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Italy Takes on Portugal this Saturday for a Place in the UEFA Nations League SemifinalsPublished November 17, 2018 by Florin P
Italy makes last-ditch attempt to overtake Portugal for the first place in Group 3 of the UEFA Nations League on Saturday evening.
Portugal won the Euro 2014 and are among the favorites to win the next European championship, or at least make a deep run in the event. Meanwhile, they enjoy a lot of success in the UEFA Nations League and are just one victory away from the semi finals. That’s because they have six points after two games and another victory over Italy will virtually guarantee the first place at the end of the group stage. bet365 Sports and 888 Sport offer great odds on the Saturday Derby scheduled at 7:45 UK time.
Defensive Minded Italy Plays at Home
The Italians have only themselves to blame for squandering so many excellent opportunities against Poland in the first match between the two nations. Much to their credit, they were able to return to their winning ways shortly after and won the away match, to amass a combined four points. In the game played against Portugal, they were far less effective and were defeated by the narrow goal. In that match, Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t play for the hosts, but he is expected to feature in the starting formation.
Even with the Portuguese superstar on the field, bet365 Sports still regards the home side as favorites to prevail after 90 minutes. Odds of 13/10 reflect the trust the bookmaker puts in the Italians to claim all points and overtake Portugal for the lead. The visitors will play prudently and in conjunction with the defensive minded starting formation fielded by the home side, a draw doesn’t look like an unlikely scenario. We get odds of 11/5 on this outcome, while a Portuguese victory is priced at 3/2 by 888 Sport.
Turkey and Sweden Reignite an Old Rivalry
It’s been a while since these two nations have faced each other at the highest level, but they have played a total of nine games over the years. Turkey have a crushing head to head record, having won four times, split points on four occasions and lost a single match. Now that they also have home pitch advantage, it comes as no surprise that they are favorites with Intertops Sports. What is a bit surprising is the fact that we enjoy odds of 7/5 on them to prevail, while the visitors are currently priced at 12/5.
Sweden has a game in hand, so a victory over Turkey would allow the visitors to leapfrog their opponents into the second place. With Russia sitting in the first place but having played three games so far, the leaders are also within striking distance, so anything can happen. The specter of relegation is still looming large for both teams playing today, so we can expect a prudent approach in the first half. If the two teams stick to their defensive routine, then the odds of 21/10 offered on a draw are suddenly appealing.
Romania and Serbian Seek Victory in the League C
The neighboring countries were expected to dominate Group 3, but at the time of writing none of them is certain of qualification. Serbia has eight points and Romania six, while Montenegro is between them with seven and Lithuania have lost all games so far. The Romanians are entitled to be optimistic ahead of this match, because they have home pitch advantage against a team sitting in the last place. Winner Sports offers odds of 3/10 on Romania and regards an away victory as highly unlikely at odds of 12/1. The same bookmaker offers odds of 1/2 on Serbia to defeat Montenegro and they’re expected to drop as kickoff draws near. Conversely, the already high odds of 7/1 on Montenegro should continue to rise.