Hibs don’t have a particularly easy draw ahead of them in the second qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League. After winning the Scottish Cup against Rangers to end a 114 year wait for the trophy, Hibs skipped the first qualifying round of action here. They go into a tough fixture though against Denmark’s Brondby, who were on fire in the opening foray into this season’s competition as they banged in ten goals in the first qualifying round. Brondby go as 11/10 favourites with Hibs at 21/10 and the draw at 12/5.
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So a tough draw for Hibs here. They probably would have welcomed a first round tie before getting into this, just to shake off some rustiness. However, they have to step out and switch on immediately against Brondby. This is no easy task for them and given that they have won just one of ten previous games played in the UEFA Cup/Europa League then things don’t line up too well for them. In their last two appearances in the UEFA Europa League, they lost both matches in the second qualifying round in the 2013/14 season. They went the same way when they lost both games in the third qualifying round in the 2010/11 season, their prior visit to the competition.
So Hibs don’t have a great record and their record against Danish sides stands at W1 L1. That was from a meeting with Odense BK back in the 2006 Intertoto Cup, Hibs winning at home and then losing on the road. The goalscorer markets are hard to judge in this one so you will be better off jumping on Bet365’s superb live in play betting service to find value in someone who is looking sharp on the night in the match. This fixture is a quote of 8/11 to go under 2.5 and is at even money to go over. Considering that this is His first game since winning the end of last seasons’ domestic season and with Brondy’s scoring exploits in the last round, it may be worth a punt over.
Brondby faced up against Icelandic side Valur in the first qualifying round and trounced them, it’s far to say. Brondby put a 4-1 away win on the board in the first leg and then romped to a 6-0 victory back on home soil as well. They have gone up against Scottish opposition before with some success in the UEFA Cup. They beat Dundee United on away goals back in ‘93 and they ran out 2-0 aggregate winners when they met Aberdeen in ‘96. So they hold a W2 D1 L1 record from their four previous games against Scottish opposition. Surely their goals from the first round have to count for something and striker Teemu Pukki and midfield Kamil Wilczek both netted three each across the two legs. Daniel Stuckler netted two for himself. Last season, Brondy went to the play off round in qualifying before bowing out.
Tough, tough opener for Hibs but the only saving grace here is that they are at home for the first leg. So they may be able to dig in for a longer period, but they will face a strong, confident Brondby side and the visitors may have just too much punch going forward for Hibs to contain. Look for some value in the away win.
13th July 2016 / lee - Category: Europa League Betting
The Dons step back out into European action and they will hoping for a more comfortable time than they had in the previous qualifying round. This is the second qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League so there is a long way to go before hitting up the main draw. Can the Dons get there? Standing in their way next is Ventspils from Latvia. Aberdeen get the first leg at home which is nice, because if they build something solid here they can take it easy for the return leg, resting players even. Aberdeen are 9/20 to take the win, with the draw at 16/5 and Ventspils at 5/1.
UEFA Europa League matches are covered by 0-0 bore draw insurance at online betting site Bet365. Place a pre-match correct score, scorecast or half time/full time bet on the game and if your wager loses because the game ends 0-0 then you will get your lost stake refunded as a free bet from the bookmaker. Register an account with them and earn a 100% matched deposit bonus as a welcome.
The Dons put themselves 3-1 to the good after the first leg of their first qualifying round of action against Luxembourg outfit Fola Esch. But instead of going out to Luxembourg and killing the game off with an away goal, the Dons suffered a shock defeat. It was a truly dreadful performance from the Dons, one they will quickly want to forget, but they still managed to edge their way through to the second qualifying round. Things are going to have to improve drastically for them though. That was Fola Esch’s first ever European victory and were on top of Aberdeen for most of the game really.
In the first leg, the Dons looked set for a 1-1 draw before injury time goals from Niall McGinn and Adam Rooney left them with a big enough margin in the end. This should have been an easy test really for the Dons over the two legs, but they were given a real examination, which may not bode too well down the line for them. This meeting with Ventspils is a quote of 5/6 to go under 2.5 goals. The Dons were in last season’s qualifying and made it to the third round and eventually bowed out with a W1 D4 L1 record. So wins were hard to come by for them and in each of their last three appearances in the UEFA Europa League, they exited at the third qualifying round.
