Ahead of today’s first round of Euro 2012 Group B matches, here are our betting tips for who will win Group B and who is most likely to qualify from it to the quarterfinals.
Netherlands: 2.75 to win Group and 1.5 to qualify
Superb winners of back in 1998 and have done no worse than the last eight in the last six competitions. They won their first nine games in qualification before going down 3-2 to Sweden. Runners up to Spain in the 2010 World Cup Final and star studded squad includes Footballer of the Year Robin van Persie and Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben.
Denmark: 5 to win Group, 7 to qualify
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. They finished top of Group H in qualifying, but they are not surprisingly rank outsiders to survive in the so dubbed “Group of Death”. Liverpool’s Daniel Agger, Arsenal’s Sunderland loanee Nicklas Bendtner and Stoke’s Thomas Sorensen provide interest for PL fans.
Germany: 2.1 to win Group and 1.5 to qualify
Second favourites behind holders Spain and three time winners in 1972, ’80 and ’96 makes them the most successful country in European Championship history. They had a perfect record in qualification, and 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 Gunner Per Mertesacker in a squad jam packed full of talent.
Portugal: 5 to win Group, 2.6 to qualify
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 but in truth they are relying totally on Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Man United’s United Nani to get them through. If they don’t perform then they will crash out of this.