Euro 2020 Daily Report: Wales progress despite loss in Rome

Wales captain Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale will be pivotal to Wales going far in Euro 2020

Italy and Wales are through to the second round and they will be joined by four more nations today. Here's how the markets are looking ahead of the conclusion of Groups B and C.

"Assuming Belgium top Group B, none of the other possible opponents (Russia, Finland or Denmark) should be feared by Wales who reached the semi-finals of Euro 2016. Wales can be backed at 8.07/1 to make the semis this summer."

Wales can learn from defeat in Rome

Wales may have lost their battle in Rome's second Colosseum, but they live to fight another day after finishing second in Group A. Only a heavy defeat for Wales and a big win for Switzerland would have dislodged Rob Page's side from their runners-up spot.

The reward for this hard-working group of Welsh players is a Round of 16 clash on Saturday in Amsterdam against the runners-up of Group B which will be determined today. Assuming Belgium top that group, none of the other possible opponents (Russia, Finland or Denmark) should be feared by Wales who reached the semi-finals of Euro 2016. Wales are 8.07/1 to repeat that achievement.

Both teams to score has paid out just once in Wales' last seven matches

Even after Ethan Ampadu became the youngest player to be sent off at the Euros, Wales created chances to earn a point. Bale was guilty of missing the best chance and had he converted that, his odds of being named player of the tournament would be much better than the 50.049/1 he currently is on the exchange. Bale looks destined not to score at this tournament.

A lack of goals might prevent Wales from going far in this competition. Their blank in Rome means they have scored four goals in their last five matches while last week's victory against Turkey was the only time in their last eight games in which they scored more than one goal.

However, for the third time in three major tournaments, the Dragons are through to the knockout stage. They remain heavy underdogs at 75/1 to win the trophy and they are 15/8 on the sportsbook to be eliminated in the quarter-finals.

Mancini's Italy's maintain perfection

Before Euro 2020 got under way, Italy were regarded as 9/1 dark horses to win the tournament even though they entered the competition unbeaten in their last 27 matches. And they had kept clean sheets in their last seven. Now, after completing their group games with a third successive win to nil, the Azzurri are 6/1 joint-second favourites to win their second European title.

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Roberto Mancini's side had already qualified for the second round before they kicked off against Wales so the Italian manager took the opportunity to rotate his squad and made eight changes. The changes did not disrupt his side's rhythm at all and in truth, they could have won by a larger margin had they chosen to move through the gears.

Trying to find faults in this Italian team is a futile exercise because they haven't shown any, yet. Defensively, they are very solid no matter who plays at the back and the pride in which they do their job is clear for all to see. Italy have now gone 1,055 minutes or almost 18 hours without conceding a goal.

Italy extended their unbeaten run to 30 matches which equals the longest streak in their history

In attack, the Azzurri have scored 33 goals in their last 12 matches. If you're confident Italy can reach the final, but perhaps not win it, then back them at 3.7511/4 on the exchange.

Can they maintain this form? As Mancini said after Italy's latest win, this is now a different tournament. The rested players will be fresh for their Round of 16 contest and that includes Ciro Immobile who will be looking to add to his two goals in two games. The Lazio forward can be backed at 12.5 to win the Golden Boot award.

So far, so good for the Netherlands

The Netherlands did what they had to do in their opening two matches to qualify for the knockout stage. In fact, the way the group has panned out so far, the Dutch enter their final game against North Macedonia guaranteed to finish as group winners. Their reward is a Round of 16 tie against one of the four best-placed teams that finished third.

Frank de Boer has a decision to make. Rest star players like Memphis Depay in order to keep them fresh and risk losing the continuity they have developed in their opening two matches? Or stick with the same players and risk possible injuries to his stars?

The Netherlands have scored in both halves in five of their last six matches

In truth, the Dutch could field their reserves and still probably beat North Macedonia at odds of 1/4. But there is little value in that price. The Netherlands are 13/8 to win both halves in Amsterdam which offers better value. North Macedonia are 4/5 to score for the third successive match.

Looking at the big picture, this Netherlands squad seems determined to make up for lost time after failing to qualify for the previous World Cup and European Championships. A run of six quarter-final appearances at the Euros came to an end in 2012 when they failed to qualify from their group.

The Dutch will hope to reach the quarter-finals at the very least and they can be backed at 1.728/11 to achieve that goal while reaching to the semi-finals for the first time since 2004 is 2.588/5 on the exchange.

A lot will depend on who they face in the elimination stage of the competition, but the signs are looking good for the Oranje to go far in this tournament. Their future's bright. Is the future orange? We'll know on July 11.

Read Kevin Hatchard's preview and tips for North Macedonia v the Netherlands here

De Bruyne crucial to Belgium's Euros hopes

They say not all superheroes wear capes, or masks for that matter. That's certainly the case with Kevin de Bruyne. After fracturing his cheekbone and eye socket in the Champions League final, de Bruyne was expected to wear a protective mask throughout the Euros, but the Belgian midfielder appeared without one as he saved his nation from defeat to Denmark last time out.

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De Bruyne provided the scoring pass for Thorgan Hazard's equaliser and scored the second from distance to seal the come-from-behind win. Without de Bruyne, this final group game would have a lot more riding on it. As it is, manager Roberto Martinez can rotate his squad to give some of his fringe players some much needed game time. De Bruyne is 23/10 to have an assist against Russia.

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Romelu Lukaku will be looking to stay in the mix for the Golden Boot award. The Inter striker failed to find the back of the net against Denmark, but he did play a massive part in keeping the ball alive prior to the equaliser. Lukaku can be backed at 5.79/2 on the exchange to continue his scoring at the tournament.

Belgium's second half comeback kept the Red Devils on track for glory this summer. Despite having a maximum six points from six, Belgium can be backed at 8.415/2 to win the Euros. They were 6/1 before the tournament started.

The Belgians aren't the only big nation to have slipped down the outright winner market. After being held by Scotland at Wembley on Friday night, England are 10.09/1 on the exchange to win the tournament after starting the tournament as 5/1 second favourites.

Read Dave Tindall's preview and tips for Finland v Belgium here

Difficult summer for Danes close to ending

If the football gods had their way, Denmark would already be through to the knockout stages of Euro 2020 given what has happened to their squad. Losing their star player Christian Eriksen in the manner they did, rocked the entire squad. Getting over this summer won't be a quick fix.

Given a choice, the Danish players would most likely prefer to be at home with their families than concentrate on football, but they are professionals and this is what they do. Beating Russia in their final group match at 3/4 would bring some cheer to Eriksen as he recovers from his cardia arrest.

It is possible for Denmark to finish second in Group B, but that plan needs two things to happen. Firstly, the Danes need to take care of business and beat Russia in Copenhagen. Secondly, and more importantly, Belgium need to beat Finland. If both happen, then it will come down to goal difference.

Denmark are in danger of losing all three group matches at the Euros for the third time having done so in 1988 and 2000

Russia already have a win in the group and a point should see them qualify from Group B which can be backed at 2.1411/10. In the unlikely event of group leaders Belgium losing to Finland, the Russians could top the group on goal difference, but it's going to take a lot of goals for that to happen. If Russia make it out of the group, they are 10/3 to be eliminated in the Round of 16.

Read Dave Tindall's preview and tips for Russia v Denmark here

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