Ventspils won both legs of their first qualifying round against Vikingur, both victories coming by a 2-0 scoreline. The last time that the Latvians were here was in the 2013/14 season when they made it through to the third qualifying round of the competition. They have Girts Karlsons who scored three of their four goals in the two legs against Vikingur so he may be worth a flutter in the anytime goalscorer market for the game and after Aberdeen’s calamity in the last round there is a price of even money on both teams to score in the match. What may be an advantage for them is that they are in the midst of their domestic league, so there should be no rustiness with them.
Hard to read much from Aberdeen’s progress from the last round. They were lucky to get a big enough margin out of the first leg at Pittodrie and put in a shocking performance away from home. The Latvians will see that and for a side who are in full swing in their domestic season, shouldn’t tire too badly and it may be worth having a crack at a draw in this one.
13th July 2016 / lee - Category: Europa League Betting
So it is into the second qualifying round for both of these in the UEFA Europa League. There is such a long path to the main draw that the qualifying steps often feels like it’s own little competition. Hearts fired off six goals in their two legs against Tallinna FC in the first qualifying round but they may not be too happy with the three goals that they gave up over the two legs. As for Maltese side Birkirkara, they have pretty comfortable 3-1 aggregate win in their first qualifying round but go as 3/1 underdogs in their first leg here, with Hearts in at 8/11 and the draw at 5/2.
All UEFA Europa League matches are covered by 0-0 bore draw insurance at online betting site Bet365. Place a pre-match correct score, scorecast or half time/full time bet on the game and if your wager loses because the game ends 0-0 then you will get your lost stake refunded as a free bet from the bookmaker. Register an account with them and earn a 100% matched deposit bonus as a welcome.
It may have gone unnoticed because of Euro 2016 but Hearts had a pretty easy progress through the first qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League. They opened with a 2-1 win at home against Tallinna FC and then after being 3-0 up at half time in the second leg, they shipped a couple of goals for a 4-2 second leg victory. There are going to have to be way more tighter at the back than that if they are going to get far, but still that may nod towards some value being presented at 4/6 in the both teams to score market for this one.
Boss Robbie Neilson will want a better overall defensive efforts, along it could be said that the goals they shipped were when they looked comfortable and they were never really in that much trouble. Hearts will grow with each 90 minutes of competitive football under their belt of course and they will want to be comfortable back for the second leg at Tynecastle. It’s so early before the season even starts of course that finding form players is hard, but Igor Rossi netted a couple of goals in the second leg against Tallinna FC and Callum Paterson was on the scoresheet as well.
Birkirkara are in the qualifying stages now for the fourth time in the last five seasons and last season in reaching the second qualifying round for the first time ever, they produced their first ever victories in the competition at the same time. They took a 3-1 aggregate win over Ulisses in the first qualifying round and then they took English Premier League side West Ham to a penalty shoot out in the second round after the tie had ended 1-1 on aggregate. The Hammers won 5-3 in the shootout. So that was some progress for the Malta club and just a slight word of caution for Hearts. The game going over 2.5 goals is a quote of 3/4 and a Hearts 2-1 correct score bet is a price of 15/2 which shows how tight this may be.
Not the easiest of games for Hearts in this one out on the road. Birkirkara nearly dumped West Ham out of last season’s competition and will have their tails up on home soil for this one. Neither defence are probably going to shine on the night so look for both teams to score and a draw may be worth covering in the match outright.
11th July 2016 / lee - Category: Europa League Betting
It has all come down to Portugal v France at Euro 2016. That is the final match to round off the tournament, both sides standing on the brink of glory. For France, the host nation, they are looking to win the European Championships for the third time in their history, whereas Portugal will be looking to enter into new territory and land it for the first time. But all of the head to head form between France and Portugal is with Les Bleus and is they who go into the game as 11/10 favourites.
