Euro 2012 betting guide


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Euro 2012 betting guide

  1. 1. The European Championship’s Guide to the Euro 2012 ChampionshipJune 2012
  2. 2. Scan  this  QR  code  for  Euro   2012  news,  be9ng  ;ps,   score  updates,  match   previews,  free  bets  and  best   odds Table of Contents Introduction  2  Fixtures 3 Euro 2012 Free Bets Guide 5 7 Best Euro 2012 Promotions 6 Euro 2012 Winner Tips 7 Euro 2012 Betting Tips - Don’t Doubt the Dutch 8 Top Goalscorer Tips 9 Euro 2012 Groups 10 • Euro 2012 Group Betting Tips 11 • Group A Betting Tips 12 • Group B Betting Tips 13 • Group C Betting Tips 14 • Group D Betting Tips 15 Patriotic Punting • Can England win Euro 2012 - For and Against 16 • 10 Reasons why England can win Euro 2012 17 • 5 Reasons why Ireland can shock Euro 2012 18 Betting by Numbers • The 7 Best Bets at Euro 2012 19 • Neil’s Top 3 Bets at Euro 2012 20 16 Team Profiles 21 Expert Panel’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 1
  3. 3. Introduction The wait is almost over and Euro 2012 is just days away. There are profiles for each of the 16 nations competing It’s time to start thinking about placing a few bets on the in Poland and Ukraine, along with tips on how to make a tournament and making the most of a staggering profit betting on each. In addition to this, we have number of free bets, betting markets and cash back included a number of ‘feature articles’ written by our specials on offer at leading bookmakers online. team of experts with their tips and recommendations on all aspects of Euro 2012 betting. The old favourites such as tournament winner, top goal scorer and bets on who will win each group, of course, There will, inevitably, be some conflict of opinions are the most popular and there is certainly value to be amongst our writers – not least on the chances of Roy found on these markets but there are also a number of Hodgson’s England team – but hopefully the arguments ‘special’ bets available, ranging from the stage at which can serve as a guide to help you make fully formed each team will exit to who will score the most goals and decisions on the important issues, not least who will be which the club will provide the top goal scorer over in lifting the Henry Delaunay trophy on July 1st in Kiev. Poland and Ukraine. As with any betting, there is of course risk involved and’s team of writers have analysed every accepts no responsibility for any losses single market available on Euro 2012 and in this incurred during Euro 2012. We have compiled this book extensive guide we will aim to provide you not only with as a guide to help you with your betting. These are, after all of our tips and best bets on the tournament, but also all, only our opinions! with all of the information you need to help you make your own’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 2
  4. 4. Fixtures - Group’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 3
  5. 5. Fixtures - Knockout’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 4
  6. 6. Euro 2012 Free Bets GuideThere are a whole host of bookmakers offering free bets on Euro 2012. Heres make a deposit of £20 then the Irish firm will give you a £40 free bet to use on thea guide to the best currently available. Euro 2012 market of your choice. Thats a 200% bonus.Euro 2012 begins on June 8th and already the bookmakers are gearing up for the Click here to go to Boylesportstournament with a number of firms already running money back specials on theoutright markets. Bet Victor are refunding all losing bets if Spain win Euro 2012 while Sporting BetBoylesports will refund bets if your selection is knocked out in penalties. Sporting Bet have rolled out a risk free offer for Euro 2012. Simply register a newAs well as these offers there are also a whole range of free bets available for those account with the firm and place your first bet. If it wins then you win but if it loseswho havent already opened accounts with the major betting firms, including some then Sporting Bet will refund your stake, up to a maximum of £50. Register using thethat are exclusive to Bettingpro readers. Heres a selection of the best offers from the Sporting Bet promotion code MAXIMUMBONUS to get £50 risk free.biggest bookmakers. Click here to go to Sporting Betbet365 Sky Betbet365 are arguably the biggest name in online betting and they have one of thebiggest welcome bonuses for new customers. If you register an account using bonus Sky Bets Euro 2012 free bet offer isnt just risk free but it also require no deposit.code MAXIMUMBONUS then the firm will match your first deposit with a 100% Simply register an account with the firm and they will credit your account with £10,free bet, to a maximum value of £200. which can be wagered on whatever market you wish. No risk, no deposit, just free money.Click here to go to bet365 Click here to go to Sky BetLadbrokes CoralLadbrokes are probably the best known bookmaker in the world and the Magic Signhave a fantastic sign-up offer for new accounts. Simply register using bonus code Coral have a number of money back specials throughout Euro 2012 and they are alsoMAXIMUMBONUS and theyll give you a free bet up to the value of £50. Ladbrokes offering all new customers a £50 free bet when they register an account. Simply sign-will also be running a range of match promotions and enhanced prices throughout up with the firm and make a first deposit and Coral will credit your account with aEuro 2012. free bet of the same value, up to a maximum of £50.Click here to go to Ladbrokes Click here to go to CoralPaddy Power BetfredBettingpro readers can get an exclusive welcome bonus worth up to £250 when they Betfred is known as the Bonus King and its therefore no surprise that the firm willregister a new account with Paddy Power in time for Euro 2012. Make an initial have a number of promotions and money back specials running throughout Eurodeposit of up to £50 and Paddy will match it with a £50 free bet and he will do the 2012. Not only will they be continuing their popular Double Delight and Hat-Tricksame for the next four bets of up to £50. Heaven promotion throughout the tournament but they will also have player specific First Goalscorer money back offers running on every match. Bettingpro customersClick here to go to Paddy Power who dont already have a Betfred can claim a free £50 bet to use on Euro 2012 when they register with the firm using bonus code MAXIMUMBONUS.Boylesports Click here to go to BetfredBoylesports currently offer the best welcome bonus for Bettingpro readers who wantto play with smaller stakes. If you register using bonus code MAXIMUMBONUS and’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 5
  7. 7. The 7 Best Euro 2012 Bookmaker PromotionsEuro 2012 starts on Friday 8 June and we have 3. Paddy Power – money back on 6. Sportingbet – 50% bonus winnings on Eurocollated the seven best promotions for the England v France and Ireland v Croatia 2012 Multiples + £50 risk-free betEuropean Championship Paddy were always going to come up with the goods We’re liking the fact that Sportingbet will boost yourEuro 2012 is a big deal in the betting world, with more and you will get all losing First Goalscorer, Last winnings by 50% if you place a successful four-fold onpeople than ever looking to place a bet or three on the Goalscorer, Correct Score & Scorecast singles the Euro 2012 group winners. Especially as you’ll get aEuropean Championship, especially with England refunded on the England or Ireland match if either of free consolation bet if one selection lets you down.involved this time around. these teams beat France and Croatia respectively! There is also a tasty £50 risk-free bet for new customers.It’s therefore only natural that the bookies are There’s also the small matter of £250 in free bets ifscrapping over who gets the largest share of the pie as you register through as customers placing bets are concerned and the 7. Sky Bet - £10 no deposit free bet on Euro 2012operators have come up with some beauties when it plus a £50 matched betcomes to Euro 2012 promotions. 4. Boylesports – 3 money back offers + £40 in free bets Sky Bet are the only bookmaker to offer newHere are the Bettingpro top 7 promotions for Euro customers a free bet without making a deposit and that2012: Boylesports have three Euro 2012 pearlers, including will see people flocking to their site in the coming days. Don’t Pay the Penalty which will see them refund If you sign-up at, you will also get a1. BetVictor - £100 free bets and Spain cashback losing outright bets on any team that are knocked out 100% matched free bet (up to £50) when you make in a penalty shoot-out. your first deposit. Goalscorer, Correct Score &Nothing quite comes close to BetVictor’s offer to Scorecast singles refunded on the England or Irelandrefund losing outright bets (up to £50) if Spain win Boyles will also refund losing First, Last & Anytime match if either of these teams beat France and CroatiaEuro 2012, with Vicente del Bosque’s team looking to Goalscorer bets on any Ireland game if Ireland score a respectively!land their third consecutive victory in a major goal (!), while you will get First Goalscorer cashback ontournament. Good luck with trying to get Spain beaten any Euro 2012 match if your player scores second. There’s also the small matter of £250 in free bets ifVictor! you register through You can also claim a £40 free bet with Boylesports byNew customers can qualify for an exclusive £100 in texting MAX to bets when they open a BetVictor account which is pretty generous. 