There’s always a group of death in a major soccer tournament and this is it for the upcoming Euro 2012 tournament. This is because you’ve got a quartet of the top teams in the world here in Germany, Holland, Portugal, and Denmark. Points are definitely going to prove very precious in this group and teams that can’t win could go out as draws may not be enough. Germany had an amazing run in the qualifying round with 10 wins in 10 games and Holland was almost as good. Denmark and Portugal are world-class, but have been a bit inconsistent lately.
Group B Teams
Group B will get underway with a match between Denmark and Holland at the Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv, Ukraine on June 9th. Holland made Euro 2012 by winning qualifying Group E with 27 points on nine wins and a loss. Denmark won Group H with 19 points from six wins a draw and a loss.
Holland has been ranked as high as number one in the world by FIFA, which was in 2011 after they had lost the World Cup Final to Spain in 2010. They’ve never won the World Cup in nine appearances however they also finished as runners up in both 1974 and 1978. They’ve qualified for the European Championships eight times and won it in 1988.
Denmark has qualified for four World Cup tournaments with a 1998 quarterfinal finish being their best. In 1992 the tiny nation captured the European Championships after they were entered as a late replacement for the former nation of Yugoslavia, which was embroiled in a civil war at the time.
Portugal and Germany will be battling it out as well on June 9 with this game being held at Arena Lviv in the city of Lviv, Ukraine. Germany won all 10 of their qualifying games and their 30 points were 13 more than second-place Turkey.
Portugal was runner up in Group H with 16 points from five victories, one draw and two defeats. They were level on points with Finland, but their better goal difference enabled them to make the playoffs where they beat Bosnia and Herzegovina on aggregate 6-2 over two games. Strangely, all eight goals came in the final leg of the playoff series in Portugal.
Portugal has always been a well-respected team, but they don’t seem to win the big games. They’ve qualified for five World Cups with third-place in 1966 being their best showing. They have qualified for five European Championships, but lost as the host nation in 2004 when they were beaten by Greece.
Germany is always ranked as one of the world’s top teams and this version of the squad is no different. Up until the year 1990 there were two German teams, which were East Germany and West Germany. They merged to form one German team and have been on a tear ever since. Overall, Germany has qualified for 17 World Cups and won the trophy in 1990, 1974, and 1954. They were also runners up on four occasions, including 2002. Germany has also won the European Championships on three occasions, which were 1996, 1980, and 1972. They were runners up three times, the latest being in 2008.
Group B Schedule
9th June 2012 – Holland v Denmark
9th June 2012 – Germany v Portugal
13th June 2012 – Denmark v Portugal
13th June 2012 – Holland v Germany
17th June 2012 – Portugal v Holland
17th June 2012 – Denmark v Germany
Odds and Predictions for Group B
William Hill has the odds of Germany winning Group B currently at 2.20 (6/5) with Holland at 2.75 (7/4), Portugal at 4.50 (7/2) and Denmark at 15.00 (14/1). Euro 2012 betting will be huge at this site in a few months, knowing they have already many good odds out.
Germany should be favoured to win this group by most fans and Holland will likely be a close second. Anything can happen with the teams being this closely matched and a loss in this group could be fatal. However, the two favourites, Germany and Holland should be the ones making it to the knockout stage.