Probably the pick of the four Euro 2012 play-off games sees Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal do battle with the Bosnia-Herzegovina of Edin Dzeko and Miralem Pjanić.
Both sides narrowly lost out on automatic qualification in the last game of their respective groups, the Bosnians being pipped by one point by France and Portugal failing to secure the draw they needed in Denmark.
Portugal underperformed badly and on paper should be amongst the favourites to win the tournament, let alone qualify. In Ronaldo and Nani they have two of the best attacking players in Europe and whilst they scored goals freely in qualifying, their problems lie in defence. They conceded four against Cyprus and three against Iceland, both at home, and they must improve at the back if they are to overcome the side from the Balkans.
With this in mind, both teams to score looks interesting at odds of 11/10 (Ladbrokes – £50 free bets) and although Portugal conceded fewer goals away than they did at home, we could see this being a high-scoring game. Over 2.5 goals is available at 7/5 (bet365 – £200 free betting) and should give you a great run for your money. Bosnia-Herzegovina also have frailties at the back, with coach Safet Sušić admitting, “Defence is our problem, with two players suspended and Mensur Mujdža, who has been playing really well, out injured.”
The home side will press hard for the win and should present a similar physical challenge to the one Portugal faced against Denmark. With Bosnia-Herzegovina having a good blend of skill, power, pace and determination, the odds for them to win of 5/2 (Bwin) look fair. This tie is unlikely to be won over one leg but a victory for the home side would give them a great boost ahead of the second match four days later.