Giovanni Trapattoni is keeping his bets close to his chest
Photo (c) Ingo Stöldt

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

There has been a sudden outbreak of Euro tipping by a number of international football managers with just three months to go until the start of Euro 2012. Spain's Del Bosque, perhaps keen to deflect  attention away from talk about Spain retaining their Euro crown, believes Germany and Holland are the most likely challengers for Euro glory, with France and Portugal quoted as being his outside bets.

The wise young man of world football management, Slaven Bilic, says Spain are the 'overwhelming favourites' and that he is sure they will overcome the huge pressure being placed upon them as world and European champions.

Meanwhile, Ireland's Italian coach, Giovanni Trapattoni, clearly isn't a betting man as he predicted this week that 'any team could win Euro 2012': 
"It is not easy to play against great players but I have studied them on DVD and I know what is possible to do. They have many great players but in my life I learned in football that in 90 minutes that anything is possible,"

Clint Dempsey scored the USA's historic winner against Italy

Photo (c) Nathan Forget

Thursday, March 1, 2012

With all 16 of the teams who have qualified for Euro 2012 playing last night, the question of which team is most likely to win this summer's tournament now appears harder to answer than ever.

While Spain cruised to a 5-0 victory against the surprise stars of the Copa America, Venezuela, many people's other favourites for Euro glory - Germany - were defeated at home to France 2-1. After years of poor form, the French national team is suddenly one of the continent's leading sides and will look to go into Euro 2012 with a 20-match unbeaten record after making it 18 matches without defeat in Bremen.

No surprises, truthfully, at Wembley where Holland beat England 3-2 in Stuart Pearce's first game in charge of the national team. Although England looked comfortable in the first half they were cruelly exposed by the likes of Arjen Robben in the second half and although they came back from two goals down to level at 2-2 in the closing stages, the Dutch once again took advantage of poor marking in injury time to snatch a winner.

Sweden claimed one of the results of the evening with an impressive 3-1 away victory against Slaven Bilic's men. The Swedes played some delightful one-touch football at times and, on this evidence, will make Ukraine, France and England sweat for a second round slot in June from Group D.

Shock of the night must rate as the United States' 1-0 away victory in Italy. Clint Dempsey, arguably the player of the season in the English Premier League, did the damage for the Americans, making it the first US victory over Italy in 78 years and 11 attempts.

Photo (C) Tsutomu Takasu
Arjon Robben exposed England's defensive frailties 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Croatia coach Slaven Bilic talks to about his team's prospects for Euro 2012, and reflects on comparisons between the current side and the successful 1998 Croatia team he played in.
Thursday, January 19, 2012

Spain are the bookies' favourite to win Euro 2012 with Germany snapping at their heels and closing the odds as second favourites. A dip in form the Spanish suggests they are no longer invincible, while Joachim Low's exciting young German team looks to have the makings of a side that can win this summer's European Football Championships.

Holland, England, France and Italy make up places three to seven. Croatia look the best value for money as an outside bet with most bookies offering odds of 40/1 on Slaven Bilic's men holding the Euro trophy aloft on July 1st in Kiev. Might well be worth a fiver on Croatia, me thinks.