Euro 2012 – TGT’s thoughts
With the European Championships set to kick off on Friday and with everyone speculating about the eventual winner, we thought it was the perfect time for us to put our two penny’s worth into the mix.
We’ll start with Spain, who are the favourites at all bookmakers and with good cause. They are the current European and World champions and their midfield boasts Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas, Xabi Alonso and David Silva with one of these world-class players having to warm the bench. Llorente and Torres lead the frontline, with Llorente having just had the season of his life whereas Torres has had his well documented troubles at Chelsea but finished the season strongly. Coral are best-priced on the outright market at 4s. BetVictor have a decent offer of all losing outright bets refunded (up to £50) if Spain win the Championships. With quite a few micro-arbs out there, this offer can definitely lock in profit.
Second favourites are the Germans whose young team were very impressive in the 2010 World Cup. They have the youth of Ozil, Khedira and Muller whilst also boasting the experience of Klose and Podolski. However, Germany are in what is being dubbed as ‘the group of death’ along with Portugal, Netherlands and Denmark. They have also not won in the three games they have played in the Ukraine, having drawn them all. Coral are best priced at 4.3, and with the previous stats and facts in mind, at Betfair it could be worth a lay.
Netherlands have a strong team with the in form Robin Van Persie leading the line. He has able support in Van de Vaart, Robben and Sneijder. Although they have attacking talent in abundance, their defence leaves something to be desired. They are also in ‘the group of death’ alongside Germany and therefore could struggle to get out of their group. Bwin has the best price of 7s (Betfair 7.8) so could be worth on outside punt, although their defensive weakness is an important issue.
England, with new manager Roy Hodgson at the helm are thought to have little chance. Although the friendlies against Norway and Belgium have been far from impressive, England now look difficult to beat and could exceed extremely low expectations. Hodgson’s teams are always organised and I think England will definitely benefit from this, even if they won’t wow anyone or gain many fans. England are best priced with Coral and Betfred at 16s. This could be a decent outside bet, especially if they get off to a good start and get out of the group, that really is the key from there they would stand a decent chance, however missing Rooney for the first two games will be a big blow.
France are in the same group as England and could be the tournaments dark horse. They are coming off an 18 game unbeaten run and boast some world-class players in Nasri, Benzema and Ribery. However, they have been said to be a team of individuals rather than an actual team and again seem weak at the back. They are best priced at 10s across numerous bookmakers including Betfair. Whether this is a good bet depends upon which France turns up as they can be hit and miss at major tournaments.
Spain are clear favourites for the tournament, but there are a few of the big footballing nations that could still win the tournament even if they aren’t fancied by the bookmakers.