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,"
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.
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.