Portugal v Germany: Ronaldo and co. the smart selection

The big odds on a Portugal victory are too good to ignore when they face Germany on Saturday evening, writes James Eastham...

Underrated Portugal the strong choice

Anybody that paid close attention to these two sides' opening Euro 2020 games may be surprised at the prices available in the Match Odds market.

Germany lost 1-0 at home to France and were lucky to escape with only a one-goal margin of defeat after France hit a post and had two goals disallowed.

Both of the strikes that were chalked off highlighted deficiencies in the Germany defence: on the first, Kylian Mbappe was given too much time to set himself before an admittedly excellent finish, while the second, from Karim Benzema, underlined Germany's vulnerabilities against the counter-attack.

Meanwhile, in their opening game, Portugal ran out 3-0 winners away from home against Hungary thanks to a flurry of late scoring activity that saw them net all three goals in the final 10 minutes.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored from the penalty spot before adding a brilliant second, while the excellent Raphael Guerreiro was also on the scoresheet. Portugal may have made their fans wait before breaking the deadlock, but they dominated the game and ran out fully deserving winners.

Portugal will have gained a lot of confidence from their victory, and there is the potential for their side to get better. Against Hungary, Bruno Fernandes and Bernardo Silva flitted in and out of the game rather than having a big attacking impact on proceedings, and Diogo Jota was dangerous without being able to delivering the killer blow.

All three players can improve, however, and if they do, Portugal will be difficult opponents for whomever they face.

Ignore Germany at short odds

Despite all that, however, the market makes Germany 2.38 favourites to win this clash on Saturday afternoon. Portugal are 3.2 and the Draw 3.2.

Germany have home advantage - this game will be staged in Munich - but this supposed benefit served relatively little purpose for die Mannschaft when they hosted France in the same venue. And the victory in Budapest shows that Portugal can triumph away from home.

Portugal being underrated has been one of the features of the tournament so far. Despite being the defending champions and Uefa Nations League holders, Fernando Santos' side entered the tournament as sixth favourites in the Winner market.

On the back of their opening-game victory over Hungary, Portugal's odds in the outright market have shortened from 14.0 to 8.8, yet at the time of writing they are still only fifth favourites to lift the trophy. France, Italy (understandably, given the Azzurri have already qualified for the knockout phase) England and Belgium all rank ahead of them.

Best ways of backing visitors

At odds of 3.2, backing Portugal to beat a Germany side that individually and collectively look a touch weaker than the visitors is an appealing proposition. Yet the large odds on a Portugal victory throw up other potentially smarter and safer ways of supporting Cristiano Ronaldo and co.

Thanks to their status as match underdogs, Portugal are available at good odds on the Draw No Bet market, for example. You can back Portugal at 2.2 in this market, which is a great opportunity.

With this selection, you will make a profit if Portugal win, and have the safety net of having your stakes returned if the game ends all-square.

This is the stand-out selection and our only pre-match pick on a game where Portugal will look to underline their status as one of the tournament favourites, no matter what the market says.

What are the best in-play options?

In-running - i.e. once the game has kicked-off - there may be opportunities for a second selection on the game.

Germany are obviously under pressure after losing their opening match of the tournament. A second defeat here would be potentially fatal to their hopes of making the knock-out phase.

If the game is all-square at half-time, or if Germany are losing at half-time, backing the game to have an extra two goals in the second-half may be the smart play.

If the game is level or Germany are behind at half-time, Germany will need to take risks to get the win they will crave here. Such an approach should lead to the game opening up at some point after the interval.

For example, if the score is 0-0 at half-time, back the game to have Over 1.5 Goals. If Portugal are 1-0 ahead at half-time, back the game to back Over 2.5 Goals.

In these circumstances and with those selections, as long as the second-half features two or more goals, you will make a profit. You may also have trading opportunities to close for a profit.

For example, if a goal is scored in the opening 25 minutes or so of the second-half - i.e. by the 70th or so minute - you will have the opportunity to close out for a profit. For more on using Betfair Exchange for trading purposes, click here.

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