With the 2012 European Football Championship right around the corner, let's go ahead and take a look at this year's odds favorite. How are the Spaniards gearing up for the tournament, and will they live up to expectations?
The overall favorite to win Euro 2012 is Spain. We've got an
in-depth preview of what to expect from the high-flying Spaniards.
Out of the top six main dogs (Spain, Germany, Holland,
France, England and Italy), it's the Spanish outfit that are the cream of the
crop in the soccer odds. They're priced at +260 to win the whole thing.
What's their group looking like? Well, they're in Group C
alongside Italy, Croatia and Ireland.
Obviously the Italians, who are one of the most successful
nations ever in big tournaments like this, will be tough to face. The Croatians
will also be solid, led by Tottenham star Luka Modric, while we can expect the
Irish to be the whipping boys of the group.
Spain is favored in their opening group match against Italy.
That dandy of a game is set for Sunday, June 10 and the Spanish are priced at
-130 to win, with the Italians at +350.
Group C presents challenges
For their game against Ireland, Vincent del Bosque's men are
at -300 to win, while they're at -200 to beat Croatia in their last group stage
Assuming they advance, the Spaniards are likely to face
either England or France in the first round of the knockout stages. Whichever
team it is, that game is going to be one you don't want to miss.
Roster wise, no team is as talented from top to bottom as
Starting at goalie, you know you've got too much quality
when netminders like Pepe Reina and Victor Valdes are the second and third
choices behind Iker Casillas.
Defense is also loaded, with Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos
likely to start across the backline. The midfield has the most talent of all
though, as del Bosque will be able to call on Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Sergio
Busquets, Xabi Alonso, David Silva, Cesc Fabregas, Juan Mata and Santi Cazorla.
We'll let you read over that list one more time.
The fact that some of those players will be sitting on the
bench is almost like a crime. Talk about an embarrassment of riches.
Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets and Fabregas were wonderful as
always for Barcelona this term, while Alonso and Silva were influential for
their respective clubs as well.
Too many star names to count
In terms of goalscorers, Fernando Torres will be given the
every opportunity to lead the frontline with David Villa set to miss out.
Torres is quoted at +1400 at Bovada to be the top goalscorer of the tournament.
Further down that list we also see more soccer betting options with other Spanish players
such as Fernando Llorente (+1600), Fabregas (+2000), Mata (+3300) and Iniesta
Clearly Torres is the one everyone will be scrutinizing
The Chelsea striker had trouble establishing himself in the
first team in his debut season in London but seemed to round into form as the
campaign closed. Scoring against South Korea in a tuneup match should do his
confidence wonders ahead of this huge spectacle.
Considering the sheer level of quality throughout the
roster, as well as the fact that this team has dominated internationally over
the past decade, one has to think this is Spain's tournament to lose.
First things first though. The Spaniards have quite a
difficult group to contend with before anything, but they're favorites for a
reason. This team is completely stacked all over the pitch and will be
contending for the championship trophy when everything's said and done.
This is the squad everyone expects to win. Will they do it?
Soon enough we'll find out, but you're going to want to watch them try
irrespective of everything else. That much we know.