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Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
Euro 2012 betting guide
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Euro 2012 betting guide

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Download your free copy of the 2012 Euro Betting Guide from Bettingpro.com Experts.

Download your free copy of the 2012 Euro Betting Guide from Bettingpro.com Experts.

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  • 1. The European Championship 2012Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 ChampionshipJune 2012
  • 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 53Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 1
  • 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 Bettingpro.com’s team of writers have analysed every Bettingpro.com 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 selections.Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 2
  • 4. Fixtures - Group StagesBettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 3
  • 5. Fixtures - Knockout PhaseBettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 4
  • 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 Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 5
  • 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 Bettingpro.com.far 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 Bettingpro.com, 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 Bettingpro.com. You can also claim a £40 free bet with Boylesports byNew customers can qualify for an exclusive £100 in texting MAX to 51500.free bets when they open a BetVictor account throughBettingpro.com 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 offer.free bet on Euro 2012. Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 6
  • 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  bet365.com  -­‐  Bet  hereFranck Ribery to get forward in support of Karim Benzema. £/€250  in  free  bets  from  Paddy  Power  -­‐  Claim  here Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 7
  • 9. Euro 2012 Betting Tips - Don’t Doubt the DutchBettingpro.com 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 Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 8
  • 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. Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 9
  • 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 Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 10
  • 12. Euro 2012 Group Betting TipsBettingpro.com 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 Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 11
  • 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. Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 12
  • 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. Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 13
  • 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. Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 14
  • 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 Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 15
  • 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 Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 16
  • 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 Bettingpro.com 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 Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 17
  • 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 European-Championship.com 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 upset.international 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 Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 18
  • 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. Bettingpro.com 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. Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 19
  • 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 Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 20
  • 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. Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 21
  • 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. Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 22
  • 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. Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 23
  • 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. Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 24
  • 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 Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 25
  • 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 Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 26
  • 28. Czech Republic Best Finish at European Championships: Winner (1976) FIFA Ranking 28 Group A Odds to win Euro 2012 - 80/1 Sky Bet • PolandThe Czech Republic needed the play-offs to book their place in Euro 2012, but • Greecetheir stay may not last long. This Czech side is a shadow of the ones that made • Russia • Czech Republicsuch an impact in the mid-nineties with star names like Patrik Berger and KarelPoborsky. They have been drawn alongside Poland, Greece and Russia in Fixtures at Euro 2012 Group A and could advance to the knockout stage, but that is likely to be asgood as it gets. Friday June 8 Wroclaw: Russia v Czech Republic (19:45)How They Qualified Tuesday June 12 Wroclaw: Greece v Czech Republic (17:00)The Czech Republic finished second in their qualifying group behind Worldand European champions Spain, edging out Scotland during the final few Saturday June 16fixtures. Wroclaw: Czech Republic v Poland (19:45) Form: D, L, D, W, L, W, W, W, DThings started badly with a defeat at home to Lithuania, but they bounced backquickly by beating a striker-less Scotland side before battling past Liechtenstein. Top Goalscorer in Qualifying: Michal Kadlec (4 Goals)They responded to a loss against Spain with a 2-0 win over Liechtenstein, andthe key result came next at Hampden Park.The Czechs snatched a 2-2 draw in Scotland thanks to a controversial latepenalty, and that gave them the edge in the race for second place. Defeat atSpain did not matter because a win over Lithuania was enough to see them intothe play-offs, where they eased past Montenegro with a 3-0 aggregate win.ManagerMichal Bilek, who led Czech side Sparta Prague to domestic double in 2006,joined the national team setup back in 2009 when he became assistant managerto Ivan Hasek. However, he was quickly promoted to the position of coachafter Hasek returned to his role with the Czech FA.Czech supporters have not been supportive of the 46-year-old, demanding hissacking, but Bilek has ensured the side would not miss another majorchampionship after being absent from the 2010 World Cup. He will now bekeen to silence his critics further by performing well in Poland and Ukraine. Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 27
  • 29. Star Players Captain: Tomas RosickyPetr Cech and Tomas Rosicky, familiar names to Premier League fans, will be Penalty Taker: Michal Kadlecthe key men for the Czech Republic. Chelsea goalkeeper Cech will still behaunted by a blunder that led to the Czech’s exit from Euro 2008, but it would Top Team Goalscorer Tipsbe harsh if the 29-year-old was remembered mainly for that mistake. Cech hasroutinely come to the aid of club and country with fine saves and he will be Milan Baros is the main man for the Czech Republic and that is borne out bykeen to shine in what may be one of his final appearances on a major the fact that without him the team struggled for goals in qualifying. Theinternational stage. Galatasary striker has a good record at European Championships, having won the Golden Boot in 2004, and he won’t be fazed by the big occasion.Arsenal man Rosicky is the creative force for this team but he is yet to shine atthe very top of international football. The Czech’s do not appear to have a He is still only 30 but Baros is regarded as the veteran of the Czech Republicsquad filled with goalscoring talent – defender Michael Kadlec led the team squad and he will be expected to lead the side in Poland. It is 6/1 at Coral thatwith four goals in qualifying – so it is vital that they create plenty of chances he does this by finishing as the team’s top scorer and considering that his likelyfor the strikers in the hope that they will take some of them. Being their strike partner, Tomas Pekhart, has never scored an international goal, he mayplaymaker, a lot of responsibility will fall on the shoulders of Rosicky. well have to should a lot of responsibility. Alternatively, no goalscorer, at odds of 25/1 with Bet Victor, makes appeal.Euro 2012 Squad Bettingpro VerdictGoalkeepers: Petr Cech (Chelsea), Jaroslav Drobny (Hamburg), Jan Lastuvka(Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk) The Czech Republic have claims to be the worst team at Euro 2012 and it would be a surprise if they finish above bottom in Group A.Defenders: Theodor Gebre Selassie (Liberec), Roman Hubnik (Hertha Berlin),Michal Kadlec (Bayer Leverkusen), David Limbersky (Pilsen),Frantisek Rajtoral(Pilsen), Tomas Sivok (Besiktas), Marek Suchy (Spartak Moscow)Midfielders: Vladimir Darida (Pilsen), Tomas Hubschman (ShakhtarDonetsk), Petr Jiracek (Wolfsburg), Daniel Kolar (Pilsen), Milan Petrzela(Pilsen), Vaclav Pilar (Pilsen), Jaroslav Plasil (Bordeaux), Jan Rezek (AnorthosisFamagusta), Tomas Rosicky (Arsenal)Forwards: Milan Baros (Galatasaray), David Lafata (Jablonec), Tomas Necid(CSKA Moscow), Tomas Pekhart (Nuremberg)Expected Starting TeamCech, Kadlec, Hubnik, Sivok, Selassie, Pilar, Plasil, Jiracek, Rosicky, Pekhart,Baros Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 28
