Finland take on Belgium in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Monday in a 8pm kick-off.
Belgium are already through to the knockout stages having won their opening two matches, but must avoid defeat in order to top Group B.
Bet on Belgium v Finland with Bet365 : use code CTALK100
Finland, meanwhile, could finish second in the group with a point if Denmark beat Russia, but will be relying on results elsewhere should they lose.
Belgium are odds-on 1/3 favourites to win the match, with the draw 15/4 and a Finland win 10/1.
Given that Belgium still need to take something from this game, I’m surprised they’re not a little shorter than this to be honest.
The bookmakers clearly don’t fancy them as they were around evens against Russia and Denmark yet still prevailed in both games.
They weren’t convincing against the Danes, though, until Eden Hazard and particularly Kevin De Bruyne’s second half arrivals changed the game.
However, that is bad news for Finland: both attackers are in dire need of match fitness, so are likely to start in support of Romelu Lukaku, who will be keen to fire himself back to the top of the Euro 2020 Golden Boot race after blanking against Denmark.
Finland, meanwhile, have performed above expectations so far, but looked a little toothless at times against Russia.
I’m going to back Belgium to score 2+ goals and Finland to score fewer than two goals. While Teemu Pukki and Joel Pohjanpalo could threaten Roberto Martinez’s side’s ageing defence on occasions, I just can’t envisage them getting more than one goal and they could get picked off on the counter should they fall behind and be chasing the game (goal difference from this game shouldn’t matter for them, as head-to-head goal difference is initially used to separate three or more teams level on points).
I’ll also back the Fins to receive a card given Belgium’s threat in transition. They’ve received two in both matches so far and will almost certainly have to chop the likes of Hazard or Lukaku down at some point, as Denmark did to receive three yellow cards from the usually card-shy Bjorn Kuipers last time out.
German official Felix Brych isn’t exactly mad for them either, but he does tend to show more in European competitions than domestically, averaging 4.50 cards per game in his six Champions League appearances last season for example.
If you’re looking for a bigger price, Belgium to win & score 2+ goals, Under 2 Goals for Finland, Over 1 Card for Finland and Under 2 Cards for Belgium is 3/1.
I’d love to back Lukaku to score anytime but unfortunately he’s odds-on with every major bookmaker, and while the Inter Milan striker scoring a brace wouldn’t surprise me, it’s too risky with the chance of him being substituted in the second half pretty high if his side are winning.
Instead, then, I’ll back two Belgium player-related bets which look over-priced to me.
De Bruyne rifled one in from outside of the area against Denmark, making 9/1 (Sky Bet) a nice enhanced price against a Finland side likely to sit deep.
Leander Dendoncker, meanwhile, has been fortunate to escape a booking at this tournament so far after making two late fouls in each of Belgium’s two wins, and he could have a tough time with Glen Kamara, who was cynically fouled on four occasions by Russia.
As mentioned, I don’t expect many Belgium bookings, but he’d be my bet at 7/1 (Unibet) if they do receive one.
Over 1 Goal for Belgium, Under 2 Finland Goals & Over 0 Cards for Finland @ EVS (bet365)
Kevin De Bruyne to score from outside of the area @ 9/1 (Sky Bet)
Leander Dendoncker to be carded @ 7/1 (Unibet)
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