9th June Germany v Portugal (Group B)
Many of us betting Euro 2012 believe that Germany represent the biggest threat to Spain in this competition and it is not difficult to understand why after they fired 34 goals in qualifying. Their performance at the 2010 World Cup was brimming with promise. Big victories over England and Argentina showed how devastating they can be and they only lost narrowly to the World and Euro Champions Spain through a goal by Puyol. They have scarcely looked back since that moment and won every game in their group. They also comfortably defeated the Netherlands 3-0 in a friendly, suggesting it is they and not the Dutch who will emerge as Championship contenders this summer.
Portugal suffered the indignity of having to qualify through the playoffs, in spite of all their talent. Not even the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani were enough to achieve qualification from their group as they were edged out by Denmark. Capable of brilliant play one day and very moderate the next, consistency is going to be their problem if they intend to mount a serious challenge at Euro 2012. They were at their mercurial best when they defeated World Champions Spain 4-0 at the end of 2010 but followed it with defeat at the hands of Argentina.
They have a wealth of talent that should form the basis of a side good enough to reach the semi-finals. Pepe, Bruno Alves, Raul Meireles, Joao Moutinho and Fabio Coentrao are all world class individuals worthy of any side in the World. Whether they can be successfully combined in a solid unit is open to debate and Portugal remain something of an enigma. They are capable of beating the best on their day but can they maintain that level throughout Euro 2012?
Predictions – What to Expect from Germany v Portugal
With two such attack-minded sides, some fine entertainment is anticipated for this clash. Germany are stronger in defence and will be mindful of the threat posed by the Portuguese but goals seem almost inevitable. Whilst the Germans will go into this game full of confidence, a draw would not be seen as a complete disaster by either side so early in the tournament.
We have found some good odds on this game at Bet365.com.
Most people are expecting a strong performance from the Germans in this tournament and consequently they are as short as 4-5 to open with a win. Portugal are unpredictable and are generously priced as high as 4-1 for a win and the draw is generally a 5-2 chance.
Portugal could prove good enough to give the Germans plenty to think about and a draw may offer better value. Such is the respect for this German side that they are as short as 3-1 second odds favourites for the championship whilst Portugal are 20-1. Certainly those odds look a bit skinny for the Germans and this is a tough opening test for their credentials.
Author Profile: Stefan+