Euro 2012 betting preview: Your ultimate pre-tournament guide
The Tipster hasn't slept a wink in weeks as he meticulously pieced together the best pre-Euro 2012 betting preview around
Euro 2012 is almost upon us and The Tipster can barely contain his excitement ahead of the feast of football that awaits.
Here, our resident betting expert takes a look at where some of the value in the pre-tournament markets lies, including which teams are likely to feature in the final and who’s a good shout to finish as the top goal scorer in Poland and Ukraine.
Then it’s time for a group-by-group breakdown of the first round of the tournament as our man-in-the know takes a detailed look at each country’s chances in this bumper Euro 2012 betting preview.
So, without further ado…
To win Euro 2012 outright
Germany to win Euro 2012 at 3/1 is the tip to get us started. The second favourites behind defending champions Spain, Joachim Low’s side look like excellent value to go all the way in Poland and Ukraine at 3/1 at bet365. True, Germany will have their work cut out in navigating their way out of a difficult Group B alongside Denmark, Holland and Portugal – but being thrown in at the deep end could work in their favour in the latter stages of the tournament having faced some tough tests early on.
To win Uefa Player of the Tournament award
Mesut Ozil is 11/1 to scoop award for the most impressive player in Poland and Ukraine, and this looks like excellent value. Quite simply, it’s the Real Madrid star’s time to shine. He was the real breakout star of the 2010 World Cup and was thoroughly impressive in the qualifying rounds. Also, the way Germany are set up is for him, with Bastien Schweingsteker and Sammy Khedira holding the fort in midfield will give him a licence to wreak havoc. An outside bet for this award is France’s Karim Benzema at 25/1. If France get all the way to the final, the Real Madrid striker is sure to play a large part of it, especially after coming of age at the Bernabeu last season.
To finish as top goal scorer
There’s plenty of value in this market. The last four European championship golden boots were won by David Villa (4 goals in 2008), Milan Baros (5 goals in 2004), jointly by Patrick Kluivert and Savo Milosevic (5 goals each in 2000) and Alan Shearer (5 goals in 1996). Five goals, then, is usually enough to finish top goal scorer in this tournament. With that in mind, Mario Gomez at 8/1 has to be considered for this one with Germany well-placed to have a good tournament in most people’s books. An outside tip is Poland’s Robert Lewandowski to finish as his country’s top goal scorer at 13/8 following a superb season for Borussia Dortmund in which he netted 30 goals in total. He is also 20/1 to finish as the overall top goal scorer.
To meet in the final
The Tipster has been puzzling over this one for a few days but after countless trial runs of possible results, our man-in-the-know is backing a Germany v Holland final at the incredible value of 10/1.
Stage of elimination
It is very likely Spain will win Group C. England could well end up as runners-up in Group D. And it that’s the case England will face Spain in the quarter-finals, where there can surely be only one winner. Therefore, England to be eliminated at the quarter-final stage looks tremendous value at 15/8.
(Czech Republic, Greece, Poland, Russia)
Russia are the most cohesive team in Group A, and that’s largely thanks to Dick Advocaat’s decision to stick to players from the nation’s two most successful clubs, Zenit St Petersburg and CSKA Moscow. It’s a ploy which has worked well for Spain – they have relied largely on Barcelona and Real Madrid players – and Russia to win the group looks great value at 11/8. Greece and hosts Poland are both counter-attacking sides, while the Czech Republic’s talisman Milan Baros is struggling with a thigh injury. Poland have two advantages over the Czechs and Greeks: Robert Lewandowski and home support. With this in mind, Poland to make it out of the group is a decent-looking bet at 4/6.
(Denmark, Germany, Netherlands Portugal)
In every tournament there’s the so-called ‘Group of Death’ and England supporters breathed a collective sigh of relief in avoiding Group B. It features the teams who have scored the most goals in the qualifying stages – the Netherlands (37) and Germany (34) – not to mention Portugal, who have Cristiano Ronaldo in their ranks – the Real Madrid star scored 46 goals in La Liga last term. So Group B to be the highest scoring of the tournament is very good value at 13/8. Ronaldo will be Portugal’s key man if they harbour any hopes of making the quarter-finals, and Ronaldo is a very good price at 11/8 to finish as their top scorer for the tournament. The Dutch, Germans and Portuguese will eye their respective ties against Denmark as must-win games, and the Danes to fail to claim a single point is also a good shout at 11/4.
(Croatia, Italy, Republic of Ireland, Spain)
World and European champions Spain are the overwhelming favourites to finish top of Group C – so there’s no value here – but Italy to qualify for the quarters is 8/11. Many have discounted Cesare Prandelli’s men at Euro 2012 due to the developing match-fixing scandal, but the Azzurri were in a similar mess in 2006, and went on to win the World Cup. For those fancying Spain and Italy to progress, a dual forecast is also a good price at 10/11. Giovanni Trapattoni’s Republic of Ireland will certainly be a difficult side to beat, and with goals at a premium in a tough group, if the Men in Green are to score, their skipper Robbie Keane is the most likely candidate. The LA Galaxy striker will be on penalty duty, and he scored three goals at the World Cup in 2002. Keane is at an outstanding price of 11/4 to be Ireland’s top goal scorer at the tournament.
(England, France, Sweden, Ukraine)
France are in good form and should just manage to edge out Roy Hodgson’s England – possibly on goal difference – for a spot in the quarters. Their encounter on Monday could prove decisive. France have better options in attack, and they should outscore a conservative England side in the other fixtures against Sweden and Ukraine. So France to finish as group winners is a good price at 6/4. For England, with Wayne Rooney suspended for the opening two games against France and Sweden, Ashley Young could be the man to fill Rooney’s boots. He has scored six goals in his last ten England appearances, and he finished the season in good form for Manchester United. Young is outstanding value at 13/2 to finish England’s top goal scorer. Finally, Ukraine are by far the weakest team in Group D, and their preparations have been hampered by an outbreak of food poisoning, so Ukraine are worth a punt to be the lowest scoring team at Euro 2012 at 11/1.
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