46 (and counting) years of hurt Roy Hodgson’s, England travel to Euro 2012 on
the back of two victories and two clean sheets, but will it all go a bit “Mike
Bassett” for Woy?
For a country with football as its national
sport, it’s a sad state of affairs that the best England have ever managed in
this competition is a third place finish, back in 1968, and they have not reached the semifinals since in 1996. It’s hardly been the best of warmups for the
Three Lions as Fabio Capello's resignation in February left the squad’s
preparations up the proverbial, and surprise replacement Roy “Woy” Hodgson has
had just a few weeks to drill his squad. Some bookies have England as high as 15/1 to win Euro 2012, but most
have set them around the 5th favourite spot with betting odds around 10/1. England are
also 9/2 to reach the final (again behind four other teams).
For England to stand any chance, they will
have to be tight as a gnat’s backside at the back as they will be missing the
“goal monster” that is Wayne Rooney for the first two games, and the bookies
have England at 16/1 to be the most prolific scoring team. That may actually be
worth a cheeky punt as the sportsbooks have not one, but TWO England games favoured
to be highest scoring game in Group D; England Ukraine at 5/2 (then Sweden V England
at 7/2). These matches could see a barrage, especially if England succumb to
France in their first fixture and give themselves an added incentive to score
and score in their two remaining group games.
England are 9/1 to concede the fewest (not
LEAST!) goals in the tournament (definitely worth a bet as they could perform
well in the group stage and then bow out after a low scoring match at the
quarter final stage). As an aside, England are 16/1 to concede the most goals in
Bets on the Wayne
Tabloid favourite Wayne Rooney may be left
on the naughty step for England's first two games but that doesn’t mean he
isn’t at the centre of some big bets. Wayne is the 5/1 favourite to be
England's top scorer ahead of Andy Carroll at 6/1, Ashley Young at 13/2, Danny
Welbeck at 7/1, and Steve Gerrard (worth a few quid) at 8/1. The man under the
hair transplant is 8/13 to score at any point in Euro 2012, 25/1 to be crowned
player of the tournament and a massive 33/1 to be top scorer.
On a more negative note, the Shek-alike is
12/1 to play no role in England’s Euro 2012 campaign (utterly unlikely as
should England perform badly without him, he’ll be drafted in at the earliest
opportunity and if the first two games see a pair of English victories he’ll
get a look in sooner or later). The Red
Devil’s red mist might be an issue, and Rooney is 33/1 to be sent off in his
first match back against the Ukraine on the 19th June. If you want a wild bet, stick a couple of quid on Rooney’s only appearance to be at the final, where he
scores and England win; which will bankroll your celebrations at 200/1.
First amongst equals in Group D
England are 7/4 to win Group D (second
behind Le French) and are the favourites to come second at 21/10. Looking at
those odds, it’s a fairly safe call to back England to qualify for the quarter
finals, the bookies have England at 8/15 to qualify and 7/5 NOT to qualify. The
very good news is that the sportsbooks have England at “just” 9/1 to win all
three of their group games, but they are also 6/5 to win just one, 13/8 to win two
and 4/1 to win none.
England face France on Monday 11th June,
then Sweden on the 15th and finally the Ukraine (playing with home advantage)
on Tuesday the 19th.
If (when) England make it through to the
quarter final, they will face a team from Group C, either Croatia, Italy, Republic
of Ireland or Spain (the bookies’ favourites to win Euro 2012). The bookies
also have England at 11/5 to be knocked at the quarter finals stage and 5/1 to
bow at the semi-finals.
If I had to predict a point by point
accurate narrative for England’s Euro 2012 campaign, I’d say that they will come
second in Group D (losing to France on the way) then get knocked out in 90
minutes by Spain (Likely winners of Group C). But I’ll throw in a consolation
bet on England conceding the least goals and Andy Carroll to be England’s top
If you can keep your head when all about
you are losing theirs, if you can trust England when all bookies doubt them
(but make allowance for their doubting too), if you can wait and not be tired
by waiting, if you can dream of English glory, if you can force your heart and
nerve and sinew, and walk with kings and all that, then back England to win the
However, avoid these
three “Winner Specials." 1) The Tournament Winner to win every match inside 90
minutes at 10/1 (England will never do it the easy way!) 2) The Winner to be
Coached by someone from another country at 14/1 (despite his Scandinavian
history Woy is as English Shepherds’ Pie on a wet Wednesday afternoon) and 3)
The tournament winner not to concede a goal at 25/1 (despite two clean sheets
under Hodgson ahead of Euro 2012 England aren’t a fortress at the back).
There’s also Mrs Richardson’s favourite LOL bet
which is England to beat Germany 4-2 in final at 1966/1!