to top Groups C and F, respectively, but I fancy Serbia and Turkey to outperform their odds and qualify - so I've done straight and dual forecasts.

In Group C I wonder quite how much firepower Denmark and Slovenia have, whereas Serbia have Tadic, Milinkovic-Savic, Mitrovic, Jovic and Vlahovic to call upon - and maybe in those tight group matches that potential for breaking the deadlock could prove key.

It wouldn't surprise if Gareth Southgate set up England to try not lose their opener against Serbia. I obviously hope England do the business, but if they don't, the Three Lions will still fancy their chances of picking up the maximum points against Slovenia and Denmark. 

Serbia face Slovenia in their second game, then Denmark in the last game. If they could pick up a point versus England and then beat Slovenia, even a point against Denmark could see them through in second place. The England-Serbia straight forecast is 11/4 but I've taken the 15/8 for the dual forecast (can finish in either order) in case England fluff their lines.

In Group F Czechia will be reliant on Patrick Schick and Georgia on Napoli's Khvicha Kvaratskehlia to progress. I just think the Turkey squad might have a bit more overall quality and be a little better balanced and I like the layout of their fixtures - Turkey kick off their Group fixtures against Georgia, so if they get three points on the board early there, even if they lose to Portugal in their following game as the market predicts, they might be in a position whereby a draw against Czechia in the final group game might be enough to seal second spot to land this particular forecast. 

With regards to the Bet 365 accumulators, they are offering a 'Group Qualification Yes/No' market in which you can acca up selections across the Groups. Along with Turkey and Serbia mentioned above, I've chucked in several other teams that weren't 'obvious' and who scored greater or better than 'average' on my attacking and defensive rankings. 

The hope is that Serbia and Denmark can beat Slovenia, that Austria beat Poland, that Switzerland beat Scotland, that Turkey can beat Georgia and that Croatia can beat Albania. Doing so would help set them on their way to qualifying (some via being a best third-place qualifier etc).

……More bets to follow before Friday…..

Recent Winners

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Bague D'Or 7/1 - WON

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