England’s first final for 55 years is set to be a betting bonanza. Our tipster Jones Knows puts up a 20/1 to cheer on.
Back Harry Maguire to have a header on target & Jorginho to be carded (20/1 with Sky Bet – bet here!)
Is there a better attacker of a set piece in world football than Harry Maguire? I’m listening…..
Gareth Southgate knows this. That’s why every single attacking set piece routine revolves around getting Maguire into a scoring situation. Ukraine felt the full force of this in the quarter-final as Maguire landed the tag of scoring in two separate major quarter-finals for his country after a similarly deadly header vs Sweden in Russia. Despite his main job being to keep things quiet at the other end, he is one of England’s main scoring weapons and him capping a fine individual tournament with a goal in the final shouldn’t be ruled out. He’s 33/1 to score first. I wouldn’t put you off.
My eyes are drawn to a shorter priced Maguire-inspired bet. Sky Bet’s array of markets allows punters to back a certain player to have various types of shots on targets. The one that has got my punting juices flowing is Maguire to have a header on target at 3/1 with Sky Bet, something he has achieved in his last three games at Euro 2020 and in six of his last 11 starts for the Three Lions. That’s a 54 per cent strike rate, suggesting his true odds should be approaching odds-on status.
We’ve seen in this tournament that despite possessing two aggressive defenders in Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci, Italy have conceded chances from set pieces. Joe Rodon won two important headers (one shot on target) for Wales from only four set piece situations against the Azzurri while Austria’s Sasa Kalajdzic scored a header from a near post corner in their last-16 meeting.
A card friendly final?
Let’s get this straight, this hasn’t been a tournament for punters that like to back cards, especially in the knockout rounds. Referees have allowed the game to flow and treated usual yellow card-worthy fouls with a degree of leniency.
So, with referee Bjorn Kuipers likely to keep that mantra in place for the final I wasn’t expected to get drawn into a card bet. But then I saw the price of Jorginho. It has lured me in at 100/30 with Sky Bet.
I’m convinced England are going to approach finding a way through the Italians by targeting the space in between their defence and midfield. Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Mason Mount are all very savvy at moving the ball quickly in that area and providing good quality for runners in behind.
It’s something Spain did absolutely brilliantly in the semi-final with Dani Olmo running riot in the space afforded before Alvaro Morata created his goal with a neat one-two right through the heart of where Jorginho was supposed to be marshalling. He also escaped a card for a naughty lunge on Pedri towards the end of the 90 minutes. Another one like that at Wembley with the home fans baying for cards surely won’t slip the attention of the referee.
He is a prime candidate for a cynical foul in a game that is going to played with great tension in the air.
The 100/30 is something I’m happy to invest in along with the 20/1 offered up by Sky Bet for both tips to land.