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Euros preview: Saturday’s action including Spain vs Croatia

Spain vs Croatia

Football

Euros preview: Saturday’s action including Spain vs Croatia

Euros preview: Saturday’s action including Spain vs Croatia

Hungary vs Switzerland

Undefeated in qualifying, and having beaten England 4-0 in the Nations League back in the summer of 2022, are this Hungary side contenders for the dark horse role in Germany?

Perhaps, but you could make a similar case for the Swiss, who have shown they can produce the goods on the big stage. Switzerland overcame France on penalties in the round of 16 at the Euros in 2021 before losing to Spain, again on pens, in their quarter-final.

The Swiss were less surefooted in qualifying for this tournament, but for all that they’ve lost just one game over the last 18 months, a qualifier against Romania.

Does that mean we can expect a thriller for this second game of the Euros, or will these two sides cancel each other out?

Perhaps Hungary’s Dominik Szoboszlai can prove the difference; the Liverpool man hasn’t experienced defeat with his home nation since he took the captain’s armband in 2022.

Hungary are 49/20 to win their opening game, and may be worth chancing at the Cologne Stadium.

Spain vs Croatia

These sides met in the Nations League final last summer and couldn’t be separated in normal and extra time, with the game goalless before Spain won in a penalty shootout.

The two sides also faced off at the Euros in 2021, in an epic game that ended 5-3 in Spain’s favour after extra time.

More recently, both sides have looked to be in decent shape, with Croatia having beaten Portugal 2-1 in a friendly last week.

Meanwhile, Spain have scored 10 goals in their last two matches, albeit against Andorra and Northern Ireland; so will this be another goal heavy affair?

Alvaro Morata remains Spain’s focal point of attack – and the captain of the team, too.

The 31-year-old has struggled for goals for Atletico Madrid in the second half of the season. But Morata found the net for Spain against Northern Ireland last week, and seems capable of stepping up for his nation; he scored in three of his four appearances in the Qatar World Cup in 2022. Morata may be worth a look at 43/20 to find the net.

Otherwise, you could consider backing BTTS YES at 17/20; that Nations League final aside, recent meetings between these teams have tended to be lively.

Italy vs Albania

Reigning champions Italy get their Euros campaign started against an Albania team that have improved drastically over recent months; in 2022, the Albanians won just a single game.

But after losing their opening qualifier to Poland back in March of last year, under new manager Sylvinho, Albania went unbeaten in qualification to win their group. Could they give Luca Spalletti’s side a shock in this opening encounter?

Perhaps it’s better not to get carried away; post qualifying, Albania lost a couple of friendlies against Chile and Sweden. And Italy beat this side 3-1 in a friendly 18 months ago.

While the Italians have had their setbacks in recent years, this looks like an eminently winnable game for the Azzurri.

And with Croatia and Spain also lurking in this group, Spalletti’s team can’t afford any slip-ups against this opposition. Backing Italy to win and BTTS NO in a double at 17/20 could be worth a look.

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