  • 30. Germany Best Finish at European Championships: Winner (1972, 1980, 1996) FIFA Ranking 2 Group B Odds to win Euro 2012 - 3/1 Ladbrokes • GermanyThree-time winners Germany have their sights set on their first piece of major • Netherlandssilverware since Euro ’96 in England. They are the most successful team in the • Portugal • Denmarkhistory of this competition and have every chance of clinching a fourth titlefollowing a perfect qualifying campaign. The Germans finished third at the Fixtures at Euro 20122010 World Cup but they are stronger and more experienced heading intoEuro 2012, and it would be a huge surprise if they did not advance from a Saturday June 9Group B that consists of Holland, Portugal and Denmark. Lviv: Germany v Portugal (19:45) Wednesday June 13How They Qualified Kharkiv: Netherlands v Germany (19:45)Germany’s qualification to this tournament never looked in doubt as they won Sunday June 17all 10 games to book their place in Poland and Ukraine, with Miroslav Klose Lviv: Denmark v Germany (19:45)leading the way with nine goals. They opened their campaign with a 1-0 win Form: W,W,D,W,W,D,W,L,Lover Belgium before cruising to wins over Azerbaijan (6-1), Turkey (3-0) andKazakhstan (3-0). Germany then battled past Austria 2-1 before more Top Goalscorer in Qualifying: Miroslav Klose (9 Goals)dominant victories followed; 4-0 against Kazakhstan, 3-1 at Azerbaijan and 6-2against Austria. Joachim Low’s men then completed a perfect qualifyingcampaign with back-to-back 3-1 wins over Turkey and Belgium.ManagerJoachim Low appears to be leading Germany back to the top of internationalfootball, and they are doing it in style. Low took charge of the national teamafter Jurgen Klinsmann walked away in 2006, and he made an immediateimpression by guiding the team to the final of Euro 2008, where they werebeaten by Spain.Their improvement continued as they qualified for the 2010 World Cup withan unbeaten record, and the Germans provided some of the highlights of thetournament as they hammered both England and Argentina.Spain returned to haunt them again by ousting Low’s team in the semi-finals,but there was every reason to be positive due to the emergence of severalyoung stars during the tournament. Low was rewarded with a new contractafter Germany won all 10 of their Euro 2012 qualifiers, and it may just be amatter of time before he guides his side all the way to major silverware. Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 29
  • 31. Star Players Captain: Philipp LahmMesut Ozil emerged as one of world football’s most exciting prospects when Penalty Taker: Mario Gomezhe burst onto the scene at the 2010 World Cup, and his progression has onlycontinued in the two years since then. Ozil’s form in South Africa earned him a Top Team Goalscorer Tipsmove to Real Madrid and the 23-year-old winger has continued to flourish. Mario Gomez is the 9/1 favourite at Bet Victor in the outright top goalscorer marketHe was one of the star performers during qualifying, topping the assists charts and it is surprising that he is as big as 11/4 with Bwin to finish as Germany’s highest scorer in Poland and Ukraine. That price makes plenty of appeal, particularly after thewith seven, and if he can continue to provide chances for the likes of Miroslav season Gomez had at club level with Bayern Munich.Klose then Germany will truly be a formidable force. However, there is enough doubt over Gomez’s credentials to question whether he isAnd of course, it would be wrong to not mention 33-year-old hitman Klose worth backing at less than 3/1. The 26 year old disappointed in South Africa twowho is closing in on Gerd Muller’s record for most goals for his country. Klose years ago and was woeful in the Champions League final loss to Chelsea, which raisesnetted nine times during the qualifying stage for Euro 2012 and needs just five questions over his ability on the biggest stage. It is not inconceivable that he mis-firesmore to equal Muller’s mark of 68, and he will be keen to do it at what is likely in the opener against Portugal and is then replaced by Mirsolav Klose.to be his final major competition as an international footballer. Klose may be a veteran at 33 years old but his 9 goals in qualifying suggest that theEuro 2012 Squad World Cup’s record goalscorer still has plenty of life left in him. He is 4/1 at Coral to outscore his team mates this summer.Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Tim Wiese (Werder Bremen), Klose hit four goals in South Africa but that wasn’t enough to make him Germany’sRon-Robert Zieler (Hanover 96). top goalscorer though, with that honour falling to Thomas Muller. The Bayern Munich midfielder is still only 22 but he is already regarded as a star and he canDefenders: Holger Badstuber (Bayern Munich), Jerome Boateng (Bayern cement his reputation this summer. He will play almost as a second striker and willMunich), Benedikt Hoewedes (Schalke 04), Mats Hummels (Borussia frequently be the furthest forward for his team. At 9/1 with Ladbrokes he looks aDortmund), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal), Marcel good bet to be Germany’s top scorer and odds of 50/1 on the outright market lookSchmelzer (Borussia Dortmund). good for an each-way bet.Midfielders: Lars Bender (Bayer Leverkusen), Mario Götze (Borussia Bettingpro VerdictDortmund), Ilkay Gundogan (Borussia Dortmund), Sami Khedira (RealMadrid), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Thomas Müller (Bayern Munich), Germany are vying with Spain for favouritism and that seems justified. Any team thatMesut Ozil (Real Madrid), Marco Reus (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Andre wants to win Euro 2012 are going to have to beat Joachim Low’s side to do so.Schürrle (Bayer Leverkusen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich).Forwards: Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich), Miroslav Klose (Lazio), LukasPodolski (Cologne).Expected Starting TeamNeuer, Badstuber, Boateng, Hummels, Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Khedira, Ozil,Muller, Podolski, Gomez Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 30
  • 32. Netherlands Best Finish at European Championships: Winner (1988) FIFA Ranking 4 Group B Odds to win Euro 2012 - 7/1 Boylesports • GermanyHaving come up just short in South Africa, Holland will be looking to go one • Netherlandsbetter at Euro 2012. The Dutch suffered a heart-breaking defeat to Spain in the • Portugal • Denmarkfinal of the 2010 World Cup but showed no hangover as they romped throughqualifying for this summer’s European Championship in Poland and Ukraine. Fixtures at Euro 2012They face a tough test in the group stage after being drawn alongside Germany,Portugal and Denmark. Saturday June 9 Kharkiv: Netherlands v Denmark (17:00)How They Qualified Wednesday June 13 Kharkiv: Netherlands v Germany (19:45)Holland made easy work of qualifying for Euro 2012, racking up nine winsfrom 10 games, with their only loss coming in the final group game after they Sunday June 17 Kharkiv: Portugal v Netherlands (19had already assured themselves of a place in this tournament. Form: W,W,W,L,D,L,W,L,WThey opened up with a 5-0 rout of San Marino before edging past bothFinland and Moldova by one goal. They hit top speed as they put four past Top Goalscorer in Qualifying: Klaas Jan Huntelaar (12 Goals)both Sweden and Hungary, and the Dutch continued their free-scoring ways bynetting five in the second game against Hungary before hammering SanMarino 11-0. Wins over Finland and Moldova followed before a 3-2 defeat toSweden ended their qualifying campaign, but by that point Bert van Marwijk’smen were already through.ManagerHolland coach Bert van Marwijk boasts a record that not many internationalmanagers can rival. The 59-year-old, who enjoyed two successful spells asFeyenoord boss, has lost just two competitive games since taking charge of theOranje in July 2008. Following a flawless qualifying campaign, van Marwijk ledthe Dutch national team to the 2010 World Cup final, where they were beatenby Spain.They looked set to enjoy a perfect passage into Euro 2012 until they lost theirfinal qualifier against Sweden, but not even that put their place in thistournament in jeopardy. If he can avoid a third defeat then Holland are likelyto be heading home with their first piece of major silverware since Euro ‘88. Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 31