5. Bet365 – bore draw money back, unlimited goalscorers and £200 free bets2. Ladbrokes - £75 free bet and Golden Boot £5 Spain  Money  Back  Special  –  BetVictorbonuses Bet365 have confirmed they will refund First, Last and Anytime Goalscorer bets for every Euro 2012 gameThe Magic Sign have been super creative with their that ends in a 0-0 draw, as well as Correct Score and Get  your  money  back  on  all  losing  single  Euro 2012 offering. Bet £20 on Euro 2012 Top Half-Time / Full-Time.Goalscorer and you’ll get a £5 free bet every time your Euro  2012  match  bets  if  Spain  retain  the  player scores a goal. You can get unlimited each-way terms on First ;tle  as  European  Champions. Goalscorer for every match and bet365’s £200 free betIf you haven’t yet opened an account with Ladbrokes, balance remains the most generous new customer Claim  heretext MAX to 86131 and you can claim a whopping £75 bet on Euro 2012.’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 6
  8. 8. Euro 2012 Winner Betting Tips: France and Russia best outright betsFrance and Russia both have easy groups at Euro 2012 and should be backed Defensively, the French are pretty solid, having conceded just four goals inat tasty prices to win the tournament their ten qualifying matches and Blanc has demanded the respect of his squad following on from the national disgrace that occurred under RaymondSpain and Germany may well contest the European Championship final on 1 Domenech two years ago.July, although there really isn’t much value backing either of these teams to winEuro 2012 considering we are talking about a cup competition between some The other team worth backing is RUSSIA at odds of 25/1 which is quitefairly evenly-matched teams. frankly a massive price when you consider they are favourites to win Group A, while Portugal are third-favourites to win Group B but are trading at a shorterBetVictor offer an incentive to back the Germans at 11/4 based on their Spain price on the outright market.cashback offer although we really should look beyond the front two in thebetting when it comes to finding a team who will be fighting over the trophy in Russia reached the semi-final of Euro 2008 in a tournament which effectivelyKiev. earned Andrei Arshavin and Roman Pavlyuchenko moves to Arsenal and Tottenham respectively. While the transfers didn’t work out for either player,As for Spain, they might well claim a third consecutive victory at a major both can make an impact for Dick Advocaat’s men and a potential quarter finaltournament, although the absence of David Villa is a big negative and the against the Dutch or Portuguese won’t faze the Russians.decision to leave out Roberto Soldado was a puzzling one. Once again, we can point to a tight defence and while Russia lack anThe Netherlands are third in the betting at 7/1 (Paddy Power) and that is experienced goalkeeper for this tournament, they have an abundance oflargely based on their 2010 World Cup appearance and the fact they are flat- firepower thanks to Arshavin playing behind either Pavlyuchenko, Pogrebnyaktrack bullies against weaker teams in qualification, especially with an artillery or Kerzhakov.which includes Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie.Coach Bert van Marwijk is as defensive as they come and that will be in Poland are one of the two teams that didn’t qualify for the tournament, withevidence for all three Group B matches. Greece and Czech Republic coming through easy sections and we just can’t ignore the shining beacon that is the 25/1 about Russia doing the business.However, our main pick on the Euro 2012 outright market is FRANCE atodds of 12/1 with bet365. They have been drawn in a modest Group D which RECOMMENDATIONSfeatures England, Sweden and Ukraine, something which will have pleased France 5 points @ 12/1 with Paddy PowerLaurent Blanc, especially as Wayne Rooney is suspended for the opener on 11 Russia 2 points @ 25/1 with bet365 shorter price on the outright market.June. Matthew GlazierWe shouldn’t read too much into their 3-2 win against Iceland last week butinstead consider that there is a nice blend of experience and youth in eachdepartment, with Yohan Cabaye and Alou Diarra acting as midfieldanchormen, thus allowing the likes of Florent Malouda, Samir Nasri and Get  £/€200  free  to  bet  on  -­‐  Bet  hereFranck Ribery to get forward in support of Karim Benzema. £/€250  in  free  bets  from  Paddy  Power  -­‐  Claim  here’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 7
  9. 9. Euro 2012 Betting Tips - Don’t Doubt the writer Neil Roarty explains why he Ladbrokes. The first two are going through a transition ``thinks that the Netherlands will be lifting the Henry period at the moment and are attempting to playDelaunay trophy in ‘Polkraine’ this summer. football in the Spanish style but they lack the ball- retention abilities of Xavi and Iniesta and the craft andSpain are the host favourites to win this summer’s England are not even on the same level as France andEuropean Championships and it is easy to see why. Italy. They don’t pass the ball often enough and there isVicente Del Bosque’s side are the World and European still too much of a ‘chip and charge’ mentality with thechampions and go into Euro 2012 on the back of a focus being on big defenders and midfielders who can100% record in qualifying. They are also almost tackle and run up and down the pitch all day, ratherentirely made up of Barcelona and Real Madrid than technical ability. This style may have worked forplayers. The Spanish giants are, without a doubt, the Greece in 2004 but football has progressed since thentwo best club sides in the world and the fact that one and being able to have the ball more than yourof the two will almost certainly win the Champions opponents is crucial, as Stoke City are starting to findLeague is a massive boost to Spain’s credentials. out this season.However, at odds of 11/4 with Ladbrokes, Spain look That leaves the 2008 European Championshiptoo short on the outright market for Euro 2012. They runners-up, Germany, who are 7/2 at Coral, and themay have qualified in style but they had a very easy 2010 World Cup runners-up, Netherlands, who can begroup and were still pushed close in games by Scotland backed at 15/2 with the same firm. Preference is forand Lithuania. They may have beaten those two but it the latter, simply based on odds as there is no way thatwas hardly convincing. Bert Van Marwijk’s side, who blitzed their qualifying group, have only half as much of a chance as theThen there is the problem of who to play in attack. Germans.David Villa’s broken leg may keep him out of thetournament in Ukraine and Poland and if the Germany were also excellent in qualification and theBarcelona striker is absent then Spain’s attack is form for Bayern Munich of Mario Gomez, Thomasseverely diminished. Villa is his country’s record Muller and Toni Kroos plus the consistent excellencegoalscorer and has established close relationships with of Mesut Ozil at Real Madrid means that they havethe rest of the squad. He also plays in the same one of the most formidable attacks at the tournament.Barcelona side as Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets Bayern are, however, being over-rated by many becauseand Pedro – no other international striker in the world of their win over Manchester City in the Championscan offer this kind of understanding with his League and Borussia Dortmund, who won thesupporting cast. Bundesliga, were miserable in the same competition, ` Get  a  £50  free  bet  from  Coral  to  back   despite a predominantly home based squad.Fernando Torres certainly isn’t the answer, with the Netherlands  to  win  at  15/2.Chelsea striker goal-less for over half a season at club There are also serious question marks over Germany’slevel and hasn’t found the net for Spain since June. He defence, which is led by the hapless Per Mertesacker.has fallen behind both Fernando Llorente and Roberto The Arsenal centre-back looks out of his depth playing Click  hereSoldado in the pecking order but neither of those in the Premier League and the idea of the 27-year-oldplayers is proven at international level. marshalling a back four to Euro 2012 glory is laughable. An organised team that can break well canIf Spain are to be opposed then so too are Italy and punish Germany and that is exactly what NetherlandsFrance, who can both be backed at 14/1 with Bet are.Victor, and England, who are now out to 16/1 at’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 8
