With Euro 2012 less than a month away, the participating nations are starting to name their squads for the tournament and the fans’ enthusiasm is beginning to build. As with any international competition, games thick and fast allow the punters to gamble on a daily basis in the search of profits, and many will be reaching for the Euro 2012 betting guide to find a bargain price or outside punt. There are always some unexpected results or individual performances; here are five tips from left-field that may be worth a punt.
Euro 2012 Top Goalscorer: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (19/1)
The Schalke hitman has been in exceptional form for club and country this season, firing his team into Champions League qualification and finishing top goalscorer in the European Championships qualifying round with 12 strikes. Although international team-mate Robin van Persie will lead the line for Bert van Marwijk’s men, his strike partner may well be worth a bet for top goalscorer at 19/1.
Group D Winners: Sweden (7.6)
With France and England in Group D, Sweden and co-hosts Ukraine’s chances are being written off. However, with Laurent Blanc’s men failing to captivate in qualifying and the Three Lions with a new coach and without Wayne Rooney for the first two group games, the Scandinavians are ready to take full advantage. With AC Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic leading the line, Sweden are given generous odds of 7.6 to top Group D.
Russia to finish bottom of Group A
A tightly-contested Group A features Greece, Poland, Czech Republic and Russia, with all teams relatively evenly-matched. Dick Advocaat’s men are expected to qualify from the group, but with a number of their main players struggling for club form in 2011-12, this is by no means a certainty. To predict the eastern Europeans as one of the disappointments of the event and for them to finish bottom of their pool, you can get odds of 3.45.
Italy to beat Spain in Group C
Spain are the holders and competition favourites, with the World Cup winners the team to beat. However, Vicente del Bosque’s men lost their first game of the 2010 World Cup to Switzerland, and face Italy first up this time. With Cesare Prandelli able to call upon a talented group of players, who can be unpredictable, back the Azzurri to cause an early shock and beat Spain at odds of 5/1.
Portugal to reach the final
Not much is expected of Portugal this summer after a slow qualifying campaign, and the Iberian nation’s chances of success have been made all that much harder due to being drawn in the group of death alongside Germany, Netherlands and Denmark. Despite this, with Cristiano Ronaldo stepping up to the plate at club level this season, the Real Madrid man will take some stopping in Ukraine and Poland – you can get odds of 8.2 for Portugal to prove their doubters wrong and make it all the way through to the final.