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European Championship

Portugal v Wales Betting: Well matched teams look tough to split early on

3:40 PM IST 05/07/16
This unexpected semi final should be a close affair, and while there could be value in backing Wales to win in extra time, the smart money should be going on a draw at half time

There can be few people who backed Wales to reach the semi-finals at the start of Euro 2016, yet Chris Coleman's side are in the last four on merit. The unity in their squad is unrivalled, while on the pitch they have shown a technical ability and a tactical awareness of which few would have thought them capable of.  

Portugal meanwhile have underwhelmed, finishing third in their group behind Hungary and Iceland, and failing to win a game in 90 minutes. They have though displayed plenty of resilience, remain tough to beat and perhaps crucially have plenty of experience at this level with Wednesday night's match being their fifth appearance in the semi-finals of European Championships. 

For Wales, this is of course very much unchartered territority and the British team are outsiders in their first ever semi-final with bet365 offering them at 3/1 (4.00) to win in normal time. Portugal for their part are priced at 6/5 (2.20) to win their first game at the tournament without the need for extra time or penalties, while the draw after 90 minutes can be backed at 21/10 (3.10)

This latter option of course has paid out in all five of Portugal's games so far, and although Wales are yet to draw a game in the competition this should be a pretty even encounter. Bolder punters might be tempted to back the draw at the final whistle, with Portugal then offered at 10/1 (11.00) to win in extra time and the Welsh offered at 20/1 (21.00).

Even though Fernando Santos' side beat Croatia in the last 16 with a goal in the 117th minute, it is hard to understand why there is such a big difference in price between the two teams. For a value bet, Wales to win in extra time looks extremely tempting, while for serious punters the price of 19/20 (1.95) for a half time draw must be considered. This bet has paid out in both of the knockout stage matches these two sides have played and it is easy to envisage another tight first half, with so much at stake. 

Furthermore, Wales will be without suspended Aaron Ramsey who has scored or assisted five of the team's last eight goals, while Portugal will be without the central midfield general William Carvalho. The fact that both outfits are missing key players only serves to underline the fact that this game should be close, and backing a half time draw, looks like a great option. 

Draw at half time at 19/20 (1.95) for a 1pt stake with bet365