  10. 10. Top Goalscorer Market Euro 2012Past winners If you do think the controversial Italian striker Mario Balotelli can continue toEuro 2008 – David Villa – Spain (4 goals) be in the headlines for all the right reasons, you can back the Manchester CityEuro 2004 – Milan Baros – Czech Republic (5 goals) forward at 28/1 with Blue Square.Euro 2000 – Savo Milošević (Serbia)/ Patrick Kluivert – Holland (5 goals)Euro 1996 – Alan Shearer – England (5 goals) Group A may just bring some value to punters with co-hosts hero Robert Lewandowski being continually backed all week. The Polish striker – 25/1 withOne of the most popular betting markets of any major football tournament is Betfred – will face Russia, Czech Republic and Greece during the tournamentthe top goalscorer market and from speaking to the various bookmakers, Euro and many fans believe the Dortmund striker will continue his excellent club2012 is no different. form.Top of the market is Germany striker Mario Gomez who is top price 9/1 with Some other long shots that may just case a surprise are the likes of EnglandBetVictor. The Bayern Munich forward has had a fantastic goal scoring season striker Andy Carroll 50/1 with Ladbrokes, Roman Pavlyuchenko 66/1 withwith his club finding the back of the net an incredible 40 times in 47 games. Bet365 and German playmaker Mesut Ozil 66/1 with bwin.Next of the list is Netherland’s Robin Van Persie. Like Gomez, Van Persie has Our tip: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar 18/1 with Paddy Powerbeen breaking records with his phenomenal season with Arsenal. TheDutchman is as big as 11/1 with Blue Square to follow in the footsteps of Outside bet: Zlatan Ibrahimovic 50/1 with Boylesports2008 winner David Villa.The bookmakers have seen a lot of money coming on the next superstar – Text  ‘MAX’  to  51500  for  a  €/£  50  free  bet  from  Boylesportsarguably the second best player in the world – Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo.The Real Madrid forward and captain of his national side at Euro 2012 is 14/1with Boylesports. This price would be considerable shorter only Portugal are inthe so-called “Group of Death” with Germany and Netherlands. Scan  this  QR  code  to  back  Ronaldo’s club colleague, Frenchman Karim Benzema is in the market at 16/1 Klaas-­‐Jan  Huntelaar  at  18/1  with Paddy Power, while Chelsea striker Fernando Torres – a surprise pick forSpain by many considering his form this season – is 18/1 with 888Sport. with  Paddy  PowerElsewhere in the market, the top goalscorer in qualifying for Poland andUkraine, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is terrific value with Paddy Power at 18/1. If youdo fancy Wayne Rooney to claim the golden boot, he is a massive 40/1 withStan James with the English man suspended for the first two group games.If you do think the controversial Italian striker Mario Balotelli can continue tobe in the headlines for all the right reasons, you can back the Manchester Cityforward at 28/1 with Blue Square.’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 9
  11. 11. Euro 2012 Groups - A Guide to the GroupsThe European Championships take place this summer in Ukraine and Poland meet again until the final of the tournament. This will be good news for bothand begin with the opening match between the Poles and 2004 European Germany manager Joachim Low and Netherlands boss Bert Van Marwijk.Champions Greece in Warsaw on June 8th. Two teams progress from each of the four Euro 2012 groups and qualify forThe tournament features 16 teams who start in four groups of four before the quarter finals of the tournament. The structure is similar to that ofprogressing to quarter finals, semi finals and a final, each of which is played previous European Championships in that the winner of Group A plays theover a single leg. runner-up of Group B and so on.The Euro 2012 groups have already been decided and the matches and fixture The winner of the first quarter final will then play the winner of the thirdlist is therefore already known. The first group, Group A, contains Poland, quarter final ensuring that two sides who met in the Euro 2012 groups cannotGreece, Russia and Czech Republic and is, according to FIFA’s ratings the meet again until the final of the tournament. This will be good news for bothweakest of the four. Germany manager Joachim Low and Netherlands boss Bert Van Marwijk.The strongest of the Euro 2012 groups – officially at least – is Group B, whichfeatures Netherlands, Germany, Portugal and Denmark. These sides areranked 2nd, 3rd, 7th and 11th in the world. This section is undoubtedly the‘Euro 2012 group of death’ and many people think that the winner will comefrom Group B.Reigning champions Spain have been given what looks, on paper, to be arelatively straight-forward Euro 2012 group. Vicente Del Bosque’s side havebeen drawn against Italy, Croatia and Republic of Ireland in Group C and itwould be something of a shock if the World and European champions Scan  this  QR  code  for  Euro  dropped any points in their opening three matches. 2012  news,  be9ng  ;ps,  The picture is less clear in Euro 2012 Group D where England, France, score  updates,  match  Sweden and Ukraine meet. Ukraine may be the hosts but they are fairly easy to previews,  free  bets  and  best  discount but Sweden have a number of talented players, not least AC Milanstriker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and they will be dangerous opponents. France have oddsbeen steadily improving under Laurent Blanc and England, despite questionmarks over the manager, have a squad full of household names withChampions League experience.The winner of the first quarter final will then play the winner of the thirdquarter final ensuring that two sides who met in the Euro 2012 groups cannot’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 10
  12. 12. Euro 2012 Group Betting writer Neil Roarty has identified his best bets in each of the Bosque’s side and it should be maximum points from three matches for Spain.four groups at Euro 2012. That leaves second place in Group C up for grabs and Italy are theWhen looking for Euro 2012 Group betting tips it is important to take into bookmakers favourites at a best price of 4/6 with Boylesports. However, theaccount two things. How a team played in qualifying and how they have Nerazzurri showed at World Cup 2010 that they are prone to implosion andperformed at previous international tournaments. can’t be backed at that price. Patriotic punters might want to consider Ireland, who will be well organised and hard to break down at a very big 5/1 withUsing this criteria we can immediately rule out Poland from Group A. The William Hill, but only for small stakes.Poles may be the hosts but they haven’t played at an international tournamentsince 2008 and they were an abject disappointment in Austria and Switzerland, Converseley, patriotism should be ignored in Group D, where England are asfailing to qualify from the group stage. Before that, Poland also failed to low as 5/4 to qualify as winners. The Three Lions are better than Sweden butprogress from the groups in World Cup 2002 and 2006. were comprehensively outplayed by France in a recent friendly and Laurent Blanc’s side should be backed at 2/1 with Paddy Power. Les Bleus may haveRussia are the favourites to win Group A, at a best price of 6/4 with Sky Bet been awful at South Africa 2010 but the side has changed immeasurably sinceand they justify that position, having qualified in style and they set the then and a comfortable qualification looks on the cards this year. Ukraine maybenchmark. Greece (9/2, bet365) should be considered as their biggest be the hosts but they are simply there to make up the numbers.challengers having won the competition in 2004 and qualified comfortably thistime around. Czech Republic (4/1, Boylesports) narrowly snuck into the Recommendations:playoffs ahead of Scotland and, like Poland, don’t look like causing muchdanger to anyone. Group A Winner – Russia (6/4, Sky Bet) Group B Dual Forecast – Netherlands/Germany to qualify (9/10, Bwin)Group A may be clear cut but Group B is far from straight-forward. Denmark Group C Winner – Spain (8/13, bet365)(20/1, Bet Victor) are the outsiders but they qualified ahead of Portugal (9/2, Group D Winner – France (2/1, Paddy Power)Blue Square) and so should be respected. However, the winner will be one ofeither Germany (5/4, bet365) and Netherlands (2/1, Sky Bet). Neil RoartyPreference is given to the Dutch, whose second place finish at World Cup 2010supersedes Germany’s final appearance at Euro 2008 but it is not necessarily acertainty and those having a bet would be advised to take the ‘dual forecast’option on both teams progressing in any order at odds of 9/10 at Bwininstead.Group C offers the first real ‘certainty’ of Euro 2012 and that is that Spain willwin the group, at odds of 8/13 with bet365. The World and Europeanchampions are potentially vulnerable to rivals later in the tournament but theyshould sail through their group, which consists of Croatia, Ireland and Italy.None of those three teams have a defence capable of living with Vicente Del’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 11
