Euro 2012 Group B Betting Preview
Getting out of Group B will be tough this summer with four of the world’s top eleven teams fighting for just two quarter final places.
Germany are my tip to win Euro 2012 and, in a rather un-German like way, boast some of the best attacking flair in the tournament.
The Germans beat the Netherlands 3-0 in a recent friendly and even their experienced players are only in their mid 20s. Joachim Low’s side won all their qualifying matches and I expect them to play with similar verve in Poland & Ukraine.
Their first match against Portugal in Lviv could be crucial but Low has so many options that I expect to see Germany in the later stages of Euro 2012.
He may not have covered himself in glory in the Champions League final, but Bayern’s Mario Gomez could be a star of Euro 2012. I also expect much of Germany’s young attackers including Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil, Mario Gotze and Toni Kroos.
The Netherlands are one of the favourites to lift the trophy in Kiev on 1 July and just 1/2 to qualify from Group B.
Coach Bert van Maarwijk’s biggest problem is how to accommodate two of Europe’s top strikers. Robin van Persie has been in superb form this season, but Schalke striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored twelve goals in just eight qualifying matches.
Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder provide plenty of threat, whilst the coach may appease critical supporters by dropping one of the two defensive midfielders, Mark van Bommel and Nigel de Jong.
Robin van Persie’s club future may be in doubt but the Arsenal forward can fire the Netherlands to the quarter finals. Wesley Sneijder remains one of Europe’s best playmakers while Klaas-Jan Huntelaar gives the side a real goal threat.
Portugal invariably end up looking like less than the sum of their parts and it could be another disappointing summer for Cristiano Ronaldo and his side.
When Portugal do play well, they can be one of the world’s most dangerous teams as they showed when hammering Spain 4-0 in a recent friendly. And, in Cristiano Ronaldo they have a world superstar supported in attack by Manchester United’s Nani and former Spurs striker Helder Postiga.
Can they beat both Germany and the Netherlands though? I’m not sure. They are 11/10 to qualify from Group B.
Cristiano Ronaldo was Portugal’s top scorer in qualifying whilst they also boast the flexible midfield trio of Raul Meireles, Miguel Veloso and Joao Moutinho.
Denmark could well be one of the dark horses of the tournament, but this group is a tough ask for Morten Olsen’s side.
However, the Danes were excellent in qualifying, finishing ahead of both Norway and Group B rivals, Portugal. Considering they are ranked 11th in the world, Denmark have been very unlucky to be drawn against such strong opposition. They could cause an upset, though, and there’s some value in the 4/1 against them qualifying for the quarter finals.
Nicklas Bendtner is Denmark’s main striker, supported by the aging Dennis Rommedahl and the talented Thomas Kahlenberg. Ajax’s 19 year old midfielder Christian Eriksen could also add a few noughts to his transfer value with some good performances.
Group B is the toughest of the groups and the tournament will lose a couple of its strongest teams at this stage. It’s tough to look beyond Germany and the Netherlands to qualify for the knockout rounds, and the match between the two sides in Kharkiv on 13 June could decide who wins the group.