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The second international tournament out of 3 this summer will begin in France, which is EURO 2016. This tournament generally is considered one of the best tournaments around the world, on par with the World Cup in the eyes of many, as it has most of the top teams in the world.

France AH-1 to beat REP of Ireland @ 1.93 (Bet365) – 2.5 points

France come into this tournament as the hosts and one of the favourites to win this tournament and looking at their performance so far, its been a mixed bag due to Deschamps rotating the squad in every game. They looked less impressive against Switzerland but managed to keep a clean sheet, which was extremely critical. Tonight they take on an Ireland team who have been leaking goals, and that will give confidence to the front 3 of Giroud, Payet and Greizmann who will be looking to take the attack against a shaky Irish defence.

The Irish were lucky to qualify with a cracking goal against Italy, but as we all saw, Italy played a rotated squad and were content in sitting still to secure a draw even though they were already placed first. The Irish strikers in Keane and Long have failed to create any impact or even many opportunities so far this tournament, and its difficult for them to find the back again with Matuidi & Kante sitting in to give extra cover to the back 2 of France. The Irish defence has looked threatened, and could be beaten at any time; and I don’t see any reason how the French cannot attack them.

France’s home comforts have ensured they qualified winning the first 2 games and I expect them to continue their form and win this game. I expect France to win by a couple of goals, so I back France on the Asian handicap here against Ireland.

Germany AH-1 to beat Slovakia @ 1.91 (Bet365) – 2.5 points

Germany have improved slowly through this tournament, but one thing has been there for all to see, their defence has been extremely tight and they have been the only team to keep clean sheets in all 3 of their games. That is used as a great stepping stone for their attacking side of their game to play freely, without worrying much of the back especially since Khedira adds an extra layer of foil to the back 4. The attacking bunch of Muller, Gotze, Ozil and Gotze have failed to deliver any consistency up front, and that will be of worry to Low; who will look for his this bunch to attack a Slovakian game who leaked goals in their first 2 games. Toni Kroos will be instrumental in dictating play, so all eyes will be on him to create opportunities for his team mates.

Slovakia were continuously under the pump against England and that was seen by the possession and attacking stats that they had to face. England came close a number of times, but did not have the composure to put the ball away, something that the Germans are slightly better off in my opinion. Slovakian defence has been facing struggles in all their games so far, and that means their forwards cannot attacking on the counter much. They have over-relied on Hamsik to deliver the goods, and while he does make things happen, he barely threatened the English defence other than 2 opportunities.

I see Germany being able to win this comfortably by at least 1-0; so I am backing Germany on the Asian Handicap of -1; to get a refund if they win by 1, or a good winnings if they win by 2.

Belgium to beat Hungary @ 1.72 (888Sport) – 2.5 points
Hungary v Belgium – Over 10.5 Corners @ 1.83 (888Sport) – 2.5 points

Belgium come into this game as one of the strong favourites on their half of the draw in order to progress to the next stages. They put in a strong performance in their last 2 games to win without conceding a goal and that should give them confidence against the Hungarians who were joint top scorers of the group stage of the tournament. The Belgian forwards saw Lukaku, Hazard, De Bruyne and Nainggolan contribute towards their 4 goals in their last 2 games and we can expect them to play well now that confidence is on their side. I would like to see Dries Mertens given an opening start instead of Carrasco, because he always makes things happen, as was seen in his brief cameo so far. The Belgians have had plenty of width and crosses to create chances for them and that has seen a lot of corners flow through the Belgians as has been seen in their last few games with corners: 12, 5, 8, 9, 17, 11, 4, 6. In this critical and important game I expect the Belgian to continue pushing the threat and looking for a goal.

Hungary has shown great attacking threat in the game so far this tournament, and I can see them continuing to give the Belgians trouble despite them keeping 2 clean sheets in the tournament. Hungary however, were lucky in their first 2 games to get some goals while their opponents chased the game. They put in some cracking goals against Portugal, which saw them progress to this stage as group winners. The Hungarians have good wide players who saw them win a lot of corners in their last few games, giving an opportunity for Szalai to head on a few balls. The team love to clear out corners and keep the ball away from the goal. Their game corners have been quite a lot: 12, 8, 8, 5, 10, 10, 13, 16, 11.

This game will be an extremely tight one, but I expect the Belgians to slightly nudge ahead of the Hungarians as long as they can keep their defence tight.

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