KevMac takes a look ahead to Saturday's offerings at Euro 2020 .
Wales v Switzerland
WALES stole the spotlight at Euro 2016 with a memorable run to the semi-finals but face a fight just to get out of the group stage at this summer’s finals.
The draw hasn’t been kind to the Dragons, throwing them into a group with reborn Italy, a dangerous Turkish side and the stubborn Swiss.
It’s always hard to get excited about Switzerland but they have plenty of tournament experience and are a hard team to beat.
Wales face them in their group opener today and this clash could prove pivotal to hopes of reaching the last 16.
Italy impressed in their 3-0 win over Turkey and and both still look the ones likely to qualify so this match could hold the key to grabbing a precious slot as one of the best third-placed sides.
Neither nation will want to lose so I’d be surprised if it was an open and entertaining game.
The Welsh have only scored twice in their last four games but also kept clean sheets in three of those matches.
So Switzerland could find them hard to break down, even though Vladimir Petkovic’s side smashed seven past Liechtenstein in their final warm-up game.
Under 2.5 goals pays just 4/9 at McBookie while betting against both teams scoring sadly isn’t much better at 4/6 with Betfred.
That’s not great value so it might be wiser just to back the Swiss at 23/20 with McBookie.
They drew with big guns Spain and Germany in the Nations League while also battering Ukraine 3-0 so should be good enough to defeat Wales.
When the Welsh reached the last four at the Euro 2016, Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey were at the peak of their powers while Joe Allen was also a class act.
But Bale no longer strikes fear into defences while Ramsey’s season at Juventus has been disrupted by injury and Allen now plays in the Championship with a struggling Stoke side.
Xherdan Shaqiri has been the Swiss creative spark for years but his star has also been on the wane.
The playmaker heads into these finals lacking games after being restricted to a few cameos at Liverpool.
Wales’ final warm-up game against Albania was pretty tasty as seven yellows were flashed by the referee.
One of them went to Welsh stopper Chris Mepham who was also sent off for Bournemouth as they lost their play-off semi-final against Brentford.
- Switzerland to win (23/20, McBookie)
- Chris Mepham to be carded (5/2, Bet365),
- Mario Gavranovic anytime scorer (14/5, BetVictor)
Belgium v Russia
BELGIUM are among the favourites to win the Euros this summer and get their campaign underway against Russia tonight.
It promises to be a battle of the battering rams with Romelu Lukaku leading the line for the Red Devils and Artem Dzyuba the biggest Russian threat.
Inter ace Lukaku scored the winner against Croatia last weekend in Belgium’s warm-up win.
He has been one of Europe’s deadliest strikers this term and is 7/5 with BetVictor for anytime scorer in the Euro opener which looks good value.
The likes of Greece, the Czechs and Wales have also scored against Belgium of late so Dzyuba and Co could get some joy.
Denmark v Finland
The other Group B game today sees Denmark take on Finland and it’s not a clash to set pulses racing.
The Finns are competing at their first major finals but have gone six games without a win and drew blanks in their last two.