Euro 2024

Euro 2024 Day Two Stat Pack: Back reliable Swiss on Asian Handicap

Swiss boss Murat Yakin has a fine record in group stages

Sky Sports' Lewis Jones - aka Jones Knows - casts his eye over Day Two of Euro 2024, using all the best data and stats to come to some value betting opportunties...

Hungary v Switzerland (14:00) - Been there, done it Swiss worth backing at 1.991/1

Course and distance form is a significantly underrated factor in tournament football. Whilst the wise-guys are searching for the up-and-coming sexy team to dream with, it's teams like Switzerland that provide the reliability factor that makes a tricky job of analysing teams very simple.

The Swiss have been there, got the major tournament group stage qualification t-shirt. In each of the last five World Cups or European Championships, they have qualified for the knockout stages, losing just three of their 15 group stage games.

An uninspiring qualifying campaign has potentially lured people into the assumption that this Swiss team are over the hill and no longer capable of mixing it with the elite. They won just four of ten qualifiers and ended up trailing group winners Romania by five points yet the underlying numbers behind those performances show a different story.

No team underperformed their expected goals data more than Switzerland in qualifying, producing the third highest expected goals figure per 90 of 2.34 and only Spain averaged more possession than the 71.68 per cent put up by Murat Yakin's team.

Bewilderingly, no team created more big chances per 90 than them either in qualifying at 3.6 per 90.

This is a team still posting strong numbers that are built for control with great leadership qualities and strong personalities and quality in key areas. A lack of a goalscorer is a worry but getting results in the pressure-cooker of a major tournament is all about being defensively sound. The Swiss are certainly that.

I'd be surprised if Hungary are able to match their street-smarts and tournament nous in Saturday's encounter and with this theory in mind, I'm happy to take the 1.991/1 on the Swiss on the Betfair Exchange in the Asian Handicap markets with a -0.25 start, meaning we'll get a full stakes return with a Swiss win, a half stakes loss if the game was to end a draw and the bet is a loser with a Hungary win.

Spain v Croatia (17:00) - Pass masters collide

No two teams attempted more passes per match in European qualifying than Spain (722) and Croatia (685). There will be no surprises on show in the tactical set-up of both teams. It will be a fight for control in the middle of the park, whoever stamps their authority in that area of the pitch will come out on top.

When teams of such nature meet, I'm always inclined to pay close attention to the under cards market. Opportunities for yellow card incidents where players are breaking into space in transition are going to be few and far between. Both teams are anti counter-attack. When you add into the mix the early tournament game-state of both teams knowing a draw wouldn't be the worst result, this potentially high-quality encounter could end up drifting for large parts.

And when a game drifts, low card counts come to the fore. The line is set at under 3.5 cards at 5/61.84 on the Betfair Sportsbook - it's a good starting point for those looking to build an angle of attack.

Italy v Albania (20:00) - Data points to an Albania blank

For those who just love crunching numbers, Albania are the outliers at the Euro 2024 party.

They have defied the data to get here, in a big way. A team putting up a per 90 expected goals return of just 0.88 across a qualifying campaign should not be qualifying. Yet here Albania are, rocking up in Germany despite their woeful attacking metrics. That expected goals figure was the lowest of any side to have qualified and their other averages like four shots from inside the box per 90 and just 13 touches in the opposition box per 90 from qualifying are also both the lowest of any team to have qualified for the tournament.

They are going to struggle to create chances, that's clear. And having landed themselves in a group with Croatia, Italy and Spain, them drawing a blank across the three games looks a big runner. The traders haven't exactly missed this angle though with just 8/111.73 on offer for Italy to keep a clean sheet.

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