  • 33. Star Players Penalty Taker: Arjen RobbenInter Milan midfielder Wesley Sneijder was one of the elite performers at the Top Team Goalscorer Tips2010 World Cup and he will again play a key role here. Sneijder is the completepackage and should provide plenty of opportunities for strikers Klaas-Jan Robin Van Persie is the second favourite to be the overall top goalscorer atHuntelaar and Robin van Persie. The 27-year-old also has an eye for goal too, Euro 2012 with Blue Square offering odds of 11/1 on the Arsenal captain so itas he showed in South Africa, and that makes him all the more dangerous. stands to reason that he heads the market to be top scorer for the Dutch at 5/2 with the same firm.It would be wrong to look Schalke 04 striker Huntelaar. The 28-year-old playeda bit-part role in Holland’s run to the final in South Africa, but in qualifying he Premier League watchers will love those odds but Van Persie is likely to behas been one of the star performers with a 12 goals in just eight games. used as an auxiliary striker in Poland and Ukraine with Klaas Jan HuntelaarHuntelaar will be hoping that has done enough to earn a place as van Marwijk’s preferred in the ‘number nine’ role. The Schalke striker scored an incredible 12lone striker, but Van Persie will be pushing him all the way as he is enjoying a goals in just 8 qualifying matches and his goalscoring credentials have to besensational season for club side Arsenal. respected. It is 4/1 at Coral that Huntelaar finishes Euro 2012 as top scorer for Netherlands and that looks like the best bet at the prices. Wesley Sneijder (9/1,Netherlands squad for Euro 2012 Bet Victor) and Arjen Robben (7/1, bet365) hold strong claims but, all being well, they should be providing the ammunition for KJH.Goalkeepers: Maarten Stekelenburg (AS Roma), Michel Vorm (Swansea), TimKrul (Newcastle). Bettingpro VerdictDefenders: Khalid Boulahrouz (Stuttgart), John Heitinga (Everton), Joris Netherlands are real contenders and it would be no surprise to see them goMathijsen (Malaga), Ron Vlaar (Feyenoord), Wilfred Bouma (PSV Eindhoven), one better than they did in South Africa and lift the trophy this summer.Gregory van der Wiel (Ajax), Jetro Willems (PSV Eindhoven).Midfielders: Ibrahim Afellay (Barcelona), Mark van Bommel (AC Milan),Nigel de Jong (Manchester City), Stijn Schaars (Sporting Lisbon), WesleySneijder (Inter Milan), Kevin Strootman (PSV Eindhoven), Rafael van derVaart (Tottenham).Forwards: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Schalke), Luuk de Jong (FC Twente), DirkKuyt (Liverpool), Luciano Narsingh (Heerenveen), Robin van Persie (Arsenal),Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich).Expected Starting TeamStekelenburg, Van der Wiel, Heitinga, Mathijsen, Bouma, Van Bommel, deJong, Sneijder, Robben, Van Persie, HuntelaarCaptain: Mark van Bommel Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 32
  • 34. Portugal Best Finish at European Championships: Runner Up (2004) FIFA Ranking 5 Group B Odds to win Euro 2012 - 20/1 Bet Victor • GermanyPortugal bounced back from a disappointing start to qualifying and earned • Netherlandstheir spot in Euro 2012, but their stay on Poland and Ukraine could be short- • Portugal • Denmarklived. The Portuguese have often been a team to fear at major tournaments butthey have been drawn alongside both Germany and Holland in Group B, Fixtures at Euro 2012meaning it will be a tough task to even reach the knockout stage. Denmark arethe other team in the four-team group. Saturday June 9 Lviv: Germany v Portugal (19:45)How They Qualified Wednesday June 13 Lviv: Denmark v Portugal (17:00)Portugal needed a two-legged play-off against Bosnia to book their place in theEuro 2012 finals. Portugal made a poor start as they were held to a shock 4-4 Sunday June 17 Kharkiv: Portugal v Netherlands (19:45)draw at home to Cyprus, and things got worse when they slopped to a 1-0defeat in Norway. Form: W,W,W,W,L,D,W,D,DCoach Carlos Queiroz was subsequently replaced by Paulo Bento, and the Top Goalscorer in Qualifying: Cristiano Ronaldo (7 Goals)change seemed to do the trick as Portugal responded by embarking on a five-game winning run that kept them in the hunt for a place in Poland andUkraine. Following a defeat Denmark, Portugal were drawn to face Bosnia inthe play-offs and, having drawn the first leg 0-0, they booked their place in thefinals with a 6-2 second-leg victory.ManagerFormer Sporting Lisbon boss Paulo Bento took charge during the qualifyingcampaign for Euro 2012, replacing Carlos Queiroz after the Portuguese hadtaken just one point from their first two games. Bento’s arrival breathed newlife into the team and they went unbeaten through the rest of qualifying,winning seven games and losing just one to ensure they would be in Polandand Ukraine this summer.Star PlayersPortugal boast the services of one of the best footballers on the planet,Cristiano Ronaldo. Real Madrid star Ronaldo and Barcelona rival Lionel Messihave been put in a class above the rest of the talents in the game, but the Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 33
  • 35. Portugal winger is yet to light up a major international tournament despite his Top Team Goalscorer Tipsreputation. Cristiano Ronaldo. The Real Madrid striker scored 46 goals in La Liga thisThe former Manchester United star helped himself to nine games during the season and will be involved in absolutely everything that Portugal do thisqualifying campaign, but Paulo Bento needs his biggest name to deliver when it summer. He will take charge of all free-kicks and penalties and if he could taketruly matters. There is nothing that Ronaldo cannot do and there will be plenty the corners and head them in then he would do that as well. He is 15/8 atof pressure on him to perform when Portugal seek to get out of what is a very Sporting Bet to be the top scorer for Portugal and 20/1 with Blue Square to betough Euro 2012 group. the tournament’s top goalscorer. If Portugal are to have any chance of winning Euro 2012 then he will have to do both.Bento will also be hoping for some impressive displays from two players basedin the English Premier League; Raul Meireles of Chelsea and Nani of Bettingpro VerdictManchester United. Both men were ever-present during qualifying and willagain be key figures during this tournament. Portugal have the star names but they failed to convince in qualifying and haven’t done much since to convince that they can qualify from a very toughEuro 2012 Squad group, despite the presence of Ronaldo.Goalkeepers: Rui Patricio (Sporting), Eduardo (Benfica), Beto (Cluj)Defenders: Joao Pereira (Sporting), Bruno Alves (Zenit St Petersburg), FabioCoentrao (Real Madrid), Pepe (Real Madrid), Ricardo Costa (Valencia),Rolando (Porto), Miguel Lopes (Braga)Midfielders: Carlos Martins (Granada), Joao Moutinho (Porto), Miguel Veloso(Genoa), Raul Meireles (Chelsea), Ruben Micael (Zaragoza), Custodio (Braga)Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Hugo Almeida (Besiktas), HelderPostiga (Zaragoza), Nani (Manchester United), Nelson Oliveira (Benfica),Ricardo Quaresma (Besiktas), Silvestre Varela (Porto).Expected Starting TeamEduardo, Coentrao, Pepe, Bruno Alves, Pereira, Veloso, Moutinho, Meireles,Nani, Ronaldo, PostigaCaptain: Cristiano RonaldoPenalty Taker: Cristiano Ronaldo Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 34
  • 36. Denmark Best Finish at European Championships: Winner (1992) FIFA Ranking 10 Group B Odds to win Euro 2012 - 100/1 Ladbrokes • GermanyDenmark were shock winners of the European Championship back in 1992, • Netherlandsbut the chances of them making it past the group stage in Poland and Ukraine • Portugal • Denmarklook slim. The Danes have been grouped with Germany, Holland and Portugal,but they will have taken some confidence from finishing above Portugal during Fixtures at Euro 2012qualifying for this competition. Saturday June 9How They Qualified Kharkiv: Netherlands v Denmark (17:00) Wednesday June 13Denmark secured automatic qualification to Euro 2012 by finishing as surprise Lviv: Denmark v Portugal (17:00)winners of their group. The Danes were expected to finish second behindPortugal but instead capitalised on a slow start from the Portuguese – who Sunday June 17took one point from their first two games – and never looked back. Lviv: Denmark v Germany (19:45) Form: W,W,W,W,W,L,LThey opened up with a win over Iceland before losing 3-1 in Portugal, butMorten Olsen’s men responded well by taking four points from their next two Top Goalscorer in Qualifying: Nicklas Bendtner & Dennis Rommedahl (3 Goals)games with a win over Cyprus and draw against Norway. The Danes thenstepped up a gear and reeled off four consecutive wins, with the last one a 2-1victory against Portugal that wrapped up the group.ManagerMorten Olsen is one of the longest serving coaches in international footballhaving now entered his 12th year as boss of Denmark. Having tasted successat club level with Brondby and Ajax, Olsen took charge of the Danish nationalteam back in 2000.The 62-year-old has experienced mixed fortunes during his reign. Olsen hastaken the team into the knockout stages at both the 2002 World Cup and Euro2004, but there have been the disappointments of missing out on both the2006 World Cup and Euro 2008. They failed to progress from the group stageat the 2010 World Cup but that did not stop the Danish FA from handingOlsen a contract extension that will expire in 2014. Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 35
