(Yeah... let me preface this by explaining the image at the top of the article. I was searching for a photo of Henry Winkler as the Fonz (you know, 'Happy Days' since some of us won money last week, and all that...) and for some reason when I came across one of him and the Big Show I couldn't stop laughing. So, aye.)
Last week was a game changer for Roker Riches, largely thanks to England winning the game late on against Wales. Three of our pundits took advantage of Dafabet's price boosts and, just like onions, we made the bookies cry.
As a result, Gav has bunnyhopped Rory at the top of the table, with Rozza the only man who didn't win a bet last week. He's been too comfortable at the top for some time now and you have to say, it has been coming.
Still, we have another two weeks after this before Roker Riches wraps up for the summer, and anything can change. Who takes home the trophy at the end of the competition is anyone's guess.
Week #24 Table:
Last Week's Profit/Loss
|@SAFCSource||+ £45.00||- £2.00|
All the usual tips from the Roker Report writers are below - make sure you visit Dafabet for price boosts on this weekend's international games!
In the knockout stages of the European Championships, the results become a little more unpredictable - teams that have played it safe and perhaps went for draws now could be placed in a position where they need to go for it with their backs against the wall.
That said, the firm favourites in their respective games are Wales and Germany, and I feel their opponents - Northern Ireland and Slovakia - may well look to frustrate their opponents by playing it safe and then breaking on the counter.
Still, I feel both games will end the ninety minutes of normal time as draws, and should this punt come in I may well have this competition won with a number of weeks to spare. It's a risk worth taking.
Elsewhere, Poland take on Switzerland, and the Poles have to concede eventually, don't they? They made it through all three of their group games without shipping a single goal, so here's hoping the slow and safe Swiss can be the ones to open them up first before eventually succumbing to defeat.
A double of Wales NI and Germany Slovakia to both be draws after ninety minutes: 55/1 - £5
Poland to beat Switzerland and both teams to score: 6/1 - £5
England have been far from convincing so far and were particularly lacklustre in the 0-0 draw with Slovakia when a win would have seen them top the group. That poor result may actually have worked out in England's favour, as - thanks to Iceland's last minute winner against Austria - they will face Iceland rather than a Northern Ireland who may have been a much sterner test. Although it should prove to be hard fought game, England should have more than enough quality to see off Iceland and I am going for a 2-0 win inside the ninety minutes.
France versus Republic of Ireland - this should be a straightforward victory for the hosts and tournament favourites but Ireland tend to be difficult to beat, unsurprisingly with Martin O'Neill in charge, and the Irish will be extremely fired up to regain revenge for the infamous Thierry Henry handball goal. Dimiti Payet's performances have also deflected away from some average performances, with late goals needed to see off Romania and Albania and being held to a goalless draw against Switzerland. So with that I am going to predict the shock of the tournament, as O'Neill, Keane and O'Shea lead Ireland to victory.
Ireland to beat France 1-0: £5 - 14/1
England to win 2-0: £5 - 17/4
When England face Iceland it's yet another game where we the so-called favourites, and England don't seem to do very well when the expectation is on them to lose. Recently we saw us come from behind to beat Germany, whilst earlier in the tournament we did the same against Wales to pick up the win. It's safe to say that we are ultimately stronger when the chips are down.
That said, neither team have been particularly good defensively in the opening three games of the tournament, yet both haven't really struggled in front of goal either. For that reason, I quite fancy an England win with both teams to score - Dafabet are currently offering 17/4, and a tenner on that should see me pull in some healthy profit.
Perhaps the biggest game of the knockout stages is between Italy and Spain, two of the tournament favourites. Despite the quality on show, I feel that after ninety minutes this game is either going to be a 1-0 Spain win or a draw.
Italy are defensively sound - don't let their loss against Ireland fool you, when they have their full strength side out they are horrendously tough to break down - whilst Spain, as great as they are, just love to pass teams to death and might find it hard to get in behind a five man defence with ease. With that in mind, I am placing a daft fiver on this game to be a draw after ninety minutes.
England to win, both teams to score: 17/4 - £10
Spain-Italy to be a draw after ninety minutes: 2/1 - £5
After my England bet last week saved my arse last week, I'm hoping for similar success this week with my bet of under 1.5 goals in the game against Iceland. Though both teams aren't particularly struggling to score goals, this one should be a tight game.
My second bet will be a tenner on Spain to beat Italy in the knockout round. At 11/10 odds, I'll double my money should this come in (plus an extra pound).
Under 1.5 goals in England v Iceland: 11/8 - £10
Spain to beat Italy: 11/10 - £10