  13. 13. Euro 2012 Group A betting tips: Poland to make home advantage countBettingpro’s Jon Wilde thinks that co-hosts Poland can emerge on top Greece are a vibrant young side for whom the future looks bright and whileof Group A, despite it being one of the most open of the four pools in they are unlikely to repeat their 2004 exploits, qualification looks well withinEuro 2012. their reach.With home advantage, the Poles have been well backed to finish ahead of Russia could be the nation to just miss out and the injuries they have sufferedRussia, the Czech Republic and Greece and are a best price of 11/4 with in defence may have disrupted Dick Advocaat’s plans just a little too much.William Hill. Recommendation: Poland (11/4 William Hill)All four nations are given a strong chance by the bookmakers of reaching thequarter-finals as group winners with Russia topping the market and Greece theoutsiders at a mere 5/1 with Paddy Power.It is difficult to see any team running away with the group and advancing with Jon Wildea 100% record as they look so closely matched, but Poland look potentially thebest value.Of course, assessing how good Poland are just now is not easy because they,along with the Ukraine, did not participate in the qualifying process due to Text  ‘MAX’  for    Mobile  Free  Bets:being co-hosts.But the signs are good judging by their recent friendly international results for •  to  86131  for  £75  free  –  Ladbrokesthey had not conceded a goal in four outings up to the 1-0 win over Slovakiaon May 26. •  to  89660  for  £50  free  –  Be_red •  to  80010  for  £50  free  –  Spor;ngbetAdmittedly Franciszek Smuda’s side are not free scorers, but they may not needto be in order to finish top of the pile in a tight group. •  to  51500  for  £50  free  –  BoylesportsA win and a couple of draws could even be enough and I think Greece, whom (UK  mobiles  only)Poland play in the opening game of the tournament on June 8, could be theteam to go through with them.The side I am prepared to take on is the Czech Republic, despite them havingPetr Cech in goal. They look short up front and the fact former Liverpoolstriker Milan Baros is still their main striker says it all.’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 12
  14. 14. Euro 2012 Group B betting tips: Portugal can survive group of deathBettingpro’s Jon Wilde explains why Portugal are a good bet to upset the By that stage, of course, the Germans and Dutch will have clashed and it is faranticipated Germany-Holland top two in Group B at Euro 2012 and from ideal for those teams that they are meeting in the second round of gamesqualify for the last eight. rather than the last when they would know what is required to advance.The Portuguese have been dismissed by the bookmakers as 20/1 outsiders to Holland look like they could be a bit shaky at the back and will not relishlift the trophy in Kiev on July 1, but those odds will come tumbling down if Ronaldo and Nani attacking them for a Portugal team who look set to book athey can get through their pool. spot in the Euro 2012 quarter-finals.Cristiano Ronaldo and co find themselves in the ‘group of death’ alongside Recommendation: Portugal to qualify (7/5 Boylesports)Germany, Holland and Denmark and at first glance it’s easy to see whyBoylesports are happy to lay 7/5 for them to qualify.But in a tournament where, if the 2010 World Cup is anything to go by,defences are likely to hold sway in the early stages, dynamic attacking talent Jon Wildecould be key and Portugal have that in abundance.For all his achievements at club level, Ronaldo has yet to take a big tournamentby the scruff of the neck and as his country’s captain he will be moredetermined than ever to stake his claim to be the world’s greatest player.He is currently losing that battle hands down to Lionel Messi, but this is a greatopportunity for the Real Madrid superstar to thrust himself back into thelimelight.Manchester United winger Nani will also be fresh and raring to go after aninjury-disrupted season, while Hugo Almeida has a highly respectable scoringrecord at this level.Although Portugal were beaten to top spot by Denmark in their qualifyinggroup, they should be more effective in a tournament format and the surprise1992 European champions look to be the makeweights in this pool.Germany do not look to be firing on all cylinders heading into the againstJoachim Low’s side, it will put them in great shape to qualify if they can thenbeat Denmark.’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 13
  15. 15. Euro 2012 Group C betting tips: Republic of Ireland poised for early exitRepublic of Ireland are set for an early return home from Euro 2012 and It’s sure to be a terrific adventure for the green army making their way tolook a good value bet to finish bottom of Group C says Bettingpro’s Jon Poznan, but a couple of draws looks the maximum the Republic can expectWilde. and on that basis it will only be enough for fourth spot in the group.Sorry Irish fans, it hurts to write this but the 5/6 with Ladbrokes about your Recommendation: Republic of Ireland to finish bottom (5/6 Ladbrokes)country propping up the group table is a price that must be taken.The draw has not been kind to Giovanni Trapattoni’s side, who had to comethrough the play-offs to book their place in Poland. Jon WildeDefending and world champions Spain are worthy favourites to make it a hat-trick of big tournament successes, while Italy, although perhaps not as strongas in previous years, still have the quality to reach the latter stages.Those two should be the qualifiers, but if there is to be an upset it’s far morelikely that Croatia will provide it rather than the Republic.Slaven Bilic has been in charge of his country for a long time and knows hisplayers inside out, and Croatia are an adept tournament side who, with LukaModric pulling the strings, generally achieve more than the sum of their Text  ‘MAX’  to  86131  for  £75  in  free  bets  from  Ladbrokesindividual parts.The Irish camp has had a slightly troubled build-up with injuries affectingTrapattoni’s selection process and Kevin Foley expressing his disgruntlement atbeing left out of the final 23. Or  scan  this  QR  code  to  bet  on   Ireland  to  finish  bofom  of  the  If Ireland fail to take anything from their opener against Croatia, they will be group  –  Ladbrokes.left playing catch-up with the two toughest games to come and while much isbeing made of their good record against the Italians, it will be a huge ask toclaim four points off two European giants.The Irish squad generally lacks the quality of most of their Euro 2012 rivalswith Championship players having to fill the breach for injured colleagues,even though Robbie Keane, Shay Given and Aiden McGeady are certainly ofthe required class.’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 14
  16. 16. Euro 2012 Group D betting tips: Co-hosts Ukraine to prop up tableBettingpro writer Jon Wilde thinks that Ukraine are set to disappoint missing the first two games due to suspension.their legions of fans who have waited to see them co-host Euro 2012 byfinishing bottom of Group D. Sweden are an effective tournament side who have a knack of grinding out results in this sort of format and while the Scandinavians are probably notThe nation that’s staging the tournament jointly with Poland are 11/5 with quite good enough to go through, they should have a bit too much nous tobet365 to be bottom of the pile at the end of the six group fixtures and that ensure they finish third ahead of the Ukraine.looks a price well worth taking. Recommendation: Ukraine to finish bottom (11/5 bet365)Oleg Blokhin’s side look capable of scoring goals and although AndriyShevchenko and Andriy Voronin are into the veteran stage now, AndriyYarmolenko is a young talent about whom much will be heard from theEuropean Championship onwards. Jon WildeStraggly-haired Bayern Munich midfielder Anatoly Tymoschuk will harnessthings in the centre of the pitch, but it’s in defence where the Ukraine areexpected to come unstuck.In particular, Blokhin has had terrible problems finding a first-choicegoalkeeper as three contenders have dropped out of the running for varyingreasons – two because of injury and another having been suspended for usinga banned diuretic.Andriy Pyatov of Shakhtar Donetsk is likely to take over, but the situation isfar from ideal especially with the Ukraine having a back line that contains fewfamiliar names.Key to the Ukraine’s prospects of putting on an impressive performance willbe their first match against Sweden, to whom they lost the last time they playedin a home friendly last August.With France and England looking the strongest sides in the group, the Ukrainecannot bank on taking much from those two matches even though they willhave home advantage.The French look a much more cohesive unit this time under Laurent Blancafter the meltdown in South Africa, while England will have Wayne Rooneyback for their final match against the Ukraine, fresh and up for it after’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 15
