The 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as Euro 2012, will be the 14th European Championship for national football teams organised by UEFA. The final tournament will be hosted by Poland and Ukraine between 8 June and 1 July 2012. It is the first time that either nation has hosted the tournament.
Those teams qualified after a pre-qualification tournament will be divided into the following 4 groups:
R. of Ireland
So, who are my favorites, and who am I putting my money on?
Spain seem to be everyone’s hot favorites. However, I’m not too sure. They play excellent football, but don’t have the same strength and character as in previous tournaments. There is no Puyol and Villa may be missed. Meanwhile, not many people put Barcelona losing the Spanish La Liga down to Villa being out for most of the season, but they lost and it may affect Spain, too. Also, we mustn’t forget that their last two championship victories were accompanied by a certain amount of luck, and that luck may go someone else’s way.
So, no money going on Spain from me, especially at 3 or 4/1 without the ball rolling, yet. They will get through the group stages, without doubt, but both England or France could be tough competition for anyone they meet, one way or another.
France, for me the dark horse, could easily be the surprise package.
Holland are my favorites. They also deserve to win and history owes it to them.
Germany: you cannot ever leave Germany out of the bets, they will always be there and remember what Gary Lineker said; Football is a game of eleven against eleven – but Germany always win!
England: they could be beaten by the weakest or beat the strongest, that’s England’s problem. They don’t know their potential, but the fact that they are underdogs could well favour them, Roy Hodgson is a very sensible coach, who won’t take risks and will ensure England are a very difficult team to beat, and if you don’t lose games, you can certainly go all the way. However you have to win games, and it may mean by virtue of a penalty shootout – something that historically doesn’t favour England. However, at last with a world-class goalkeeper, perhaps the best England has had since the days of Ray Clemence, they may stand a chance!
Croatia: they are my real outsiders, bets at 50-1. It isn’t a bad bet and if they qualify for the second round, they could be 7-1 or 5-1, and that means winning two games! They are packed with talented players and at under-20 levels almost the same group of players stunned the world. Don’t disregard them, yet! I’ve put a few euros on them to reach the final, just on the outside chance. You’ll remember I had my money on Uruguay to reach the final of the World Cup, at similar odds and we nearly did it!
Clive Jagger – Football Spain