  • 37. Star Players Penalty Taker: Christian PoulsenThis could well be the tournament in which Ajax youngster Christian Eriksen Top Team Goalscorer Tipsmakes a name for himself on the big stage. Eriksen, who will be 20 when thetournament gets under way in Poland and Ukraine, has become a regular Denmark aren’t expected to score many goals at Euro 2012 and it is nostarter for both club and country over the past 12 month, with many likening surprise to see No Goalscorer priced as low as 7/1 with some firms. Bet Victorhim to Danish legend Michael Laudrup. are, however, a stand out 9/1 that no Dane hits the net in Ukraine and that could be the best play on Morten Olsen’s side.Eriksen played a starring role in the 2-1 win over Portugal that securedDenmark’s place in Euro 2012. The young midfielder outshone star names like Nicklas Bendtner is a threat but there are limits to how often the SunderlandCristiano Ronaldo in that match, wreaking havoc on the Portuguese defence striker can continue to perform poorly at club level and still score for thethroughout the 90 minutes. If he can reproduce that form in this tournament national. The fact that he is 7/2 favourite at Betfred to be the team’s top scorerthen Europe’s biggest clubs are certain to come calling during the summer and the next nearest in the betting is 9/1 chance Dennis Rommedahl showsmonths. the paucity of Denmark’s attacking options. The value bet is, therefore, that the Danes exit Euro 2012 without a goal to their name.Euro 2012 Squad Bettingpro VerdictGoalkeepers: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City), Stephan Andersen (Evian),Anders Lindegaard (Manchester United). No repeat of 1992’s heroics for this Denmark squad and thanks to a tough group they will do well to even claim a point.Defenders: Simon Kjaer (Roma), Daniel Agger (Liverpool), Simon Poulsen(AZ Alkmaar), Lars Jacobsen (Copenhagen), Andreas Bjelland (Nordsjaelland),Jores Okore (Nordsjaelland), Daniel Wass (Evian).Midfielders: Christian Poulsen (Evian), William Kvist (Stuttgart), ChristianEriksen (Ajax), Lasse Schone (NEC), Michael Silberbauer (Young Boys), JakobPoulsen (Midtjylland), Thomas Kahlenberg (Evian), Niki Zimling (ClubBrugge).Forwards: Michael Krohn-Dehli (Brondby), Dennis Rommedahl (Brondby),Nicklas Bendtner (Sunderland), Nicklas Pedersen (Groningen), TobiasMikkelsen (Nordsjaelland).Expected Starting TeamAndersen, Kjaer, Agger, S Poulsen, Wass, C Poulsen, Eriksen, Zimling, Schone,Rommedahl, BendtnerCaptain: Daniel Agger Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 36
  • 38. Spain Best Finish at European Championships: Winner (1964, 2008) FIFA Ranking 1 Group C Odds to win Euro 2012 - 3/1 Bet Victor • SpainWorld champions Spain will be looking to successfully retain the European • Italycrown they won back in 2008, and they face a tricky group campaign after • Croatia • Republic of Irelandbeing drawn in Group C alongside Italy, the Republic of Ireland and Croatia.However, that has not stopped them from being made the bookmakers’ Fixtures at Euro 2012favourite to leave Poland/Ukraine with the title of European Champions onceagain. Sunday June 10 Gdansk: Spain v Italy (17:00)How They Qualified Thursday June 14 Gdansk: Spain v Republic of Ireland (19:45)Reigning European champions Spain cruised through their Group I qualifyingcampaign with a perfect 8-0 record. They were overwhelming favourites to Monday June 18 Gdansk: Croatia v Spain (19:45)progress from the group and made a fine start with heavy wins overLiechtenstein and Lithuania before surviving a scare against Scotland. Form: W,W,W,W,L,D,W,W,WThe Spaniards surrendered a two-goal lead at Hampden Park but rescued a 3-2 Top Goalscorer in Qualifying: David Villa (7 Goals)win through a Fernando Llorente goal, and they reached the halfway point witha perfect record with a hard-fought win over the Czech Republic. Lithuania andLiechtenstein were again swept aside as they wrapped up a place in Euro 2012,and they closed out the campaign with routine wins over the Czech Republicand Scotland.ManagerSpain have enjoyed considerable success over the past four years, and coachVicente Del Bosque has played a major role. Del Bosque faced a difficult taskin succeeding Luis Aragones after Spain’s Euro 2008 success, but the 50-year-old former Real Madrid boss rose to the challenge and made history bywinning his first 13 games in charge.He then put himself above all of his predecessors by guiding his team to gloryat the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the first time Spain have won worldfootball’s biggest prize. Del Bosque now has his sights set on a Euro 2012success that would make Spain the first team in history to win three straightmajor international tournaments. Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 37
  • 39. Star Players Top Team Goalscorer TipsEver-present David Villa was the star man for the Spaniards as his seven-goal Much will depend on who Del Bosque chooses in attack but the signs lookhaul helped them successfully negotiate the qualifying stage. However, the good for Fernando Torres, who snuck into the squad thanks to Chelsea’sBarcelona star is now facing up to the prospect of missing Euro 2012 after Champions League exploits. The striker scored after just 11 minutes of asustaining a broken shinbone during the Club World Cup at the end of last recent warm-up match with South Korea and odds of 9/2 with Bet Victor thatyear. Villa Torres top scores for Spain are tempting, given his experience.Villa’s absence poses selection problems for Del Bosque. Fernando Torres is However, Fernando Llorente leads the market at 7/2 with bet365 whichhis preferred option in attack, and the Spaniard’s goal against Barcelona in the suggests that the Athletic Bilbao striker could be preferred, at least initially, tosemi finals of the Champions League has greatly enhanced his prospects of Torres. One player who will certainly play in a forward role is David Silva. Thestarting in attack although there is also the option of playing Manchester City’s Manchester City striker has had his best ever season in the Premier League andDavid Silva in the ‘false nine’ role in which Lionel Messi excels for Barcelona. will be Spain’s key man in Poland and Ukraine. He may even be given theBoth men will certainly have a part to play, should Spain retain the Henry ‘Lionel Messi’ false nine role, which he played to such good effect againstDelaunay trophy this summer. Scotland in qualifying (a match in which Silva scored twice). This would enhance his already excellent scoring prospects and at 12/1 with Stan James heEuro 2012 Squad looks to be the stand-out bet in a Spanish side that may spread out their goals.Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina, (Liverpool), Victor Bettingpro VerdictValdes (Barcelona) The obvious favourites but there are question marks over both the defence andDefenders: Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), attack, which could prevent the Spaniards from a third successive internationalJuanfran (Atletico Madrid), Jordi Alba (Valencia), Raul Albiol (Real Madrid), tournament.Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Javi Martinez (Athletic Bilbao)Midfielders: Xavi (Barcelona), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta(Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), David Silva (Manchester City), SantiCazorla (Malaga), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Juan Mata (Chelsea) Spain  Money  Back  Special  –  BetVictorForwards: Jesus Navas (Sevilla), Pedro (Barcelona), Fernando Llorente(Athletic Bilbao), Fernando Torres (Chelsea), Alvaro Negredo (Sevilla) Get  your  money  back  on  all  losing  single  Euro  2012  match  Expected Starting Team bets  if  Spain  retain  the  ;tle  as  European  Champions.Casillas, Arbeloa, Ramos, Pique, Alba, Alonso, Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta, Silva, Claim  hereTorresCaptain: Iker CasillasPenalty Taker: Xabi Alonso Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 38
  • 40. Italy Best Finish at European Championships: Winner (1968) FIFA Ranking 12 Group C Odds to win Euro 2012 - 14/1 William Hill • SpainOnce a powerhouse of World and European football, Italy will be desperate to • Italymake amends for their pitiful showing at the 2010 World Cup where they • Croatia • Republic of Irelandbowed out after the group stage. Coach Cesare Prandelli has sparked new lifeinto the team and the Italians will have to be at their best to get through a Fixtures at Euro 2012difficult Group C that consists of Spain, the Republic of Ireland and Croatia. Sunday June 10How They Qualified Gdansk: Spain v Italy (17:00) Thursday June 14Italy put their World Cup misery behind them as they negotiated qualifying Poznan: Italy v Croatia (17:00)Group C with an unbeaten record. Prandelli’s charges edged past Estonia inTallinn before romping to a home win over the Faroe Islands, but they suffered Monday June 18a slight setback when they were held to a goalless draw in Northern Ireland. Poznan: Italy v Republic of Ireland (19:45) Form: L,W,W,W,D,W,W,L,LThey were returned to winning ways in their next match against Serbia,although they did not earn the points on the pitch. The Italians were awarded a Top Goalscorer in Qualifying: Antonio Cassano (6 Goals)3-0 victory by UEFA after the match was abandoned due to crowddisturbances involving Serbian supporters.Wins over Slovenia, Estonia and the Faroe Islands followed, and they securedtheir place in Euro 2012 with two games to spare thanks to a 1-0 home winagainst the Slovenians. Italy then wrapped up their qualifying campaign as adraw with Serbia and a comfortable win over Northern Ireland maintainedtheir unbeaten record.ManagerFormer Roma and Fiorentina boss Cesare Prandelli was handed the task ofturning around Italy’s fortunes following the departure of veteran coachMarcello Lippi in July 2010. Italian football had been left reeling by a domesticmatch-fixing scandal and the national team’s dreadful display at the 2010 WorldCup.Italy arrived in South Africa as reigning world champions but they fell at thevery first hurdle by finishing bottom of a group that consisted of Paraguay, Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 39