  17. 17. Patriotic PuntingCan England win Euro 2012? We present the case for and against!England are the fourth favourites to win Euro and France. It appears as though the team are better than Fabio Capello’s side and the fact that Sweden and2012, although our writers disagree as to whether suited to playing away from Wembley, so matches in Czech Republic both qualified for the tournamentFabio Capello’s team can claim victory Donetsk and Kiev shouldn’t pose too many problems, proper bears this out. especially as the above teams won’t set out their stall toWe’re now counting down the months until the start of defend. Capello has now gone and in his place is Roy HodgsonEuro 2012, with sixteen teams competing in Poland but it is neither revolution nor evolution under theand Ukraine in a bid to be crowned champions of Rooney will miss the opening two matches of the former West Brom manager. John Terry his place inEurope. tournament although Andy Carroll, Jermain Defoe and the side despite some mediocre performances, Frank Danny Welbeck should provide enough attacking Lampard continues to play in central midfield andOne of those teams is England, a side that have not quality, while England are blessed with lots of midfield Wayne Rooney forms essentially a one man, goal-lesswon a major tournament since 1966 and their 2010 options including Scott Parker, Steven Gerrard, Ashley attack. Steven Gerrard will, undoubtedly, return to theWorld Cup campaign was a disaster which saw them Young and Theo Walcott. fold in the summer and England will line-up at Eurocrash out to Germany at the last sixteen stage. 2012 with a virtually identical side that crashed out of The recent 1-0 friendly victory over Spain despite the 2010 World Cup.So the big question is – can the Three Lions possibly having several first-team players out illustrates that theywin Euro 2012 or do they stand next to no chance have a winning mentality at the moment and the There appear to have been no lessons learned fromconsidering teams like Spain, Germany and the players will have learnt a lot from that dreadful 2010 that tournament and the 1-0 win over Spain illustratedNetherlands stand in their way? World Cup campaign. this fact. Here was a chance to take on the world champions at Wembley and give them something toTwo of our writers argue the case for and against an Yes, Spain are going to play pretty football and worry about but England sat back, were completelyEngland triumph. Germany will be quick and powerful, although out-played, and scored a lucky goal on the break. The England are surely in with a chance considering they Three Lions won but it will be Spain who will go intoYES – ENGLAND CAN WIN EURO 2012 will potentially play Italy or Croatia in the quarter final, any re-match with confidence.(Matthew Glazier) something that will hold little fear for the Three Lions. Similarly, England cannot be comfortable facingFirstly, I am not an England supporter so this isn’t a NO - ENGLAND CANNOT WIN EURO 2012 France in Polkraine, having been comprehensively out-case of misguided patriotism. And yes, I did watch the (Neil Roarty) passed by Laurent Blanc’s side in a friendly at Wembley2010 World Cup where Fabio Capello’s team produced and everyone knows what happened the last time theythree mediocre performances in the group stage before England qualified comfortably for Euro 2012 finishing took on Germany. There are three or four teams ata right old thumping at the hands of Germany. unbeaten in Group G with just six points dropped in Euro 2012 who are better at football than England and eight matches. That will have the Three Lions show it time and again. That will be the case onceHowever, there was nothing mediocre about the way supporters out in force, claiming that this is the year more this summer.that England won in Wales, Bulgaria and Switzerland that they end ’46 years of hurt’ in ‘Polkraine’.en route to qualifying for Euro 2012 and they would Matthew Glazier & Neil Roartyhave also comfortably won in Montenegro if Wayne However, England were not impressive in qualificationRooney hadn’t lost his head. and showed nothing like the style and verve shown by Spain, Germany or Netherlands, who all averaged over Ladbrokes  are  refunding  Euro  2012  betsEngland have been handed a relatively easy draw on three goals a game compared to England’s two. It if  England  win  the  tournament.  Bet  herepaper, with Group D also including Sweden, Ukraine could be argued that all three had more difficult groups’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 16
  18. 18. 10 Reasons Why England Can Win Euro 2012The countdown to Euro 2012 has begun in earnest go on and become of Englands greatest keepers of all squad and the managers decision will be welcomednow that Roy Hodgson has been given the task of time and his day-to-day practice with the likes of with great relief in the dressing room. The relationshipleading England into battle this summer. Sergio Agüero, David Silva and Mario Balotelli can between Terry and Ferdinand looks incurable and the only make him stronger. tension in the England camp could buckle under theEnglands preparation has been typically baffling and strain of their feud. On his day Terry is a superbthe media circus that follows the team is in full swing, 4 - Spain can be beaten! centre-back and nobody can fault his effort.but writer Nick Wilby believes thereare ten good reasons to believe that Hodgsons lions Chelseas incredible victory over Barcelona and Bayern 8 - Important players in formwill be roaring at this years tournament. Munichs success over Real Madrid will have the leading contenders at Euro 2012 purring with For once there looks to be a number of Englands1 - Roy Hodgson excitement as Spain look to win their third major leading names in fine form and it isnt just Wayne tournament on the bounce. They are undoubtedly the Rooney and Joe Hart that are buzzing ahead of theHarry Redknapp might have been the nations first most formidable team on the way to Ukraine and Euros. Frank Lampard has looked back to his best atchoice when the England managers job became Poland, but Chelsea showed that Spain can be the centre of Chelseas siege for silverware, John Terryavailable, but Roy Hodgson was arguably the safest conquered and if England do meet them then it is far remains world class on his day, Ashley Cole still lookschoice and in appointing him manager they have from being all doom and gloom. like one of the best left backs in the game and thereinstalled one of footballs shrewdest thinkers. Hodgson are a whole host of players upping their game as theis vastly experienced having worked for no less than 16 5 - England doesnt expect season reaches its climax. Even Andy Carroll isteams in eight countries and he is revered at some of beginning to look unplayable!Europes biggest clubs. He might not be the motivator Its hard to remember England heading to a majorthat Redknapp would have been, but he is tactically tournament with so little expectation and whereas the 9 - A case for the defenceastute and hell be leaving no stone unturned this June. media have unscrewed the English wheels in the past, this year it seems it is very much a case of building for Roy Hodgson is one of the most organised managers2 - A fresh Wayne Rooney the future. Germany proved two years ago that the in English football and his impressive CV has been right blend of youth and experience can lead to great built on methodical tactics and successful back fours.Despite his dejected display in South Africa, Wayne things and if England do use this tournament as a These major tournaments are more often than not veryRooney is still Englands most important player and stepping stone to the 2014 World Cup, who is to say tight affairs and there wont be too many goalsthere are no grounds for supposing England can we wont surprise ourselves? between winning and losing. Luckily, England will havelaunch a serious challenge at Euro 2012 without their a fantastic goalkeeper, a well organised back four andmost precious talent. Having the superstar available for 6 - The younger lions set to make their mark one of the best holding midfielders in the Premierone group game could be the difference between League in the shape of Scott Parker if we do need toprogressing and flying home early and if we do go It always seems to be the case that there is one exciting park the bus.through, we know weve got a striker playing at the top player trying to dribble their way into the Englandof his game. His club form has been mesmerising at squad at these tournaments, but this year we seem to 10 - The travelling England fanstimes and he doesnt look to be carrying the injuries have a whole host of ultra-talented youngsters thatthat plagued him two years ago. could make an impact this summer. Alex Oxlade- Englands travelling fans are without doubt the best in Chamberlain has looked every bit the real deal at the world and despite the vast expense and long3 - Joe Hart Arsenal and Danny Wellbeck continues to flourish in a distances involved, we can be sure that thousands of Manchester United shirt. The future is certainly bright, supporters will be making the trip to Ukraine andFinally England has a world-class goalkeeper in its but the present is equally as exciting. Poland this summer. Englands enthusiasm is moresquad and you get the feeling Joe Hart will be very than a match for any of their rivals and they wont bebusy if we are going to get to the final in Kiev. Hart 7 - Keeping John Terry and Rio Ferdinand apart fighting against the sound of the vuvuzela this timehas been in fantastic form this season and he has around. The England players will feel close to homeexcelled in between the sticks at one of the biggest Hodgson has resisted the temptation to pick John when the fans flock to Donetsk for their clash withclubs in Europe. He looks to have all the attributes to Terry and Rio Ferdinand in this months England France. Nick Wilby’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 17
