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UEFA Euro 2012 Group B Betting Tips & Predictions
Hyped as the ‘group of death’, Group B is sure to offer endless drama to start the UEFA Euro 2012 proceedings. Euro 2008 runners-up Germany face 2012 FIFA World Cup runners-up Netherlands in a rivalry that has always proved scintillating in all football circles. 2004 runners-up Portugal and 1992 winners Denmark complete this seemingly elite group.
Winning the tournament in 1988, the Dutch has since then been making waves in the European Championship. Three semi-final and two quarter-final apperances in the last five Euros means that the Netherlands is a team to contend with. And with a steady stream of national team players making a name for themselves all over Europe, this team owes football fans a finals appearance; this year could be theirs for the taking.
Robin van Persie will be leading the lines. The 28-year old forward led Arsenal to a third-place finish in the EPL with 30 league goals, 36 in all competitions. He will however compete with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar for a place in a Bert van Marwijk’s 4-2-3-1. Huntelaar was the team’s main man during the qualifying round of this tournament, with 12 goals in eight games.
A decisive qualifying run makes the Danes a top-contender for this group, dismantling Portugal in their last qualification match. Like Netherlands, Denmark has a rich Euro history, making it to the semi-finals in ’84 before winning it all in ’92. They did fail to qualify in 2008, and so this summer, they will be coming back with vengeance in mind.
The team possesses established players, most notably Nicklas Bendtner, Christian Poulsen, Daniel Agger, and Anders Lindegaard (who by the way is recovering from an injury). The thing is, almost all of these four are coming off a mediocre season with their respective clubs (perhaps with the exception of Lindegaard), and so their Euro 2012 could end in two ways: in mediocrity, or in a sensational bounce back.
UEFA Euro’s most successful side, Germany, is yet to replicate its blazing run from 1972 to 1996. In a little over two decades, the Germans won the tournament thrice, and ended up as runners-up twice. In 2008, the Germans had to settle for second place after Spain edged them out with a Fernando Torres goal in a 1-0 victory. Could this year belong to the Germans?
Joachim Loew will happy to have a brilliant pool of players, most especially after a sparkling Bundesliga season. Bayern Munich’s Mario Gomez most notably scored 26 in the Bundesliga, 40 in all competitions while Mesut Ozil led the La Liga in assists – a tally of 17 – to help Real Madrid to the title this year.
And what about Borussia Dortmund’s Mario Gotze and Kevin Großkreutz? The young pair helped their team to a domestic double with 14 goals and 14 assists in between them in all competitions. They definitely deserve playing time in this summer’s tournament.
The only team in the group to have never won the European Championship, Portugal came so close to the sought-after trophy in 2004 – in their home ground – only to be beaten by unexpected winners Greece. With or without any trophy, Portugal is seen to be a top contender in every international tournament, most especially in Europe. Since Euro 1996, Portugal has made it to the quarterfinals at the very least, including a semi-final appearance in 2000.
Portuguese trio Cristiano Ronaldo, Helder Postiga and Nani combined for 17 goals in qualifying. Of all three, it’s not so hard to pinpoint Cristinao Ronaldo as the most potent force on the pitch. Sixty goals in all competitions with 46 of them coming in the La Liga helped Real Madrid win the title convincingly in the recently-concluded season.
Group B Betting Tips & Prediction
This really is the group of death, and unfortunately for Denmark and Portugal, they are at the wrong group at the worst possible time. Both Germany and Netherlands look unbeatable at the moment, and we fancy them to win the group convincingly.
Germany has the edge and they seem very capable of winning this group. Germany is at 1/4 for the group. This leaves us with Netherlands to qualify for the knockout stages as runners-up. They are at 1/2 to advance; clearly they are favoured for their pedigree. Nevertheless, a Germany-Netherlands one-two combo is surely the most gratifying outlook here.
All odds are from Bet365.com (£200 FREE BET!).