  • 41. Slovakia and New Zealand. Prandelli has so far succeeded in getting Italy back Expected Starting Teamon track and an unbeaten qualifying record over the past two years has shownthey can be force in the national game once again. Gianluigi Buffon, Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Christian Maggio, Thiago Motta, Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio, RiccardoStar Players Montolivo, Antonio Cassano, Mario BalotelliItaly conceded just two goals during qualifying and ever-present defender Captain: Gianluigi BuffonGiorgio Chiellini was a huge influence as he transferred his excellent club formwith Juventus onto the international stage. The 27-year-old was a rock at the Penalty Taker: Mario Balotelliheart of the Italians’ defence throughout their 10 qualifying games, and he willbe vital to their cause as they look to become European champions for the first Top Team Goalscorer Tipstime since 1968. Cesare Prandelli has claimed that he will build the team around Mario BalotelliTop scorer in qualifying Antonio Cassano’s return from heart surgery in time and that would suggest that the Manchester City striker should be backed atfor the tournament ensures that there will no shortage of ammunition for 9/2 with Stan James. There is every reason to believe that this is a good priceheadline writers but the key player for Italy will undoubtedly be Mario Balotelli. as Balotelli will, selfishly, want to be involved in all Italian set-pieces and willThe Manchester City striker seems to attract controversy and he has already take any penalty kicks. He has the skill and physical presence to cause problemsthreatened to walk off the pitch if he suffers any racist abuse in Poland and for Ireland and Croatia in the group stage and that should be enough to seeUkraine. His talent is, however, unquestionable and a good Euro 2012 could be him top score in a low scoring side.the making of Balotelli as a bona fide superstar. Bettingpro VerdictEuro 2012 Squad Italy aren’t really good enough to challenge the top sides but they should stillGoalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Morgan De Sanctis (Napoli), make it through a fairly straightforward group.Salvatore Sirigu (Paris St Germain)Defenders: Ignazio Abate (AC Milan), Federico Balzaretti (Palermo), AndreaBarzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus),Christian Maggio (Napoli), Angelo Ogbonna (Torino)Midfielders: Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Alessandro Diamanti (Bologna),Emanuele Giaccherini (Juventus), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), RiccardoMontolivo (Fiorentina), Thiago Motta (Paris St Germain), Antonio Nocerino(AC Milan), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus)Forwards: Mario Balotelli (Manchester City), Fabio Borini (Roma), AntonioCassano (AC Milan), Antonio Di Natale (Udinese), Sebastian Giovinco(Parma) Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 40
  • 42. CROATIA Best Finish at European Championships: Quarter Finals (2008) FIFA Ranking 8 Group C Odds to win Euro 2012 - 55/1 Sky Bet • SpainCroatia are returning to the major international stage after missing out on • Italy qualifying for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. However, they are likely to • Croatia • Republic of Irelandmake a swift exit from Euro 2012 after being handed an incredibly tough drawfor the group stage in Poland and Ukraine. Not only have Slaven Bilic’s men Fixtures at Euro 2012 been grouped with World and European champions Spain, they will also haveto face Italy and the Republic of Ireland. Sunday June 10: Poznan: Republic of Ireland v Croatia (19:45)How They Qualified Thursday June 14: Poznan: Italy v Croatia (17:00)Croatia were strong in qualifying racking up seven group victories, but theywere forced to settle for second place in Group F and had to negotiate a two- Monday June 18:legged play-off with Turkey to progress to Euro 2012. Gdansk: Croatia v Spain (19:45) Form: W, L, D, W, D, D, WThey went unbeaten through their first four qualifying matches, recording winsover Latvia, Israel and Malta while drawing with eventual group winners Top Goalscorer in Qualifying: Nico Kranjcar (5 Goals)Greece, but they suffered a setback when they slipped to a 1-0 defeat inGeorgia.They gained revenge in their very next match and followed up that victory withwins over Malta and Israel, but a 2-0 defeat to Greece in their penultimategame all-but ended Croatia’s hopes of automatically reaching Euro 2012. Theyclosed out the group campaign with a home win against Latvia, and a 3-0aggregate win over Turkey ensured they would be part of this summer’sshowpiece tournament.ManagerSlaven Bilic is in his sixth year as manager of the Croatian national team, buthe almost quit the job following the European Championship four years ago.Croatia had been made favourites to win the competition after winning allthree of their group games, but they were dumped out by Turkey in thequarter-finals, with reports later suggesting they had not taken the Turksseriously.There appeared to be a hangover as they missed out on the 2010 World Cup, Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 41
  • 43. but Bilic again remained in charge and his players have rewarded him by Expected Starting Teamensuring a return to major competition. Pletikosa, Strinic, Simunic, Schildenfeld, Corluka, Modric, Vukojevic, Kranjcar,Star Player Srna, Jelavic, MandzukicTottenham Hotspur star Luka Modric will be the man opponents must stop Nikica Jelavic has been well backed to be the top goalscorer at Euro 2012 afterwhen the tournament gets under way. Playmaker Modric has bounced back a good run of form since signing for Everton in January. The former Rangersfrom last summer’s transfer saga and has been in top form for Spurs this striker is now a best price of 50/1 at Betfred in the outright market.season, helping Harry Redknapp’s men finish in the top four of the PremierLeague. Jelavic is the 5/1 favourite at Boylesports to be Croatia’s top scorer this summer although the fact that he hasn’t found the net for his country sinceThe 26-year-old has it all and is widely considered one of the best players in 2010 and that he is not a guaranteed starter (Bilic preferred Olic and Eduardothe world. Modric can turn a game on its head in an instant due to his incisive in qualifying) makes him difficult to back.passing and creativity, and his pace is not something to be overlooked either. IfModric shines there is a chance that the Croatians could pull off an upset and There are, however, enough doubts over Eduardo, Manzukic and Olic’s formbook their place in the knockout stage of Euro 2012. to dissuade from bets on any of Croatia’s other strikers so it might be worth looking at one of the fancier prices on those from midfield. Nico Kranjcar, aCroatia squad constant let down at club level for Tottenham Hotspur, netted four times in qualifying and he is a player that tends to save his best for the national team.Goalkeepers: Stipe Pletikosa (FC Rostov), Ivan Kelava (GNK Dinamo His ability from distance means that he will be a threat even when his side can’tZagreb), Danijel Subašić (AS Monaco FC). get near the goal (as will be likely against Spain and Italy) and odds of 20/1 at Coral look a little big on Croatia’s most attacking midfielder.Defenders: Jurica Buljat (Maccabi Haifa FC), Vedran Ćorluka (TottenhamHotspur FC), Danijel Pranjić (FC Bayern München), Gordon Schildenfeld Bettingpro Verdict(Eintracht Frankfurt), Josip Šimunić (GNK Dinamo Zagreb), Darijo Srna (FC Croatia are a good side with some talented footballers but they lack theShakhtar Donetsk), Ivan Strinić (FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk), Domagoj Vida defensive solidity to survive in Group C. An early exit beckons.(GNK Dinamo Zagreb).Midfielders: Milan Badelj (GNK Dinamo Zagreb), Tomislav Dujmović (FCDinamo Moskva), Ivo Iličević (Hamburger SV), Niko Kranjčar (TottenhamHotspur FC), Luka Modrić (Tottenham Hotspur FC), Ivan Perišić (BorussiaDortmund), Ivan Rakitić (Sevilla FC), Ognjen Vukojević (FC Dynamo Kyiv).Forwards: Eduardo (FC Shakhtar Donetsk), Nikica Jelavić (Everton FC),Mario Mandžukić (VfL Wolfsburg), Ivica Olić (VfL Wolfsburg). Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 42
