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To Win Outright Tips for Euro 2012
With a little more than two weeks to go before Euro 2012 finally opens its curtains to the footballing world, pundits and fans alike are already calling out the names of the possible sides that could take the title towards the end of the summer affair. Thing is, there is not one team that’s making the top of the pre-tournament championship list as of the moment, and this all boils down to the presence of European giants as well as sides capable of pulling off a “ Greek 2004 finish”. Who are the favourites this summer and who are the outside contenders who could make a difference come June? Let’s all take a look.
Spain is leading the top-contenders list after having a two-title-combo in the last four years. The 2010 World Cup winners are also the defending champions of this tournament, winning the trophy in 2008. They are however facing several issues prior to the tournament, with the likes of David Villa and Carles Puyol set to miss the tournament due to injuries, and Xavi having to face fitness concerns over the last month. The Barcelona trio was pivotal in both title-winning runs by the side, and the issues they confront certainly took off a bit of sharpness insofar as the Spaniards are concerned.
Villa and Puyol are likely to relinquish their places to Fernando Llorente and Javi Martinez respectively, but Xavi is expected to ply his trade in the midfield yet again. The maestro is deemed irreplaceable at the moment, and his presence in the middle of the park will be the barometer for this lethal Spanish side.
Germany is trailing the Spaniards in this list but not that far. In fact most pundits are looking to the Germans to pose a possible dethroning of Spain for a number of possible factors – perhaps the most vital of them is championship pedigree. Germany after all is the most successful side in the history of the tournament, with three titles to their name as well as three runner-up finishes. Germany has appeared in the championship more than any other team – they have participated in the European Championship 10 times.
Adding up to the chances of Germany getting their fourth Euro trophy in the summer is their personnel. Joachim Low has players who are coming of a stellar 2012 season at his disposal. And they are all fit, both young and old, experienced and not. Mesut Ozil will be leading the charge with his Bayern Munich compatriots in Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mario Gomez, Thomas Muller, and Toni Kroos. There’s also a young hotshot in the ranks that goes by the name of Mario Gotze who completes a talented roster that reads deadly on paper.
Of the three top contenders, we fancy Germany to wow the crowd and win the tournament. Unlike Spain they didn’t appear to slow down in the last months, and with players coming of some of their best performances in the 2012 season, momentum is definitely on Die Mannschaft.
Completing the top-contender triad is Holland, a team that has been under the limelight but always a few inches short of the trophy. Like Germany, Holland nearly won a major tournament in the recent years if not for a defeat to the Spaniards – they were runners-up in the 2010 World Cup, losing to Spain via a narrow 1-0 scoreline. Holland has been a fixture in major tournaments, and with their top-quality personnel peaking in the last year, this could be the year when they finally claim their second-ever Euro trophy.
Robin van Persie looks likely to lead the lines this summer, but its Klaas Jan Huntelaar’s international record that’s making this Holland side daring. Huntelaar after all has 30 goals in just 49 international appearances. Bert van Maarwijk will nevertheless feel secure whoever he chooses to start with – with the likes of Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart in midfield, the opposition defense will have a lot to think about when they face Holland.
Outside Spain, Germany, and Holland, there are three teams who are debatably potent enough to cause an upset this summer. Italy is one – and perhaps the best – of the outside contenders. The Italians have been inconsistent internationally as of late but a good Serie A season upped this team’s competitiveness. They are at 14/1 to win this tournament outright, offering a potential steal for punters Italian or not.
France is another team ably-bodied to make a title-steal. Despite the controversies the team faced over the years, they have enough talent to cause problems to the stronger teams. Laurent Blanc has captained the ship so well in qualifying, and it must be said that Les Blues is a much stable team right now. If they can convert the stability to performances on the pitch, then you can only imagine how much threat this talented side can dish off any given moment. Les Bleus is at 12/1 to win the tourney.
England the last of the three – the Three Lions are at 10/1 to win the tournament they have never won in their footballing history. Roy Hodgson, at the helm of this England side, will definitely be able to inject positives come this summer. And with the roster he has at hand, he could be on the way for instant success.
All odds are from Bet365.com (£200 FREE BET!).