  19. 19. 5 reasons why Republic of Ireland can shock Euro 2012Republic of Ireland are being written off by most achievement when you consider that run contained the exceptional Spanish squad have played over 50 gamespundits but writer likes of Russia, Italy and Croatia. Trapattoni will start already this season. Italy come into the tournamentRaymond Doyle thinks that there are several reasons to with Shay Given in goals, John O’Shea, Richard with yet another match-fixing scandal hanging oversuggest that the Boys in Green can cause a shock at Dunne, Sean St Ledger and Stephen Ward as his back them and the days of Totti, Del Piero and Maldini areEuro 2012. goals, John O’Shea, Richard Dunne, Sean St Ledger with yet another match-fixing scandal hanging over and Stephen Ward as his back four (baring injuries). them and the days of Totti, Del Piero and Maldini areStyle of Play Dunne has been inspirational for the Irish in this long gone. This Irish side contained Croatia to veryLove it or hate it…..and many Irish fans hate it….the qualifying campaign (see Russia away – to name just little when they meet last August in the Aviva Stadiumstyle of football under Mr. Giovanni Trapattoni is one of his many world class performances) and St so Trapattoni’s men will have the belief that they candull…very dull. However, it is absolutely ideal for Ledger always seems to play his best football at cause an football. This isn’t Premier League international level. John O’Shea has always beenfootball taking place in Poland and Ukraine over the superb when wearing the green jersey and Ward has On a wing and a prayernext month. It’s boring, disciplined, do not lose impressed since taking over from Kevin Kilbane at left We have talked about how Trapattoni will play hisfootball. I mentioned this before when talking about back. We won’t concede many in Poland so it over to traditional, rigid 4-4-2 but the one outlet the Irish doEngland under Roy Hodgson - When Spain won the the next man to get us out of the group. have are three wingers in great form with aWorld Cup in 2010 their results were as follows: 0-1, genuine ability to change a game. Last Saturday, Aidan2-0, 2-1, 1-0, 1-0, 1-0. Not exactly a goal a minute Robbie Keane as Mustard McGeady showed his vitally important he is to thisgames – but that’s what it takes. They say there are only To watch him sometimes in a half empty Aviva Irish side. He may drive some fans mad with histwo certainties in life – death and taxes – well you can stadium, you do wonder how on earth Robbie Keane occasional poor shot selection but he has many stringsadd the fact that Trapattoni will play two banks of four has so many international goals. For 89 minutes of a to his bow to keep the very best fullback tied up inwith two holding midfield players and two out and out game the terms ‘headless’ and ‘chicken’ get mentioned knots. On the other side, Damian Duff has been therewingers to that list. His philosophy is very simple – from the stands on more than one occasion but come and done that in his Irish career. He is also coming offhere we are, now come and beat us! Many critics have that minute when it counts, Robbie is there more times the back of a good seasoncalled for the likes of James McCarthy and Seamus than not. 53 international goals in 116 games is with Fulham and his understanding with Keane will beColeman to be giving starting roles but Trap trusts the nothing short of incredible. He will of course start up crucial. The one joker in the Irish pack is Jamesplayers like Glenn Whelan and Keith Andrews and front for all three games but his partner will be key. It McClean. The Sunderland winger has been the talk ofknows what he is going to get from them day in day Irish football for the past six months after his eye-out. No variables. The Italian knows how to play looks like Trapattoni will go with Kevin Doyle to start catching performances under Martin O’Neill. I was ininternational football. In his time as Italy manager – the tournament but Trap has a history of dropping the Aviva Stadium when McClean finally made Irishalthough disappointing at major events – was Doyle if he is not producing so don’t be surprised to debut last February and judging by the crowd’s reactionimpressive with only seven defeats in 44 games. Last see Shane Long or Jonathan Walters get the nod for you would be forgiven for thinking it was Lionel MessiSaturday’s 1-0 win over Bosnia was Ireland’s 13th game the Spanish or Italy game. Keane may infuriate you at taking to the pitch. He won’t start against Croatia butwithout defeat. Not a bad run heading into Poznan. times but we wouldn’t change him (and his lovely expect him to make an impact coming off the bench. tumble roll celebration) for anything in the world!!Case for the DefenceSpain will always be remembered for winning the 2010 Opposition in Group C Raymond DoyleWorld Cup through exceptional passing football with On paper you would think I’ve lost it thinking Irelandthe like of Xavi and Iniesta pulling strings and David can beat current defending World Cup and EuropeanVilla scoring for fun. The reality of it was more down Champions Spain, 2006 World Cup winners Italy, and a Text  ‘MAX’  to  51500  for  an  instant  to a tremendous defence. We have looked at Spain’s Croatian side full of top class players. But football isdefensive record in that tournament – now look at played on grass not paper! Spain come into the €/£  50  free  bet  from  Boylesports.Ireland’s record. In their last 14 games (qualifiers, play- tournament with NINE of their squad having justoffs and friendlies) Ireland have keep 10 clean sheets – played in the Copa Del Rey final between FC (Irish  &  UK  Mobiles)including eight consecutive shutouts. A phenomenal Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao. Many of this’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 18
  20. 20. 7 Best Bets at Euro 2012Euro 2012 is just around the corner and many of us 3. No Chelsea goalscorer at Euro 2012 @ 9/1 with 7. Group B to be lowest-scoring group @ 4/1 @will be placing a bet on Spain, Germany or even Ladbrokes BetVictorEngland to win this summer. writerMatthew Glazier gives us an expert view of the We have thought long and hard about placing this bet, There is no statistical evidence to suggest Group AEuropean Championship. although Juan Mata and Fernando Torres aren’t (the favourite on this market) will have the fewest goals definite starters for Spain and the same applies to and the chances are we will have low-scoring gamesThe England squad for Euro 2012 has now been Frank Lampard for England. Sure enough, we’re just a across all four groups. Portugal and the Netherlandsfinalised and there will be the usual swell of patriotic goal away from disaster with this wager, although were very negative at the 2010 World Cup and won’t bemoney for the Three Lions to win a major tournament, Malouda, Meireles, Terry and Cahill are all likely to any more expansive against Germany, while Denmarkespecially if Roy Hodgson’s team beat Belgium when draw blanks. will also offer stubborn resistance to all three of theirthe two teams meet at Wembley on Saturday. opponents. 4. England to be eliminated by Italy @ 9/1 @For those that bet with our head rather than lion heart, bet365England never represent a value proposition, althoughthe bookmakers have created lots of betting markets If England make it out of Group D, they will play a Matthew Glazierand I’ve found a few gems which will hopefully make team from Group C which features Spain, Italy, Croatiasome money. and Republic of Ireland. Spain are 10/3 compared to the 9/1 about Italy and that doesn’t make sense considering the Three Lions are joint-favourites to win1. No Tottenham Hotspur goalscorer at Euro 2012 their section.@ 9/4 with Stan JamesThis isn’t me having a pop at Tottenham but merely 5. Karim Benzema to be top France scorer @ 3/1pointing out that 9/4 is too big considering that Rafael @ William Hillvan der Vaart is favourite for this market. JermainDefoe will be lucky to get on the pitch and the OK, so the Real Madrid striker misses his fair share ofCroatian pair of Modric and Kranjcar will be facing chances at club level, although Benzema is a nailed-onSpain and Italy. pick for Les Bleus and should provide the cutting-edge Text  ‘MAX’  for    Mobile  Free  Bets: in attack. The likes of Jérémy Ménez, Olivier Giroud and Mathieu Valbuena are inexperienced at2. Russia to reach semi-finals @ 3/1 @ Blue international level so Karim should be a cracker here!Square •  to  86131  for  £75  free  –  LadbrokesI actually quite fancy the Russians at 25/1 on the 6. Robbie Keane v Andy Carroll goals match bet – •  to  89660  for  £50  free  –  Be_redoutright market although we can be more confident of draw @ 15/8 with Ladbrokes •  to  80010  for  £50  free  –  Spor;ngbeta winning bet by backing Dick Advocaat’s team toreach the last four of Euro 2012. Group A opponents The odds about this happening might be slashed but •  to  51500  for  £50  free  –  BoylesportsPoland, Czech Republic and Greece shouldn’t provide anything above 6/4 looks like a great shout when youmuch of an obstacle and potential last eight opponents consider Carroll might only start one match forNetherlands were undone by Russia at Euro 2008. England and also the fact that the Liverpool forward (UK  mobiles  only) isn’t exactly prolific. While we’re banking on both players to draw a blank, they could easily get one apiece instead and that would also be a winner.’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 19
