They’re here! Euro 2012 kicks off and one of the choicest picks
from the opening games is the Group B clash between Germany and Portugal on
Germany are this year’s
second favourites (at 3/1) behind Spain to be crowned kings of Europe 2012, while
Portugal seem to be reeling (still) from their defeat in the Euro 2004 final
when (as host nation) they fell at the final hurdle to 100/1 shots Greece. The
odds all point to a German victory on Saturday, despite being second favourites
to lift the trophy Germany are 8/13 to reach the semi-finals
and 8/5 to reach the finals.
The Germans are just behind the Spanish in most bookie’s
reckonings almost across the board, but they are ahead of Spain when it comes
to the odds on being the highest scoring team in Euro 2012 at 11/4. More
immediately Germany are a BFH bet of 2/7 to qualify from their group. The
bookies think they will manage to qualify with ease as they have odds of 11/10
on Germany amassing 6 or 7 points from their three the group games.
What have you done for me lately!?
Portugal is a bit of a faded beauty these days and while the human
action man Cristiano Ronaldo is always watchable, he doesn’t excite the way he
used to (a bit like the Simpsons). The Real Madrid winger and Portuguese
captain may be a victim of his own skills, as when brilliance is commonplace,
anything less than exceptional is a little “ordinary”. Either way the bookies
have the tournament’s highest scoring player being Portuguese at 11/1 (while a
German taking the competition’s Golden Boot is at “just” 7/2). The sportsbooks
also have Portugal at 25/1 to be the highest scoring team.
The 2004 runners up are a long shot these days, at an uninspiring
18/1 to win Euro 2012 (the bookies 7th favourite) and are even 7/1 to reach the
final. They might be heading home even sooner than that, as the bookies also
have Portugal at 4/1 to win Group B, that’s third favourites (ahead of just Denmark).
They are also the bookies favourites to finish the group stages third at 17/10
and 12/5 to finish second. Regardless of their Euro 2012 future, form says
Portugal will need a little luck to best the Germans.
You have to worry about Portuguese inconsistency
Portugal left it late to secure their fifth successive appearance
at the European Championship finals after they failed to win either of their
first two matches in their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign. But when they finally
did secure a place in the tournament, it was in emphatic style with a 6-2
second leg victory over Bosnia-Hercegovina. More recently Portugal's European
Championship warm-up matches ended in a disappointing fashion when they went
down 3-1 to Turkey, in Lisbon on Saturday.
You have to be impressed by German efficiency
Germany are 10/11 to win this match while a draw is at draw 13/5. Allow yourself to be tempted by Germany
winning 2-1 at 15/2, but Mrs Richardson’s shoe fund wants higher odds, and
foresees a more “commanding” start to Euro 2012 by Germany. Germany has a bit
of previous with the Euros, winning it in 1972, 1980 and 1996. I pegged them as
one of the two teams to back in this competition, and I reckon they’ll start with a bang, at Portugal’s expense.
If you want more interesting soccer picks, or want to cheer on either
side on Saturday you can pick up a very tasty 33/1 on Germany losing their
first game (this one) but topping their group (after three matches). They may
not be likely to do the former (Portugal are 18/5 to win on Saturday) but they
are certainly likely to do the latter (Germany are 6/5 to win the group at time
of press). While I wouldn’t recommend a heavy bet on that one, it’s certainly
worth a mini-punt (a small withdrawal from Mrs Richardson’s shoe fund is going
Prediction: Germany win
3-1 at 14/1.