That’s price which screams of being hesitant over their chances, but that is because, as we have seen so many times in the knockout stages of Euro 2016, teams are often happy to hold out to extra time and even take their chances in penalties. With Portugal being more of your defensive type of side and likely to sit back and try to contain and take the sting out of the French, then it could be a pretty tight affair. There’s a huge prize on the line and caution isn’t going to be thrown to the wind for as long as the score stays 0-0.
The game going under 2.5 goals is a quote of 4/9 and two of France’s last three wins over Portugal have been by a 1-0 score. You can back a France 1-0 correct score in the match for a quote of 9/2. France are now on a ten match winning streak over the Portuguese and with the home support in Paris on Sunday and with them having produced plenty of scoring power at the Championships so far, then they are going to take some beating. Even when they had their back against the wall against Germany in the semi finals, the French still managed to battle their way through.
So grit and flair, they appear to have it all. What do Portugal have? Cristiano Ronaldo. The star man has had a relatively quiet tournament, but maybe he is saving the best to last. He helped Portugal get to the Euro 2004 Final where the Portuguese blew their lines on home soil, losing against Greece. With one more goal he will become the all time goalscoring leader in the history of the European Championships and he is a price of 9/4 in the anytime goalscorer market for the game, with France’s Antoine Griezmann in as 7/4 favourite in the market.
Portugal are the nearly-men of international football, not only having lost that Euro 2004 final, but going on two years later to lose in the semi finals of the World Cup. They lost the semi finals at Euro 2012 as well so they have come close, but not close enough. Can they finish it off this time around from a position of 7/2 underdogs in the match outright? The best way to cover the Portuguese to get their hands on the title is going to be on them To Lift the Title at a quote of 19/10. They showed through the early knockout rounds that they are more than prepared to just sit in and just grind things out in any way possible.
The Portuguese will also have had an extra day of rest before the Final as well and that could be a factor. France exerted a lot in having to defend their way past Germany in the semi finals whereas Portugal were in cruise control for their semi final against France. Incidentally the current manager of Portugal, Fernando Santos was the man in charge of Greece when they beat Portugal in the Euro 2004 Final. Is he going to come full circle and deliver it for Portugal as underdogs.
While France have the power, the style and the goals, something should be noted about Portugal’s progress. They have fought and they have fought hard and while they haven’t played well, they just haven’t gone away. They have done just enough to get to this point and they won’t care about this needing to go to extra time or about slowing the game down to a non-spectacle. That will work in their favour and they are value to get their hands on the title.
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9th July 2016 / lee - Category: Euro Betting
Well Portugal are back in the final of a European Championship for the second time in their history. They went to the Euro 2004 Final which they were fully expected to win on home soil, but slipped up in a shock result against Greece. Their pedigree at the European Championships is pretty rich with them having never failed to have made it to at least the quarterfinals of a tournament and have been losing semi finalist three times before. It’s actually a very good, consistent record but can they improve upon that by taking a step further and getting their hands on the title for the first time?
It is going to be an uphill struggle for Portugal because they are under god and they will not only have to face a France side who are in a confident mood, but the majority of the Parisian crowd as well which naturally will be backing Les Bleus. Not only that, Portugal have a terrible head to head record running against France, having posted just a W5 D1 L18 record against them. They have lost the last ten games in a row against France and have failed to score in four of their last six contests against Les Bleus, so it doesn’t make great reading for Portugal who are 7/2 underdogs to win the match in ninety minutes.
However if there is one thing going for them, then it may be found in France’s epic semi final tussle with world champions Germany. France did a lot of chasing in the game and had their backs to the wall for long, long periods of the entire match. So maybe that will end up playing in Portugal’s favour who had a day’s extra rest ahead of the final. Perhaps it will just be down to a piece of magic from Cristiano Ronaldo or Nani, both of which having scored three goals at the tournament, to sneak it for Portugal? Ronaldo is a quote of 78/4 in the anytime goalscorer market for the match.