  21. 21. Neil’s Top 3 Bets at Euro 2012Bettingpro writer Neil Roarty has identified his three best bets at Euro this summer. This gives Gomez every chance of being the top2012 with one tip on the outright market, one on the top goalscorer goalscorer this summer and he is a solid pick at the odds, particularlymarket and one group bet. with ¼ odds for a top four finish.Netherlands to win Euro 2012 – 15/2 Coral France to win Group D – 2/1 Paddy PowerThe first of our tips for Euro 2012 is to back Netherlands to win the The third of our tips for Euro 2012 comes in the Group Winner markettournament, at odds of 15/2 with Coral. The Dutch were beaten finalists and centres around England’s group. The Three Lions are the 6/4at the 2010 World Cup but bounced back in style in qualifying for favourites to win Group D but our tip for Euro 2012 Group D is to‘Polkraine’ with some impressive wins in a tough section. They play back France, at 2/1 with Paddy Power. Les Bleus are a very strong sideopen, attacking football and the attacking quintet of Rafael Van Der under Laurent Blanc and play some excellent open, expansive football,Vaart, Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben, Robin Van Persie and Klaas Jan which should see them comfortably beat both Sweden and Ukraine.Huntelaar is arguably the finest in world football. They would also expect to beat England in the group opener as they won a recent friendly between the two sides and England will beThe Dutch do have to negotiate a difficult group, containing Germany, hampered by the suspension of Wayne Rooney. The odds look thePortugal and Denmark but if they can survive an opening match with wrong way around in Group D and our tip is to take advantage.the Germans then I would imagine that they will be fairly confidentagainst any other team in the competition. Neil RoartyMario Gomez to be Top Goalscorer – 9/1 Paddy PowerThe second of our tips for Euro 2012 is to bet on Mario Gomez to bethe tournament’s top goalscorer, at odds of 9/1 with Paddy Power. Thismay seem like a rather obvious pick as Gomez is one of the names at thehead of the market but the reason he is there is because he is one of themost likely top scorers. The Germany international will play as the focalpoint of an attack featuring club mates Thomas Muller, BastianSchweinsteiger and Toni Kroos and so the understanding amongst theforwards will be fantastic. Gomez plays this role for Bayern Munich andhe is currently the top scorer in a very high scoring Bundesliga and healso finished as top scorer in the Champions League. Germany are likelyto reach at least the semi finals of the tournament, which means that the26-year-old should play in the maximum number of matches possible’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 20
  22. 22. Poland Best Finish at European Championships: Group Stage (2008) FIFA Ranking 65 Group A Odds to win Euro 2012 - 50/1 Boylesports • PolandHost nation Poland will be relishing their role for Euro 2012 but, as the lowest • Greeceranked team, they may not last long as competitors. The Poles have been drawn • Russia • Czech Republicin Group A alongside Greece, Russia and the Czech Republic, and it will be atough task for them to progress to the knockout stage of this competition. Fixtures at Euro 2012How They Qualified Friday June 8 Warsaw: Poland v Greece (17:00)Poland automatically qualified for this competition because they are co-hosts. Tuesday June 12Therefore it has been two years since they played in a competitive match and Warsaw: Poland v Russia (19:45)that will make it difficult to judge just where they stand among the supposedbest 16 international teams in European football. Poland have played a host of Saturday June 16 Wroclaw: Czech Republic v Poland (19:45)friendly games with mixed results. They did play group opponents Greece in afriendly back in March 2011, and that match ended in a goalless draw. Form: D,D,W,L,W,W,D,W,WManager Top Goalscorer in Qualifying: N/AFranciszek Smuda succeeded Leo Beenhakker after Poland failed to reach the2010 World Cup, finishing fifth in their six-team qualifying group. Since thenSmuda, who enjoyed successful spells as manager of Wisla Krakow and LechPoznan, has been building a youthful squad that has shown some signs ofpromise. They held Germany to a 2-2 draw when they met in a friendly lastSeptember, with Cacau’s last-gasp strike denying Smuda’s men the victory.Star PlayersThe Poland squad is likely to feature names some familiar names in WojciechSzczesny and Jakub Blaszczykowski, but the star of this show is undoubtedlyBorussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski. The 23-year-old played a keyrole as Dortmund romped to the 2010/11 Bundesliga title in spectacularfashion, and his goalscoring ratio for the national team is very respectable.Lewandowski has netted 13 times in 39 appearances for Poland and thepressure is on for him to add to that tally in front of his fellow countrymen.’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 21
  23. 23. Euro 2012 Squad Bettingpro VerdictGoalkeepers: Grzegorz Sandomierski (Jagiellonia Bialystok), Wojciech Hosts tend to do well at European Championships but, even in a fairly weakSzczesny (Arsenal), Przemyslaw Tyton (PSV Eindhoven) group, it will take a monumental effort for Poland to get past the group stage.Defenders: Sebastian Boenisch (Werder Breman), Marcin Kaminski (LechPoznan), Damien Perquis (Sochaux), Lukasz Piszczek (Borussia Dortmund),Marcin Wasilewski (Anderlecht), Jakub Wawrzyniak (Legia Warsaw), GrzegorzWojtkowiak (Lech Poznan).Midfielders: Jakub Blaszczykowski (Borussia Dortmund), Dariusz Dudka(Auxerre), Kamil Grosicki (Sivasspor), Adam Matuszczyk (FortunaDusseldorf), Adrian Mierzejewski (Trabzonspor), Rafal Murawski (LechPoznan), Ludovic Obraniak (Bordeaux), Eugen Polanski (FSV Mainz), MaciejRybus (Terek Grozny), Rafal Wolski (Legia Warsaw).Forwards: Pawel Brozek (Celtic), Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund),Artur Sobiech (Hannover 96).Expected Starting TeamSzczeny, Perquis, Boenisch, Piszczek,Wasilewski, Obraniak, Blaszczykowski,Murawski, Polanski, Rybus, LewandowskiCaptain: Jakub BlaszczykowskiPenalty Taker: Robert LewandowskiTop Team Goalscorer TipsThere’s only really one contender in this market, Robert Lewandowski. TheBorussia Dortmund striker has had a fantastic season in the Bundesliga,scoring crucial goals against Bayern Munich in the league and the cup final.The 23-year-old also netted the goal that sealed the title for Die Schwarzgelbenand much of his country’s fate this summer will rest on his young shoulders.Lewandowski is 15/8 at Coral to be the top scorer for Poland at Euro 2012and that ranks as one of the best bets of the tournament.’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 22
