Kev’s Euro 2012 Tips – Part 1

ImageIt’s almost here! Thousands upon thousands of people are currently descending on Poland and the Ukraine where the organisers hope to be ‘Creating History Together’. This year is one of the most competitive, with the three best placed countries at the last World Cup expected to rule the roost once more. Two of these have been drawn in B, this edition’s ‘Group of Death’ alongside Portugal and Denmark, who will be pardoned for feeling aggrieved. Elsewhere England and France face off in group D while our Boys in Green will be looking to overturn the World Cup Champions and the might of Croatia and Italy on their way to group qualification.

As I have the small matter of my exams, I won’t be able to give you detailed tips as of yet, but make sure to keep up-to date with Balls Out In Public where our men will be keeping you updated about all the goings on in Poland and the Ukraine. Without any further ado, I present to you my betting tips for Euro 2012!

1. Group Straight Forecast

This asks you to predict first and second in any of the groups, and gives good odds for it! My prediction is in Group B, C and D. There really is no doubt as to who will qualify from the group of death, Germany have come a long way from their narrow semi-final defeat at the hands of Spain. They smashed their group (including highly fancied Turkey and Belgium sides!) winning all ten games and scoring 34 goals. The Dutch also impressed during qualifying, scoring even more goals than their German rivals, but did lose to Sweden on the final day of qualifying. I can see Germany finishing first and Holland second, with both getting at least as far as the semi-finals.

The second group I’m aiming to predict (and the dodgiest of the lot) is Group C. Spain will no doubt sail through to the next round and will most likely dispatch of all three teams in the process. Now it’s left to who will finish second; many punters are predicting Croatia to come out on top but I don’t see it happening. Call it home bias but I believe ImageIreland will come out on top. Croatia finished second in qualifying behind a fairly average Greece team, who aren’t expected to progress from their own group. Since then they’ve lost badly to Sweden and only managed a draw against Norway on June 2nd. Ireland meanwhile are unbeaten in 17 games, and have drawn against fellow finalists Czech Republic before beating Bosnia in Dublin. Trappatoni’s men are high in confidence, low in injuries and with Ireland having such a good record in major finals (never finishing lower than 2nd in a group) I believe they will grasp the opportunity to reach the quarters.

Group D is my final prediction and in a group with France, England, Sweden and the Ukraine it seems the former two are the most likely to progress. The French have built themselves back up as a force to be reckoned with after a disastrous World Cup 2010, and seem to have a strong leadership under the current Laurent Blanc regime. They’ve won their last four games (including a shock 2-1 victory against Germany) and boast players like Franck Ribery, Karim Benzima, and Premier League winners Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy, to name but a few. Bucking the trend once again I’m going to go for Sweden to emerge as second in the group. England changed their management recently, and have not impressed in their marginal victories over non-European Championship opposition since Hodgson took over. Moreover, an ongoing racial battle between the key central defenders has led to Rio Ferdinand being left out of the squad, and Martin Kelly (whose international experience totals two measly minutes) being called up instead. Injuries to Gareth Barry and Gary Cahill have caused changes in the team’s line-up, while their third choice ‘keeper spent last season with Cheltenham Town in the fourth tier of English football, and hasn’t an international cap to his name! Sweden have impressed in the qualifying campaign, turning over the Netherlands in the process, and have won their last four games, including wins over Croatia and Serbia.

A treble of these three predictions returns almost €2,500 on a €10 bet, surely worth a shout?

2. Name the Finalists

ImageThis bet is definitely worth a shout, where Germany and Spain have been drawn on opposite sides of the draw. I’ve already gone over the merits of both teams, and you’ll be able to read all about them in the BOIP Group previews, and I believe Spain have more than enough to overcome Netherlands in the semis. A Germany v Spain final in Kiev is 15/2.

That’s about all for now. I’ve given you my predictions for first and second in both groups as well as the finalists. If you’re looking for top goalscorer Robin van Persie seems to be getting back to form at exactly the right time, and is at 9/1 latest prices. That’s it from me for the moment, I’ll be back to predict the knockout phase of the tournament in more detail on June 21st. ‘Till then, enjoy the Euros, and happy gambling!


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