One thing they have shown its resilience. They stuck in there through draws against weaker opposition in the group stage and looked down and out against Hungary in their final group stage match before Ronaldo rescued them. They survived extra time against Croatia in the round of sixteen and then survived a penalty shootout against Poland in the quarter finals. Their first win in 90 minutes at Euro 2016 came with a 2-0 victory over a Welsh side that failed to deliver a performance in the semi finals. Overall, Portugal are on a 13 match unbeaten streak at the moment and if nothing else, they will offer stern resistance to France.
But then you have France who have won games in the group stage without ever looking at their best. We have seen them thump Iceland in an impressive attacking display and we have seen them sit back and defend for pretty much 90 minutes against Germany and still win. That speaks volumes about France, that they are winning matches despite what is being thrown at them and that is going to be something hard for Portugal to crack. It is all likely to end in a game which goes under 2.5 goals over the 90 minutes which can be backed at a quote of 4/9.
Giving France the edge is that big head to head record advantage that they have over the Portuguese as well as the fact that they have players in form in front of goal. None Less than Antoine Griezmann who has scored six goals in the tournament and five in his last three. That’s some firepower form that Portugal can’t match at all. With Olivier Giroud and Dimitri Payet both having weighed in with three goals at the Championships so far, the French have the goals in them and they have averaged over two per game at Euro 2016 so far.
Given that the last three European Championship finals have been won to nil (Greece over Portugal then Spain over Germany and then Italy) it may be worth running with a France to win to nil wager on this one at a price of 7/4. It is likely to be a bit cagey, it is a Final of a major tournament after all and it may take some time for the French to break through, but they have that extra punch up top which may get them over the finish line. France are a 21/20 shot to win the match in 90 minutes and they are 4/9 to lift the trophy, with Portugal at 15/8 to do so.
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8th July 2016 / lee - Category: Euro Betting
France are just the one match from glory now. They produced a stoic, hardened defensive effort against Germany in their semi final encounter with the World Champions, to see them off with a 2-0 victory. That was a game in which the French had their backs to the wall for long periods, but the fact that they still managed to come out on top showed everything positive about them. That they can succeed whether they are on top in a game or whether they have to dig in and grind things out.
We have seen both sides of France now at Euro 2016 and they go into the Final against Portugal on Sunday as heavy favourites to take the win. They have banked wins in each of their last five contests ignas the Portuguese, including a friendly win over them last year. With the firepower that they have going for them, Les Bleus are well set to repeat their 1984 feat of winning the European Championships on home soil. Antoine Griezmann goes as favourite to scoring the match following his five goal return from three knockout stage fixtures. He’s a man in form.
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8th July 2016 / lee - Category: Free Bets & Bonus
Les Bleus are now within touching distance of winning the European Champions for the third time in their history. The first time they won it was back in 1984 when they hosted the tournament. So history may well be set to repeat itself as the French take on Portugal in Saint-Denis on Sunday, July 10th. France go into the game as outright favourites to take the win against the Portuguese, who they have beaten in each of the last four meetings between the two nations.
France have the goals in them and after a big defensive effort to keep Germany at bay in the semi finals, Les Bleus have shown that they can dig in there and succeed where they need to. They are a team in winning touch at the moment and with Antoine Griezmann going so well up front, having netted six goals at the Championships, they are likely going to take some stopping. Portugal have won just the one game in 90 minutes at the tournament and may find the French too hot to handle.
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8th July 2016 / lee - Category: Free Bets & Bonus
After a brilliant season for Atletico Madrid there were questions about whether or not France striker Antoine Griezmann would be able to step up to the plate at Euro 2016. The answer is pretty clear as he has netted six goals during the Championships and goes into the final three clear of anyone else. Only his team mates Olivier Giroud and Dimitri Payet along with the opposing Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani can catch Griezmann now.
So the man has delivered and he is going to be heavily backed to score in the final through the anytime goalscorer market. That is five goals in his last three games now for his country and he could be the man of the hour for the French as they look to secure the European Championship on home soil for the second time in their history. They have beaten Portugal at the last four attempts as well so France are expected to be on top and Griezmann with an eye on goal.