  • 44. Republic of Ireland Best Finish at European Championships: Group Stage (1988) FIFA Ranking 18 Group C Odds to win Euro 2012 - 100/1 Sporting Bet • SpainThe Republic of Ireland will end a 10-year-year exile from major international • Italytournaments when they take to the pitch for the first time at Euro 2012. • Croatia • Republic of IrelandHowever, their stay at this tournament is likely to be a short one after theywere drawn in Group C alongside reigning World and European champions Fixtures at Euro 2012Spain, Italy and Croatia. Sunday June 10 Poznan: Republic of Ireland v Croatia (19:45)How They Qualified Thursday June 14The Republic of Ireland needed 12 matches to secure their place in this Gdansk: Spain v Republic of Ireland (19:45)summer’s tournament, putting their play-off heartache of 2009 behind them asthey advanced from the qualifying stage. Ireland came out firing with wins over Monday June 18 Poznan: Italy v Republic of Ireland (19:45)Armenia and Andorra before a 3-2 home loss to Russia halted theirmomentum, but they responded with a draw in Slovakia before returning to Form: D,D,D,W,W,W,D,D,Wwinning ways by doing the double over Macedonia. Top Goalscorer in Qualifying: Robbie Keane (7 Goals)A brave display in Russia earned them a goalless draw and they followed thatup with wins over Andorra and Armenia to ensure a place in the play-offs.Having controversially crashed out of the World Cup qualifying play-offs twoyears prior, Ireland were in no mood to mess around and romped to a 4-0 first-leg victory in Estonia. A 1-1 draw in the second leg was more than enough tobook their place in Euro 2012, sparking scenes of celebration at the AvivaStadium.ManagerThe arrival of Giovanni Trapattoni has had a huge impact on the Republic ofIreland’s national team. The Italian may not have received the attention fellowcountryman Fabio Capello got when he took charge of England, but arguablyhas a better record.Ireland were unbeaten during the group stage of qualifying for World Cup2010, but they crashed out to France in the play-offs after Thierry Henry’shandball went unnoticed by the officials. Trapattoni and his men dusted Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 43
  • 45. themselves off and ensured there would be no near-miss this time, and the Penalty Taker: Robbie Keaneveteran Italian can add this accomplishment to the many he earned at club levelwith the likes of AC Milan, Juventus, Inter Milan and Benfica. Top Team Goalscorer TipsStar Players Robbie Keane is Republic of Ireland’s record goalscorer with an impressive 53 goals in 116 matches for his country. He finished top scorer in qualifying andWhen it comes to the Republic of Ireland their star man is undoubtedly striker he is 7/2 at Coral to be the top scorer at Euro 2012. Kevin Doyle, a 9/1Robbie Keane. The former Tottenham and West Ham United striker, who now chance at bet365, has been poor at club level and there are calls for the Wolvesplays for the Los Angeles Galaxy, is Ireland’s all-time leading goalscorer with striker to be dropped in favour of Shane Long (12/1, Sporting Bet) but53 to his name, and the 31-year-old a talisman when it comes to the national Giovanni Trappatoni is unlikely to yield to public pressure.team. That means that it will be all down to Keane to score the goals that IrelandHe notched seven goals during the qualifying campaign and if the likes of need to have any hope of progressing from a very difficult group. However, itwinger Aiden McGeady can provide the ammunition at Euro 2012, Keane will is easy to imagine the Boys in Green failing to find the net in the openerbe adding to his Ireland haul in Poland and Ukraine. against Croatia and it is difficult to then see them making any inroads against Spain or Italy. Therefore, No Goalscorer, at odds of 15/2 with Paddy PowerEuro 2012 Squad screams value.Goalkeepers: Shay Given (Aston Villa), Keiren Westwood (Sunderland), Bettingpro VerdictDavid Forde (Millwall) The supporters will do the nation proud in Poland but they won’t be seeing anyDefenders: John OShea (Sunderland), Stephen Kelly (Fulham), Stephen Ward more than three matches this summer.(Wolves), Richard Dunne (Aston Villa), Sean St Ledger (Leicester), DarrenODea (Leeds), Paul McShane (Hull City)Midfielders: Glenn Whelan (Stoke), Keith Andrews (West Brom), Paul Green(Derby County), Darron Gibson (Everton), Damien Duff (Fulham), AidenMcGeady (Spartak Moscow), Stephen Hunt (Wolves), James McClean(Sunderland)Forwards: Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Kevin Doyle (Wolves), Shane Long,Simon Cox (both West Brom), Jon Walters (Stoke)Expected Starting TeamGiven, O’Shea, Dunne, St. Ledger, Kelly, Whelan, Andrews, Duff, McGeady, Text  ‘MAX’  to  51500  for  an  instant  Doyle, Keane €/£  50  free  bet  from  Boylesports.Captain: Robbie Keane (Irish  &  UK  Mobiles) Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 44
  • 46. Ukraine Best Finish at European Championships: First Appearance FIFA Ranking 50 Group D Odds to win Euro 2012 - 50/1 bet365 • Ukraine • EnglandJoint hosts Ukraine will be aiming to make an impression at Euro 2012, but the France •chances are they will not sticking around long to do it. The Ukrainians are • Swedenmaking only their second appearance in a major tournament sinceindependence in 1991, and getting out of a Group D consisting of France, Fixtures at Euro 2012England and Sweden looks like a big ask. Monday June 11 Kiev: Ukraine v Sweden (19:45)How They Qualified Friday June 15Obviously, as joint hosts, Ukraine did not have to qualify for this tournament Donetsk: Ukraine v France (17:00)and have instead been participating in friendly matches over the past two years. Tuesday June 19Trying to gauge a team’s ability from these matches is a difficult task, but there Donetsk: England v Ukraine (19:45)have been a couple of interesting friendlies in the past 24 months – againstgroup foes France and Sweden. Form: L,L,W,W,D,W,W,W,LThey crashed to a 4-1 defeat when they played host to France in June 2011, Top Goalscorer in Qualifying: N/Awhile two games against the Swedes brought mixed results. The two teamsplayed out a 1-1 draw in Sweden on February 2011, but the more telling resultcould be Ukraine’s 1-0 defeat on home soil several months later.ManagerOleh Blokhin, the record cap-holder and goal-scorer for the old Soviet Union,is in his second spell as coach of the Ukrainian national team. During his firstreign as coach Blokhin led them to the quarter-finals of the 2006 World Cup,where they eventually lost to winners Italy. He departed after they failed toreach Euro 2008 but accepted the chance to return in April 2011 after YuriyKalitvintsev had led the team on a caretaker basis for eight games.Star PlayersThe big-name player in the Ukrainian fold is former AC Milan and Chelseastriker Andriy Shevchenko. The 35-year-old has had a tough time with injuriessince returning to Dynamo Kiev but a starring role at a major tournamentwould be a fitting end to one of the most glittering careers in Europeanfootball.Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 45
  • 47. Shevchenko is not the only veteran player eyeing an early exit, so are the likes Both play for Dynamo Kiev and Oleg Blohkin will be hoping that theof Anatoliy Tymoschchuk and Olexandr Shovkovski. But for some, especially understanding built up at club level will translate to the international stage.rising star Andriy Yarmolenko, this will be their chance to announce their Milevskiy is the more experienced of the pair and can be backed at 10/1 witharrival on the international stage. Bwin to be Ukraine’s top scorer but Yarmolenko is the real star of the side. The 22-year-old has scored 8 goals in 20 games for his country and he isUkraine Euro 2012 squad probably the only player in the Ukraine side capable of scoring a goal out of nothing, which may be needed given the toughness of Group D. It is 6/1 atGoalkeepers: Oleksandr Goryainov (FC Metalist Kharkiv), Maxym Koval (FC Bwin that he is Ukraine’s top scorer this summer and he may manage it withDynamo Kyiv), Andriy Pyatov (FC Shakhtar Donetsk). just one goal.Defenders: Bohdan Butko (FC Illychivets Mariupil), Olexandr Kucher (FC Bettingpro VerdictShakhtar Donetsk), Taras Mikhalik (FC Dynamo Kyiv), Yaroslav Rakitskiy (FCShakhtar Donetsk), Yevhen Selin (FC Vorskla Poltava), Yevhen Khacheridi (FC Will be a major shock if the hosts can qualify from Group D.Dynamo Kyiv), Vyacheslav Shevchuk (FC Shakhtar Donetsk).Midfielders: Olexandr Aliyev (FC Dynamo Kyiv), Denys Garmash (FCDynamo Kyiv), Oleh Gusev (FC Dynamo Kyiv), Yevhen Konoplyanka (FCDnipro Dnipropetrovsk), Serhiy Nazarenko (SC Tavriya Simferopol), RuslanRotan (FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk), Anatoliy Tymoshchuk (FC BayernMünchen), Andriy Yarmolenko (FC Dynamo Kyiv).Forwards: Andriy Voronin (FC Dinamo Moskva), Marko Dević (FC MetalistKharkiv), Artem Milevskiy (FC Dynamo Kyiv), Yevhen Seleznyov (FCShakhtar Donetsk), Andriy Shevchenko (FC Dynamo Kyiv).Expected Starting TeamCaptain: Andriy ShevchenkoPenalty Taker: Andriy ShevchenkoTop Team Goalscorer TipsThere will be plenty of people willing to place a bet on Andrey Shevchenko tocall time on his career by top scoring for Ukraine in their home tournamentbut bet365 have set odds of 10/1 for a reason. The Dynamo Kiev striker willstart the opener against Sweden but he is unlikely to manage 90-minutes in anymatch this summer and he no longer possesses the pace required to play at thetop level. Instead, the men to focus on for Ukraine are Andriy Yarmolenko andArtem Milevskiy. Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 46
