Euro2012 betting preview (Groups A & B)

Euro 2012 kicks-off tonight, with England general 14/1 shots to lift the trophy. However there is are plenty of betting opportunities to be had in the Group stages and hopefully some value to pay for the beers.

*All prices BetVictor*

Group A

Poland: 66/1 to win Tournament, 11/4 to win Group and 5/6 to qualify
Arsenal’s Wojciech Szcesny kept Ronaldo and Nani at bay in the co-hosts 0-0 draw at the end of February in the first game played at the new National Stadium in Warsaw. Poland have only competed in one previous barren European Championship and will be looking to break their duck when they entertain Greece in Warsaw on June 8th.

Poland coach Franciszek Smuda was the first coach to name his provisional squad for Euro 2012 a 26-man party which features a trio from dual-Bundesliga Champions and double winners Borussia Dortmund in Lukascz Piszcek, Jakub Blaszczykowski and Robert Lewandowski. The latter pair scored all four goals in their recent 4-0 win over Freiburg which gave Dortmund a record number of points for one season in the Bundesliga.

Daily Sport recommended bet: Robert Lewandowski 2/1 to be Poland top scorer

Greece: 80/1 for tournament, 4/1 to win Group and 5/4 to qualify
Caused a huge shock when beating hosts Portugal in Lisbon back in the 2004 Final; will meet Russia for the 3rd successive finals tournament in Warsaw having lost out in both 2004 & 2008. The 2-1 defeat in Faro was their sole defeat suffered in six games en route to the title.

Finished top of an ordinary Group F in qualification where their strength was a mean defence conceding only five goals in ten internationals although they have subsequently failed to win any of their three friendlies including a 1-1 home draw with Russia back in November.

Daily Sport recommended bet: To score less than 3 goals in the Group Stage 5/4

Russia: 22/1 for Tournament, 6/4 to win Group and 2/5 to qualify
Sole win came in the inaugural European Championships back in 1960 although they were beaten semi-finalists four years ago; Fulham’s Pavel Pogrebnyak, former Chelsea midfielder Yuri Zhirkov, ex Gooner Andriy Arshavin, and recent Spurs departure Roman Pavlyuchenko will be familiar names to followers of the Premier League.

Coach Dick Advocaat will leave his position after the finals to return to PSV Eindhoven rejoining the Club 14 years after his first spell in charge. Finished top of a Group that included the Republic of Ireland in qualification, but it lacked strength in depth; beat fellow 2012 Finalists Denmark 2-0 in Copenhagen at the end of February.

Daily Sport recommended bet: To win Group A: 6/4

Czech Republic:  66/1 for Tournament, 7/2 to win Group and 5/4 to qualify
Winners of the 1976 Championship in Belgrade on penalties from holders West Germany and indeed have never been beaten in three penalty shoot-outs including the 1996 semi finals against France.

Finished runner up to Spain in qualification and then readily disposed of Montenegro, who had finished runner up to England, in the play-offs winning both games. Chelsea’s Peter Cech and Arsenal’s Tomas Rosicky are key members of an experienced side who had their limitations, seemingly exposed by the holders in the group stages.

Daily Sport recommended bet: To finish third in the Group  5/2


Group B 

Netherlands: 13/2 for Tournament, 15/8 to win Group and 4/9 to qualify
Magnificent winners of the Tournament back in 1998 and have done no worse than the last eight in the last six competitions; the Oranje lost a friendly in Germany before beating England at Wembley since cementing their place in the Finals, having won their first nine games in qualification before going down 3-2 to fellow Finalists Sweden.

Runners up to Spain in the 2010 World Cup Final and star studded squad includes EPL Footballer of the Year Robin van Persie and Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben; one of the favourites to land the Henri Delaunay Trophy for a second time although they must first get out of the “Group of Death”.

Daily Sport recommended bet: Stage of elimination Quarter Finals 3/1

Denmark: 100/1, 20/1 and 6/1
Inspired by Peter Schmeichel the Danes won the 1992 Tournament in Sweden despite the fact that they didn’t originally qualify for the eight team event, gaining a late entry as a result of the war in Yugoslavia.

Finished top of Group H, which included Portugal and Norway, in qualification and should not be underestimated but could have been more fortunate with the draw! Plenty of household names in the squad including Liverpool’s Daniel Agger, Arsenal’s Sunderland loanee Nicklas Bendtner and Stoke’s Thomas Sorensen.

Daily Sport recommended bet: Goals conceded in Group stages over 6 – 11/5

Germany: 11/4, Evens and 2/9
Second favourites behind holders Spain and three time winners in 1972, ’80 and ’96 makes them the most successful country in European Championship history; had a perfect record in qualification although they did lose a recent friendly to France in Bremen.

Coach Joachim Low has called up eight members of the Champions League finalists Bayern Munich to his provisional 27-man squad with Arsenal bound Lukas Podolski joining fellow Gooner Per Mertesacker in a formidable looking array of talent. Lost out by a single Torres goal to Spain in Euro 2008 Final in Vienna, and in the World Cup semi-final in Durban (Puyol) two years ago; they will think they are due a change of luck.

Daily Sport recommended bet: Back the to win Tournament with Spain money back guarantee 11/4

Portugal: 20/1, 4/1 & 13/10
Beaten finalists in 2004 but, not for the first time, unimpressive in qualification before thrashing Boznia & Herzegovina 6-2 in the play-offs to book their place in the finals back in November.

Coach Paulo Bento has lots of talent at his disposal including Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United winger Nani but they have flattered to deceive in the past and are 13/10 to make it out of the Group stages.

Daily Sport recommended bet: Cristiano Ronaldo to be Portugal top goalscorer at 15/8.

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