  24. 24. Greece Best Finish at European Championships: Winner (2004) FIFA Ranking 14 Group A Odds to win Euro 2012 - 100/1 Sporting Bet • PolandGreece shocked the whole of football when they won the European • GreeceChampionship back in 2004, but a repeat of that feat is almost unimaginable. • Russia • Czech RepublicGreece have been drawn alongside Poland, Russia and the Czech Republic inGroup A and the bookmakers have made them outsiders to come out on top. Fixtures at Euro 2012How They Qualified Friday June 8 Warsaw: Poland v Greece (17:00)Their progress to Euro 2012 was hardly spectacular, but Greece did manage to Tuesday June 12complete their qualifying campaign with an unbeaten record. They started Wroclaw: Greece v Czech Republic (17:00)slowly with draws against Georgia and Croatia before embarking on a five-game winning run that put them in a strong position to reach this tournament. Saturday June 16 Warsaw: Greece v Russia (19:45)A draw against Latvia sent the Greeks into their showdown with Croatia Form: D,W,D,W,W,D,L,D,Dknowing that a victory would all-but ensure their progress, and they dulydelivered on home soil. Georgios Samaras and Theofanis Gekas were on target Top Goalscorer in Qualifying: Giannis Fetfatzidis, Kyriakos Papadopoulos,in a 2-0 win for Greece and they then closed out the campaign with a 2-1 win Vassilis Torossidis (2 Goals)over Georgia. It is worth noting that Greece were in fact the lowest scoringteam to reach Euro 2012 having netted just 14 goals.ManagerFormer FC Porto and AEK Athens boss Fernando Santos enjoyed a successfulclub career before replacing Otto Rehhagel back in 2010. Santos was handedthe reins following Greece’s poor showing at the 2010 World Cup in whichthey scored just twice as they bowed out at the group stage. The Portuguesehas enjoyed some success already by leading them to Euro 2012 with anunbeaten record, but it remains to be seen if he has a team that can progress inthis championship.Star Players21-year-old Sotiros Ninis, who saw little playing time at the 2010 World Cup,played a starring role for the Greeks in qualifying until he damaged cruciateknee ligaments during a match against Israel. While Greece did go on to reachthis competition without him, they missed his creativity.’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 23
  25. 25. The Panathinaikos man returned to action in March and the theory is that he That someone probably won’t be Celtic striker Georgos Samaras, who haswill be well rested and ready to guide his country to another successful never convinced as a goalscorer and will play as a left winger. Theofansi GekasEuropean Championships. If Ninis isn’t up to the task then it will fall to the makes appeal at 6/1 with Bet365 but it might be worth taking a chance ontrusty old midfield pair of Kostas Katsouranis and Giorgos Karagounis to try Papdaopoulos at a massive 28/1 with Bet Victor.and win matches for Greece. The Schalke defender may only have 8 caps for his country but he has scoredEuro 2012 Squad three goals and, with much of Greece’s attack likely to based on set-pieces, he could be the value bet, particularly as one goal could be enough to see himGoalkeepers: Kostas Chalkias (PAOK FC), Michalis Sifakis (Aris Thessaloniki finish at least joint top scorer for his country.FC), Alexandros Tzorvas (US Città di Palermo). Bettingpro VerdictDefenders: Vassilis Torossidis (Olympiacos FC), Kyriakos Papadopoulos (FCSchalke 04), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (SV Werder Bremen), Avraam The longest priced team at Euro 2012 but can’t be completely written off.Papadopoulos (Olympiacos FC), José Holebas (Olympiacos FC), Giorgos Much will depend on their opening match with Poland. If they lose that they’reTzavellas (AS Monaco FC), Stelios Malezas (PAOK FC). going home early. The Schalke defender may only have 8 caps for his country but he has scored three goals and, with much of Greece’s attack likely to basedMidfielders: Kostas Katsouranis (Panathinaikos FC), Giorgos Karagounis on set-pieces, he could be the value bet, particularly as one goal could be(Panathinaikos FC), Giannis Maniatis (Olympiacos FC), Giorgos Fotakis enough to see him finish at least joint top scorer for his country.(PAOK FC), Grigoris Makos (AEK Athens FC), Giannis Fetfatzidis(Olympiacos FC), Sotiris Ninis (Panathinaikos FC), Kostas Fortounis (1. FCKaiserslautern).Forwards: Dimitris Salpingidis (PAOK FC), Giorgos Samaras (Celtic FC),Fanis Gekas (Samsunspor), Nikos Liberopoulos (AEK Athens FC), KostasMitroglou (Atromitos FC).Expected Starting TeamChalkias, Torssidis, Papasthopoulos, K Papadopoulos, Holebas, Katsouranis,Karagounis, Maniatis, Ninis, Samaras, GekasCaptain: Giorgos KaragounisPenalty Taker: Giorgos KaragounisTop Team Goalscorer TipsGreece scored just 14 goals in qualifying with defenders KyriakosPapadopoulos and Vassilis Torossidis joint top scorers on a mighty two goalsso it’s hardly an inspiring market. That said, Greece are going to have to scoreat some point as they have an easy enough group so someone will find the netfor Fernando Santos’s side.’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 24
  26. 26. Russia Best Finish at European Championships: Winner (1960) FIFA Ranking 11 Group A Odds to win Euro 2012 - 22/1 Sky Bet • PolandRussia enjoyed a run to the semi-finals in the 2008 edition of the European • GreeceChampionship, but it will take some effort from Dick Advocaat’s men to repeat • Russia • Czech Republicthat achievement in Poland and Ukraine. They have been drawn in Group Aalongside Poland, Greece and the Czech Republic, and they are expected to Fixtures at Euro 2012progress from the group stage. However, their run may not last much longerafter that. Friday June 8 Wroclaw: Russia v Czech Republic (19:45)How They Qualified Tuesday June 12 Warsaw: Poland v Russia (19:45)Russia came out on top in their qualifying group after overcoming an earlysetback. Having opened with a win over Andorra, the Russians crashed to a Saturday June 16 Warsaw: Greece v Russia (19:45)home defeat at the hands of Slovakia. However, they responded in positivefashion with wins in the Republic of Ireland and Macedona before they Form: W,D,W,W,D,W,D,D,Wclaimed a point in Armenia. Wins over Armenia and Macedonia followedbefore they were held to a goalless draw by the Irish in a match they Top Goalscorer in Qualifying: Roman Pavlyuchenko, Alan Dzagoev (4 Goals)dominated. But they closed out their qualifying campaign with wins overSlovakia and Andorra and that was enough to secure their automaticprogression to Euro 2012.ManagerDick Advocaat is a familiar name throughout football having tasted success ina host of different countries, including his native Holland, Scotland and Russia.“The Little General” also guided unfancied Zenit St Petersburg to UEFA Cupglory back in 2007 when they beat his former employers Rangers in the final.Advocaat has also previously managed at international level, guiding Holland tothe 1994 World Cup quarter-finals and Euro 2004 semi-finals during two spellsin charge. The former South Korea and Belgium boss took over from GuusHiddink as Russia coach back in May 2010, and he has enjoyed a successfulstart by leading them to Euro 2012.Star PlayersFormer Tottenham Hotspur forward Roman Pavlyuchenko will provide’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 25
  27. 27. Russia’s goal threat at Euro 2012. The 30-year-old burst onto the international Top Team Goalscorer Tipsstage when he netted three times during Euro 2008 and although he struggledin England, his ability cannot be questioned and he is now leading the line for Russia could well prove to be the dark horses at Euro 2012 and that is due toLokomotiv Moscow. The striker netted four times during Russia’s qualifying the massive goal threat contained within Dick Advocaat’s squad. Romancampaign and is expected to be the focal point of his side’s attack at Euo 2012. Shirokov, Andrei Arshavin, Alan Dzagoev, Alexander Kerzakhov, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Pavel Pogrebnyak are all capable of scoring but the problemPavlyuchenko will be ably supported by Alan Dzagoev, who has made a name for punters is that they can’t all play at the same time.for himself in the past 12 months. The 21-year-old CSKA Moscow midfielderscored four goals in eight appearances in qualifying and, having been named Kerzakhov and Pavlyuchenko look like the preferred pairing in attack and thatthe Russian Premier League’s best young player, will be looking to make an is why they head the top Russian scorer market at 5/1 and 6/1 respectivelyimpact on the big international stage. with Betfred although the value possibly lies with young attacking midfielder Alan Dzagoev. The 21-year-old finished joint top scorer in qualifying and,Euro 2012 Squad crucially, his four goals came in four different matches, which indicates he is capable of goals against a multitude of opponents. He is 12/1 at bet365 toGoalkeepers: Igor Akinfeyev (CSKA Moscow), Vyacheslav Malafeyev (Zenit finish top scorer for Russia and, at the odds, he looks to be the value pick.St Petersburg), Anton Shunin (Dynamo Moscow) Bettingpro VerdictDefenders: Alexander Anyukov (Zenit St Petersburg), Alexei Berezutsky(CSKA Moscow), Sergei Ignashevich (CSKA Moscow), Roman Sharonov Russia should cruise through Group A although they could struggle against(Rubin Kazan), Vladimir Granat (Dynamo Moscow), Yuri Zhirkov (Anzhi either Netherlands or Germany in the quarter finals. Although with a little luckMakhachkala), Kirill Nababkin (CSKA Moscow) they could go very far.Midfielders: Igor Denisov (Zenit St Petersburg), Roman Shirokov (Zenit StPetersburg), Konstantin Zyryanov (Zenit St Petersburg), Alan Dzagoev (CSKAMoscow), Igor Semshov (Dynamo Moscow), Denis Glushakov (LokomotivMoscow), Marat Izmailov (Sporting), Dmitry Kombarov (Spartak Moscow),Alexander Kokorin (Dynamo Moscow)Forwards: Andrei Arshavin (Zenit St Petersburg), Alexander Kerzhakov (ZenitSt Petersburg), Roman Pavlyuchenko (Lokomotiv Moscow), Pavel Pogrebnyak(Fulham).Expected Starting TeamAkinfeyev, Ignashevich, Anyukov, Beretzutsky, Zhirkov, Denisov, Shirokov,Semshov, Arshavin, Dzagoev, PavlyuchenkoCaptain: Andrei Arshavin’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 26