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Euro 2024 Semi-Final; France v Spain

A game between two European Heavyweights sounds like it should deliver a classic, but our man Alastair Ross isn’t counting on it.

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Euro 2024 Semi-final France v Spain

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a team get this far in a tournament without scoring a goal from open play. France have managed a Kylian Mbappe penalty and 2 own goals, and that’s been enough for them to drag themselves to this stage. It’s not impressive. But they’ve only conceded once all tournament, and that was a Lewandowski penalty. And that is impressive.

By contrast, Spain have been impressive all round. 5 games, 5 wins, 11 goals scored and just 2 conceded. If that doesn’t sound amazing, let me underscore it; No team in European Championship history has won six matches in a single tournament and no team has ever won six EURO games in a row.

You may have heard that Alvaro Morata is suspended for this one after a second yellow card. He’s not. It got confusing, but he’s not.

Pedri may be out for the tournament but the impressive Dani Olmo will come in - and he’ll be alongside Player of the Tournament candidates Rodri and Fabian Ruiz.

I have no problem with the 9/5 price with AK Bets on Spain - likewise I have no problem with the 3/1 with bet365 that Spain win this by 1 goal. It’s going to be a tight one. The pricemakers know this, and Under 2.5 goals is best priced 4/9 so let’s look elsewhere.

QuinnBet are offering 7/2 for Alvaro Morata to have 2 or more shots on target. 11 shots in his 310 minutes so far at the tournament makes that interesting.

Here’s a left-field shout. Spain to miss a penalty at 22/1. This is mostly based on my love of the movement and speed of Williams and Yamal, plus the historic record of Spain in the tournament. They’ve won 12 penalties in European Championships - 4 more than any other side. And of those 12, they’ve only scored 5. With the pressure on this stage, I wouldn’t call this outlandish.

That’s also why I’m on the 90 minute market and not Spain to qualify. Put simply, if this goes to penalties, I fancy France. But at 9/5, Spain should have enough in the 90 minutes. And I also think Spain will play - and beat - England in the final. That’s 9/2 with SkyBet.


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