Euro 2012 kicked off this week after what seems like a huge wait since the last World Cup two years for fans of big tournament football. That tournament ended in huge disappointment for England fans but there is a new manager and a younger side, can the Three Lions go all the way this summer?
Unfortunately, this looks to be one of the weakest England squads that has gone to a major tournament in decades and England come up against a France side that looks back on track under Laurent Blanc after some high profile big tournament failures in recent years, they are now over 20 games unbeaten. The group matches against Sweden and hosts Ukraine won’t be easy though but England are capable of progressing to the knockout stage, but unfortunately it looks as though it will be the runners up spot, which England have filled in the group stage of four of the last six major tournaments. England are 11/5 to finish second in Group D and a value looking 9/2 with a couple of bookies to finish second to France.
If England do finish second in Group D they will face the winner of Group C and that looks very likely to be the World and European Champions Spain. England beat Spain in a friendly in November but they certainly rode their luck on that occasion and in a match that matters Spain look too good for England making England look a decent bet to be eliminated at the Quarter Final stage, a bet that is currently available at 11/5.
The most likely winners this year could well be Germany despite Spain generally being the favourites with the bookies. If the draw does go to plan and Spain defeat England in the Quarter Final they are then likely to play Holland in the semi final, another tough game for them. Germany, should they win their group, should get the easiest of the quarter finals against Poland or Greece and then in the semi final they’d play the winner of the quarter final between the runner up of Group C (probably Italy) and the winner of Group D (probably France) and that doesn’t look a tough route to the final. Therefore Germany look a good bet to go all the way this year at 3/1 and you can get 8/1 that they face Spain in the final, 10/1 that they play against Holland in the final or alternatively 30/1 that they take on England in the final.