  • 48. England Best Finish at European Championships: 3rd Placed (1996) FIFA Ranking 7 Group D Odds to win Euro 2012 - 12/1 Paddy Power • UkraineIt will be Roy Hodgson and not Fabio Capello that will be taking charge of • EnglandEngland at Euro 2012, with the West Brom manager leaving The Hawthorns • France • Swedenfor a new role as national manager. He has had little time to select a squad andprepare his team for the European Championships, although he remains Fixtures at Euro 2012confident that the Three Lions can get out of the group stage. Monday June 11England have been drawn alongside France, Sweden and Ukraine in Group D Donetsk: France v England (17:00)and while they are expected to reach the knockout stage, it is unlikely that they Friday June 15will head home with the silverware. Kiev: Sweden v England (19:45)How They Qualified Tuesday June 19 Donetsk: England v Ukraine (19:45)England negotiated the qualifying Group G with an unbeaten record, but Form: D,D,W,W,D,W,W,L,WFabio Capello’s men were largely uninspiring during the eight-game campaign.They opened with victories over Bulgaria and Switzerland before being held to Top Goalscorer in Qualifying: Jermain Defoe, Darren Bent, Wayne Rooney,a goalless home draw by Montenegro, but they bounced back in the next game " " " " Ashley Young (3 Goals)with a win over Wales.Another disappointing Wembley outing saw them held by Switzerland, but theyagain responded on the road with a 3-0 win in Bulgaria. England completedtheir home fixtures with an unimpressive win over Wales, and a 2-2 draw inMontenegro was enough to ensure their passage.ManagerWhen Roy Hodgson was sacked as manager of Liverpool FC eighteen monthsago, he cannot have imagined that he would eventually be taking charge ofEngland at Euro 2012, although West Brom opted for the 64-year-old as areplacement for Roberto Di Matteo and Hodgsons stock has once again risenback to the levels he enjoyed while in charge of Fulham.Now he has selected a 23-man England squad that can do the country proud atEuro 2012, with Hodgson likely to pair Gary Cahill alongside John Terry in the Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 47
  • 49. heart of the England defence, while Andy Carroll may well deputise for Wayne Strikers: Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Andy Carroll (Liverpool),Rooney in those first two group games which will see the Three Lions face Danny Welbeck (Manchester United), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham).France and Sweden. Expected Starting TeamStar Players Hart, Johnson, Terry, Cahill, Cole, Parker, Gerrard, Milner, Walcott, Young,Wayne Rooney has often been the focal point when it comes to England’s Carrollchances at a major tournament, but the Manchester United striker is yet totruly deliver on the biggest stages in international football despite him being Captain: Steven Gerrardregularly ranked in the same bracket as the likes of Lionel Messi and CristianoRonaldo. Penalty Taker: Steven GerrardHe flopped badly at the 2010 World Cup with a string of disappointing Top Team Goalscorer Tipsdisplays – with his most notable contribution being a rant at supporters afterhe left the field following a game – and he will not get much time make an It seems absolutely ridiculous that Wayne Rooney can be a top price of 6/1 atimpact in Poland and Ukraine. Stan James to England’s top goalscorer at Euro 2012 despite the fact that he will miss the opening two matches of the tournament. But who else is capableRooney saw red in England’s final qualifying match after stupidly kicking an of scoring for the Three Lions?opponent, and he was hit with a three-match ban that ruled him out of thegroup stage and left Fabio Capello pondering whether or not to leave the The obvious answer is Ashley Young, who netted the only goal in a recentforward at home. friendly against Norway and is 7/1 at Blue Square. The Manchester United star was joint top scorer in qualifying and, in the absence of Rooney, will be playedAn appeal successfully reduced the suspension to two games, meaning Rooney further forward in the opening two matches.will appear in the final group match, but he could find himself on the outsidelooking in if the Three Lions have performed well without him. However, it is possibly worth chancing Steven Gerrard at a generous 9/1 with the same firm. With Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry both missing there is noEngland squad for Euro 2012 chance that the captain will be dropped for any matches and he will be the one midfielder asked to push forward and support Andy Carroll. Gerrard will alsoGoalkeepers: Joe Hart (Manchester City), Richard Green, (West Ham Utd), be in charge of all set-pieces in Ukraine and, with Young’s ‘ability’ to winJack Butland (Birmingham City) penalties, that could be crucial.Defenders: Glen Johnson (Liverpool), John Terry (Chelsea), Gary Cahill Bettingpro Verdict(Chelsea), Joleon Lescott, (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United),Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Leighton Baines (Everton), Phil Jagielka (Everton) No surprises from England. A few underwhelming performances in the group stage before being knocked out by a side who are technically superior.Midfielders: Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Ashley Young (Manchester United),Scott Parker (Tottenham), Stewart Downing (Liverpool), Theo Walcott(Arsenal), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), James Milner (Manchester City), Ladbrokes  are  refunding  Euro  2012  betsJordan Henderson (Liverpool) if  England  win  the  tournament.  Bet  here Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 48
  • 50. France Best Finish at European Championships: Winners (1984, 2000) FIFA Ranking 16 Group D Odds to win Euro 2012 - 11/1 Ladbrokes • UkraineFrance are heading to Euro 2012 with the intention of re-establishing • Englandthemselves among the elite of international football. The French enjoyed a • Francesuccessful period at the turn of the century with a World Cup win followed by • Swedenglory at Euro 2000, but things have gone downhill in spectacular fashion over Fixtures at Euro 2012the past several years. Monday June 11However, Laurent Blanc appears to have turned things around and they will be Donetsk: France v England (17:00)desperate to progress from Group D at Euro 2012, in which they faceEngland, Sweden and Ukraine. Friday June 15 Donetsk: Ukraine v France (17:00)How They Qualified Tuesday June 19 Kiev: Sweden v France (19:45)Two-time European champions France survived a late scare to qualify fromGroup D. They opened their campaign with a 1-0 defeat at home to Belarus Form: D,W,D,W,D,W,D,W,Wbut rebounded with four straight wins, completing the double over Top Goalscorer in Qualifying: Karim Benzema, Yoann Gourcuff &Luxembourg after beating both Bosnia and Romania. Florent Malouda (3 Goals)The second half of the campaign proved to be an awkward one as they failedto string victories together, drawing with Belarus and Romania while beatingAlbania twice, and that meant they faced a crucial final-game clash with Bosnia.France fell behind in the game but just as it looked as though they would befacing a two-legged play-off, Samir Nasri kept his nerve to score a penalty thatsent them through with a 1-1 draw.ManagerLaurent Blanc was named successor to Raymond Domenech following ashambolic appearance at the 2010 World Cup. France were not at thetournament long, crashing out after the group stage, but they did find time inSouth Africa to produce a player revolt that saw the squad walk out on training.There were also reports of dressing room bust-ups, most notably betweenDomenech and Nicolas Anelka, and that left Blanc with much to do when he Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 49
  • 51. took the reins. However, the former Manchester United and Inter Milan star Expected Starting Teamhas got France back on track and he will be keen to see them make an impactin Poland and Ukraine, even if they do head home empty-handed. Lloris, Clichy, Mexes, Rami, Debuchy, Diarra, M’Vila, Nasri, Malouda, Ribery, BenzemaStar Players Captain: Hugo LlorisReal Madrid striker Karim Benzema has kick-started his career in the past yearand this is his chance to shine on one of international football’s biggest stages. Penalty Taker: Samir NasriBenzema emerged as a hot prospect while with French side Lyon and waslinked with a number of Europe’s most famous clubs, but his move to Madrid Top Team Goalscorer Tipsdid not go as planned at first and he found himself out of favour with clubboss Jose Mourinho and then national team coach Raymond Domenech. Karim Benzema is one of the favourites to finish as the top goalscorer at Euro 2012 and can be backed at 16/1 with Bet Victor in that market. It is, therefore,The forward was overlooked for the 2010 World Cup, but he is now living up no surprise to see him installed as the favourite to top score for France withto his potential and has forced his way into Madrid’s starting XI on a regular only Blue Square brave enough to offer 3/1 on the Real Madrid striker.basis. Benzema featured in seven of France’s Euro 2012 qualifiers, nettingthree times, and is expected to be part of a strong French attacking corp that However, Benzema only netted three times in qualifying and France’s style ofwill also include Samir Nasir, Hatem Ben Arfa and Jeremy Menez, who were play may see him with his back to goal more than he’d like, which opens up thepart of the ‘golden generation’ that won the 2004 Under 17 European market for some of the midfield players. Samir Nasri, the team’s penalty taker,Championship. is 14/1 with Blue Square while Florent Malouda (joint top scorer in qualifying) can be backed at 10/1 with Paddy Power.Euro 2012 Squad The man that could usurp them all though is Franck Ribery. The BayernGoalkeepers: Cédric Carrasso (Bordeaux), Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Steve Munich winger has been in scintillating form in the recent friendly matches,Mandanda (Marseille). scoring against both Iceland and Serbia, and he appears to be enjoying the freedom of playing behind Benzema. Ribery disappointed in South Africa butDefenders: Gaël Clichy (Manchester City), Mathieu Debuchy (Lille), Patrice he is now a better player and looks ready to take responsibility for France. AtEvra (Manchester United), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Philippe Mexes 10/1 with Sporting Bet he looks over-priced to be top scorer for Les Bleus.