As June’s Nations League mini-tournament rolls into Matchday 3 on Thursday, local derbies are again the order of the day, with a chance of redemption elsewhere across Europe.
Arguably MD3’s big draw is at Molineux on Saturday evening as England entertain Italy on home soil in a rerun of last summer’s Euro 2020 final. Having denied the Three Lions glory at Wembley 11 months ago, this will be a chance for Gareth Southgate’s men to have their revenge. In truth, both sides are somewhat out of form, although the Azzurri took their first home win in four versus Hungary in MD3 – the same side of course who inflicted defeat on England in Budapest during MD1.
The hosts also are in a difficult moment and only a contentious Harry Kane penalty salvaged a point over Germany in Munich on Tuesday night. A 1-1 scoreline sent the last meeting between these sides to penalties of course, and on paper another draw deadlock is more than feasible at 13/5 with SkyBet. Lorenzo Pellegrini, meanwhile, is a man in form having netted in both of Italy’s Nations League games so far. Perhaps something of a surprise then is his anytime scorer value, and at 8/1 the Roma man could leave a sizeable grin on punters’ faces. A scorer double with Harry Kane on top is a stonking 22/1 and is equally appealing. Both prices with Bet365. The Italians will fancy getting another one over England here also and for Italy to win either half, a boosted 2/1 price from 15/8 with BoyleSports could double your stake.
Returning to Thursday night, Group 2 of League A is building intrigue and in MD3 the top two sides in the standings in Portugal and Czech Republic meet in Lisbon. With just GD separating them, the first Nations League winners have not conceded a goal in five of the last nine outings, however, the visitors have found the target in nine of 11 and were impressive in holding Spain. With that in mind, like Pellegrini, Jan Kutchta will be eyeing a third goal in successive games and to do so is 9/2 with PaddyPower and Betfair – the same value as he was against La Furia Roja when we successfully backed him.
Before facing Switzerland, Cristiano Ronaldo had gone four games without a goal for Selecao and ended his barren run with a brace last time out. To repeat that on MD3, SkyBet’s best boosted price again of 9/2 is worth a punt.
On the subject of braces, Erling Haaland will hope to lead his country to cementing their place at the top of Group 4 in League B as Norway face a point-less Slovenia in Oslo. With impressive away wins over Serbia and Sweden, Haaland notched twice against Scandinavian opposition on Sunday and has three goals in the last 180 minutes. With Slovenia having shipped six goals already in the competition, the Manchester City man will be licking his lips for more and for a third bet at 9/2 – this time with William Hill – the more adventurous might also have a flutter on a Haaland hattrick at an inviting 16/1 with SkyBet.
One of MD3’s other pulls will be the first British Isles clash of Group 1 in League B, as Ireland welcome Scotland to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday teatime. With the Irish having lost their opening two games of the Group, the Scots meanwhile, opened their account on Wednesday night by showing Stephen Kenny’s men how to beat Armenia. Here surely, the value is on a Scotland win and at a fair 21/10 with William Hill, QuinnBet and Betway.
Finally in Cardiff, Wales will look for their first League A points in their second game but again face stern opposition in Belgium who put six past Belgium on MD2. With Roberto Martinez’s charges still looking shaky at the back, over 2.5 goals at 23/20 with Betfair could be the prudent move.