4 to Watch – Euro 2012: Round 1

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Euro 2012 kicks off on Friday as the co-hosts Poland welcome Greece (someone has to), but don’t expect home advantage to count for much. The hosts of the European Championship lost their opening game in both Euro 2004 and 2008. Greece went unbeaten in qualification, (seven wins and three draws,) so it isn’t clear why they are the bookies’ rank outsiders in Group A. Poland by contrast haven’t played a competitive match in three years, and a 4-0 win over Andorra earlier this week isn’t enough to convince us they are tournament-ready. Accordingly, we have to back the Greeks to get a result at 4/5 with Blue Square.

Germany are second favourites for the tournament and kick off against Portugal on Saturday. The Germans were imperious in qualifying, winning all ten games whilst scoring 34 goals. Portugal meanwhile only squeezed into the tournament through the play-offs, and their recent friendly defeat to Turkey, as well as 0-0 draws with Poland and Macedonia do little to make us think they can stop the Germans. Back Low’s men at what we think is a great price of Evens with Bet365.

Ireland arrive at Euro 2012 on the back of an unbeaten 14 game run and there’s every reason to think they can avoid defeat to Croatia in their opener. The checks have won just one of their last four matches coming into the tournament which adds to our belief that the 6/5 on them beating the Irish is no value at all. We do like the 5/2 on Ireland, but we’ll play safe and back them on the ‘Draw No Bet’ market at 6/4with Ladbrokes.

Many are tipping the draw between Sweden & Ukraine but on delving into recent Swedish form, it is actually over five years since they drew a competitive game. The Scandinavians came through an extremely tough qualifying group to emerge as the best runners-up and we think they’re underrated in Group D. Again we’ll use the ‘Draw no Bet’ market to seek value and take the 11/10 on Sweden.

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