(Milan), Adil Rami (Valencia), Anthony Réveillère (Lyon). Bettingpro VerdictMidfielders: Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle), Alou Diarra (Marseille), FlorentMalouda (Chelsea), Marvin Martin (Sochaux), Blaise Matuidi (Paris St- France are the best team in Group D but their defence will let them downGermain), Yann MVila (Rennes), Samir Nasri (Manchester City). against the very top sides. A semi final exit looks likely.Forwards: Hatem Ben Arfa (Newcastle), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid),Olivier Giroud (Montpellier), Jérémy Ménez (Paris St-Germain), Franck Ribéry(Bayern Munich), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille). Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 50
  • 52. Sweden Best Finish at European Championships: Semi Final (1992) FIFA Ranking 17 Group D Odds to win Euro 2012 - 66/1 bet365 • Ukraine • EnglandHaving missed out on the World Cup, Sweden are making their return to action France •at a major international tournament. They face a tough task after being drawn • Swedenin Group D alongside France, England and Ukraine, and a recent friendlydefeat to the Three Lions did little to suggest that this team will last long at Fixtures at Euro 2012Euro 2012. Monday June 11 Kiev: Ukraine v Sweden (19:45)How They Qualified Friday June 15Sweden booked their place in Euro 2012 in dramatic fashion, beating Holland Kiev: Sweden v England (19:45)on the final night of qualifying in Group E. The Swedes, who missed out on Tuesday June 19the 2010 World Cup, made a flying start to their European Championship Kiev: Sweden v France (19:45)qualifying campaign with wins over Hungary and San Marino, but they werebrought crashing back down to Earth with a 4-1 hammering at the hands of Form: L,W,W,W,L,L,W,W,WHolland. Top Goalscorer in Qualifying: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (7 Goals)They bounced back with back-to-back wins over Moldova before beatingFinland, but that winning run was ended by a disappointing defeat in Hungary.Wins over San Marino and Finland meant Sweden went into the final gameagainst Holland knowing that a win would ensure their progress as one of thebest runners-up, and Erik Hamren’s men delivered with a 3-2 victory.ManagerErik Hamren has enjoyed a successful start to life in charge of Sweden’snational team. The former Aalborg and Rosenborg boss took charge inSeptember 2010 after Lars Lagerback failed to take the team to the 2010 WorldCup in South Africa. Having tasted success at club level, Hamren has nowushered in a new era of Swedish football with some exciting talent at hisdisposal. However, this is his toughest test yet as Sweden have often failed tomake any impression at major international tournaments.Star PlayersThis is a no-brainer; AC Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The outspokenstriker once claimed he was the best player in the world, and if Sweden are to Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 51
  • 53. have any chance of progressing they will need Ibrahimovic to live up to his Top Team Goalscorer Tipswords. He played a key role in Sweden advancing to this tournament, nettingfive times during the qualifying campaign, and chances will certainly come his Zlatan Ibrahimovic is 3/1 at Blue Square to be Sweden’s top goalscorer at Euroway with Kim Kallstrom in the side. 2012 and that ranks as one of the outstanding bets on the tournament. The AC Milan striker is the one world class player in Sweden’s squad and is possibly theAlong with Germany’s Mesut Ozil, Lyon winger Kallstrom led the way with only player capable of winning matches for them this summer. Sunderlandassists during qualifying, setting up six goals for the Swedes. If he can produce free-kick expert Seb Larsson is worth consideration at 14/1 with Betfred but ifthat kind of form and create openings for the strikers, then Sweden can put he scores more than Ibrahimovic then Sweden will have had a bad tournament.themselves in the reckoning for a place in the knockout stage of thecompetition. Bettingpro VerdictEuro 2012 Squad Can only qualify from Group D if Ibrahimovic produces something special this summer.Goalkeepers: Andreas Isaksson (PSV Eindhoven), Johan Wiland, (FCCopenhagen, Pär Hansson (Helsingborg)Defenders: Mikael Lustig (Celtic), Olof Mellberg(Olympiakos), AndreasGranqvist (Genoa), Martin Olsson, (Blackburn), Jonas Olsson (WestBromwich), Behrang Safari (Anderlecht), Mikael Antonsson (Bologna)Midfielders: Rasmus Elm (AZ Alkmaar), Sebastian Larsson (Sunderland),Kim Kallstrom (Lyon), Anders Svensson (Elfsborg), Pontus Wernbloom(CSKA Moscow), Samuel Holmen (Istanbul BB), Emir Bajrami (Twente),Christian Wilhelmsson (al-Hilal)Strikers: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (AC Milan), Johan Elmander (Galatasaray),Tobias Hysen (IFK Gothenburg), Ola Toivonen (PSV Eindhoven), MarcusRosenberg (Werder Bremen).Expected Starting TeamIsaksson, Lustig, Olsson, Mellberg, Granquist, Larsson, Elm, Svensson,Kallstrom, Elmander, IbrahimovicCaptain: Zlatan IbrahimovicPenalty Taker: Zlatan Ibrahimovic Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 52
  • 54. Expert PanelMatthew Glazier Raymond Doyle Jon Wilde Matthew Glazier is the Managing Raymond Doyle is the Managing Jon Wilde has been a sports journalist Editor at Bettingpro.com. He arrived Editor of European- since 1987 working for Raceform, in 2010, having previously been Head Championship.com and is a regular Eclipse Management Ltd, the Press of Marketing for leading bookmaker contributor to Bettingpro.com. He Association, Betfred and now bet365. He has also worked in the graduated with a Masters in Marketing Bettingpro.com. Jon has attended andbetting industry for Sporting Index and Betfair before going on to be a copywriter and PR expert covered some of the major events inafter originally starting out as a copy writer for for Sports brands in Ireland. world sport and this summer he will be coveringFootball365. breaking Euro 2012 news for Bettingpro. Raymond lives and breathes sport – if he’s notMatthew will be writing feature articles playing football or Gaelic Football in Ireland, he’s Jon has edited official magazines for the Britishthroughout Euro 2012 in addition to working talking or writing about sport. He’s been lucky Olympic Association and the Professionalbehind the scenes to make sure quality content is enough to interview Rep of Ireland and Liverpool Footballers Association, while also workingserved up to Bettingpro readers. legends, Mark Lawrenson and Ray Houghton as closely with high-profile sports and media well as Chris “Kammy” Kamara from Sky Sports. personalities such as Martin Brundle and SteveHe expects Germany to win Euro 2012 as they’re Rider for publications they have fronted.on an upward curve. England though has a 50% He is looking forward immensely to Euro 2012chance of qualifying from Group D under Roy where he’ll be right in the middle of the action as Jon is backing France to win Euro 2012 and is alsoHodgson. he sets sail for Poland hoping his beloved Ireland keen on Poland as the dark horse. He is - sorry can do the nation proud. Irish fans! – not holding out much hope for Republic of Ireland and expects them to struggleNeil Roarty in Group C. Nick Wilby Neil Roarty is the Chief Football Writer at Bettingpro.com and began Nick Wilby is an Editor at working for the company in 2009. He Bettingpro.com and arrived at the writes weekly previews and betting company in 2009. He specializes in tips on English, Spanish, Italian, racing and football betting and his @mafhew_glazierGerman and French football, so he is familiar work has appeared in some of thewith all of the names and faces at Euro 2012. nations leading magazines and newspapers. @neilroartyThroughout the tournament, Neil will be writing Nick will be looking for a profitable Euro 2012 @OddsPreviewpreviews and betting tips on every match in after he backed England to spring a surprise andUkraine and Poland as well as various feature go all the way, but his main bet is an each-way betarticles. He has backed Netherlands to win Euro on Arjen Robben finishing top goal scorer and @nickwilby2012, after their disappointment in the final of winning player of the tournament this summer.the 2010 World Cup but his main bet will be on @be9ngproFrance winning Group D. Bettingpro.com’s Guide to the Euro 2012 Championship Page 53
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