Netherlands favourite in second Eurovision semi-final but odds against Ireland

Dutch vocalist Duncan Laurence's Arcade has caused a stir among fans while Irish contender Sarah McTernan's 22 has proved less popular.

The Netherlands entry in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest is expected to race through to the grand final in the second live semi-final in Israel on Thursday night.

Despite having released only one song, 25-year-old Duncan Laurence is favourite to qualify during the event this evening at the Expo Tel Aviv.

William Hill is offering even (1/1) odds on him being top of the 10 acts to qualify for the grand final on Saturday.

Earlier this week, the singer-songwriter and former contestant on The Voice of Holland told the Press Association he was “flabbergasted” by the reaction to Arcade, the pop ballad he will sing during the 18-act semi-final tonight.

Ireland’s Sarah McTernan, however, has had less success making her mark on the international audience.

The 25-year-old, from Scariff, Co Clare, will perform the upbeat pop song 22 but her chances are slim, with William Hill offering odds of 100/1 on her to qualify.

Sweden’s John Lundvik is more than likely to qualify, with odds of 10/3 to make it through to the grand final.

Days before he was confident, saying in an interview: “I will be in the final. This is huge.”

His song, Too Late For Love, has earned plaudits among fans and press in Tel Aviv for its gospel-tinged verse and earworm chorus.

Russia’s Sergey Lazarev – formerly of boy band Smash!! – has odds of 5/1 with William Hill.

This is not his first Eurovision. In 2016 he sang for Russia and finished third with the song You Are The Only One.

Azerbaijan, Switzerland, Malta and Norway are all touted as potential contenders for qualification with odds of 25/1 or better.

Joining Ireland with odds of only 100/1 are Austria, Croatia, Romania, Latvia, Moldova and Lithuania.

The Eurovision Song Contest continues on Thursday with the second live semi-final.

Rylan Clark-Neal and Scott Mills will oversee BBC Four’s coverage from 8pm, with the UK’s entry Michael Rice joining the pair.

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