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8th July 2016 / lee - Category: Free Bets & Bonus
Can France repeat what they achieved back in 1984 when they took the European Championship title on home soil? They have set themselves up with a repeat shot at doing just that as they moved past Germany in the semi finals to set up a meeting with Portugal in the Final. The French go as favourites against the Portuguese who have flattered to deceive throughout their entire campaign, but will France’s gruelling 90 minutes against Germany have taken some spark out of Les Bleus? France are 21/20 to win, with the Drat at 11/5 and Portugal at 7/2.
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So to Portugal, who appear to have resilience written all over them. Of their six matches played at Euro 2016 so far, they have drawn five of them over 90 minutes and for many, they have really flattered to deceive. They have looked extremely average for very long spells of the competition and were lucky to make it out of the group stage and have survived a penalty shoot out along the way as well. They have scored just the eight goals at the tournament and three of those came in a draw with Hungary in the group stage. So they haven’t exactly flourished in front of goal and star man Cristiano Ronaldo has just the three goals to his name at the championships. The Real Madrid man is running at 9/2 in the First Goalscorer market for the final.
Portugal’s pedigree at the European Championships is pretty good as this they have never failed to make it to the quarter finals of the competition now from seven appearances. They have been losing semi finalists three times and have been to the final before, surprisingly losing against Greece on home soil in a major Euro 2004 upset. So Portugal are back in he final for the first time since then and they go as underdogs. They have a terrible head to head record against France of W5 D1 L18 and they have lost the last ten on the bounce against Les Blues, including an international friendly played last year. The last time they met competitive was at the 2006 World Cup, when France won 1-0. They have met France twice before in the European Championships and have lost both matches too.
The Final to go under 2.5 goals is a quote of 4/9 with online betting site Paddy Power and up in the Correct Score market you have a France 1-0 option at the shortest price of 9/2 followed by a 1-1 draw at 5/1. France’s big defensive effort against Germany in the semi finals may detract punters from backing Both Teams to Score in the match which is a big 6/5 quote. France have conceded just two goals in their last six games against Portugal and you can back Les Bleus to take a clean sheet in the game at a quote of even money while they are an offering of 15/8 to win to nil over 90 minutes. After their brilliant attacking display against Iceland in the quarter finals, we saw the gritty, dogged side of France as they were second best to Germany for long periods in the semifinals, but still won out.
Antoine Griezmann netted the two goals in a 2-0 victory for the French and the Atletico Madrid striker is running hot at the moment with five goals in his last three games. He has six overall for the tournament. Olivier Giroud is a price of 7/4 to net with the brilliance of Dimitri Payet putting him at 13/5. The French have outscored everyone at the tournament significantly at an average of over 2 per game and that may help them land their third European Championship title on Sunday. Back in 1984 they took the title for the first time when they hosted the event and they could well be set for a firm repeat of that.
France showed against Germany that they aren’t a one trick pony. That they can dig in and defend if need be. They should enjoy plenty of possession against a cautious Portugal side who will be baning on their resilience and trying to take the sting out of the French. Portugal don’t have anywhere near as much to offer going forward as France do and that will be the difference. France to win.
8th July 2016 / lee - Category: Euro Betting
It is the Euro 2016 semi final clash that was on the cards ever since the draw was made for the tournament. It is Germany v France in the second of the semi final match ups at the tournament and this should be a fascinating clash. You have France who have tried to play open football over the last couple of years and have a wealth of attacking talent, going up against the slightly more pragmatic Germans who haven’t really flourished all that well in front of goal at Euro 2016.
Even though France have outscored Germany at the tournament, Germany have had more attempts and more shots on target of the two. Germany too have only conceded the one goal all tournament and that was from the penalty spot against Italy in the quarter finals. So they are the machine that keeps on rolling through and in their last competitive match against France, which was in the World Cup 2014 quarter finals, which Die Mannschaft won 1-0. They get things done and with the French playing an open game, it may allow the Germans to sneak in through the back door.
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6th July 2016 / lee - Category: Free Bets & Bonus