Euro 2012 Group B betting

The proverbial ‘Group of Death’ rears its ugly (for those involved) head at every major international tournament, and Poland and Ukraine 2012 is no different. Second favourites for the competition Germany will meet bitter rivals and third favourites Holland, whilst Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal and Denmark meet again after being in the same qualification group, a group which Denmark won. This one is going to be interesting.

Euro 2012 Group B odds


The team to challenge Spain are favourites to win the group, and rightly so with the talent they possess, their scintillating style of play and the manner in which they qualified. Like the Spaniards, they finished top of their group with a perfect record, winning every game. Theirs was not an easy group either, with the young Belgians and talented Turks brushed aside. Jogi Loew’s men scored 34 goals in their 10 games and conceded only seven. Maybe more importantly, they were only narrowly beaten by a rare Puyol goal against eventual winners Spain in the 2010 World Cup, and have matured into an even better side since. And they recently smashed the Dutch 3-0 in a friendly, a warning shot to their rivals if there ever was one.


World Cup runners up Holland go into this group as third favourites for the tournament and second favourites to qualify as group winners. Could they be the value here? Their relentless run to the final in 2010 was achieved in the least Dutch was imaginable, and caused their harshest critic, and Dutch legend, Johan Cruyff to declare himself in favour of a Spanish victory in that game. But they are worthy of being up there with the favourites. Albeit it in a slightly easier group they still outscored the Germans in qualification, and only lost the one game, a surprise defeat when already qualified. Every football fan will remember how hard Spain had to work to beat them in South Africa, and they are hard to break down. Wesley Sneijder was glorious in the tournament, and this time around they will have an in form Robin Van Persie, who struggled then but is looking amongst the best five strikers in the world right now.


Portugal continue to disappoint in world football. Captained by the world’s most expensive player, the man who it could be argued is the second best player in the world and the best at this tournament Cristiano Ronaldo, they again failed to win their group, coming second to Denmark (and finishing level on points with Norway) this time around, having failed to topple Poland in qualification in 2008. Now, faced with Holland and Germany, Portugal must find even more to even make the knockout stages. The talent in their team is unquestionable. The world’s most expensive left back Fabio Coentrao with his Real Madrid partner Pepe and the highly rated Bruno Alves are in their defence, Chelsea’s Raul Meireles part of a three-man midfield and Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo provide the width, pace and creativity in a three-pronged attack. It is because of this that they cannot be written off. If they click they will be devastating. But it has rarely happened in six years, or even eight, when they finished runners-up to Greece in Euro 2004 at home.


Denmark must have been the most disappointed team and nation leaving the Euro 2012 draw. Nobody wants the group of death, and they really will not be expecting a lot from Holland and Germany. The one team they will have hopes of finishing above are Ronaldo’s Portugal, only after topping that qualifying group which both teams were in. That may have been a tough task, but this is only harder. Considering they could not progress past the group stage in the 2010 World Cup with a group of Holland, Cameroon and Japan, you cannot hold out much hope for them this time. The maturing of their talented youth players will have to reach a great high for them to have any chance here. But they do have youngsters who are waiting to step up and make an impression on the big stage, in a competition where many have done so before. Simon Kjaer and Nicolas Bendtner have played in international tournaments before, but look out for Nicolai Jorgensen and, especially, Christian Eriksen. He could be the man to make an impact, the 19 year old attacking midfielder who is linked with Manchester’s City and United regularly, the new darling of Danish football. If he can burst onto the international scene like Rooney once did, it could throw a spanner in the works.

Recommended Bets: Germany to win Group B – 2.16. Holland to qualify – 1.45.

Of course there is a chance of the ‘outsiders’, and that term is used at its loosest, could be on form at the right time, spring surprise and compete with the stars in their teams, but Denmark and Portugal are not as good teams, squads and units as Germany and Holland. Germany are the big challengers to Spain, not only here but in the next ten years, with a stream of youth players consistently being found and making the step up, playing an attacking style of football. Their weak defence is disappearing too, with the slow types like Mertesacker on the way out and highly rated Hummels and Howedes breaking through. That would leave a fight between the Dutch and the two others, a fight Holland won’t lose. They have the attacking talent and guile with the likes of Sneijder, Robben and Van Persie, yet have instilled a defensive fight and work ethic that makes them hard to break down. They won’t be exposed easily, which cannot be said of Denmark and Portugal.

Odds to win Group B:

Germany – 2.16 Holland – 2.8 Portugal – 5.2 Denmark – 17.00

Odds to Qualify from Group B:

Germany – 1.26 Holland – 1.45