As history tells us, this market has produced two big priced who-on-earth-backed-them winners in the last 20 years. Back in 1992 Denmark replaced war-torn Yugoslavia in the eight-team line up and proceeded to shock the footballing world with a gritty 66/1 triumph in neighbouring Sweden. 12 years on it was the turn of unfashionable Greece to lift the Henri Delaunay Trophy. Otto Rehhagel’s side were the toast of bookmakers as they grinded their way to a 100/1 success.
Will there be another shock this year? Perhaps, but the consensus amongst bookmakers and pundits seems to suggest this is a three horse race between defending and world champions Spain, progressive Germany and World Cup runners-up Holland.
Let’s start with Spain (3/1)…Vincente Del Bosque’s side have been uneasy favourites over the last few months and it looked at one stage that they would be usurped in the betting by Germany. La Roja are looking to become the first European side ever to win three consecutive competitions, this feat seems all the more harder when you consider they are without star striker David Villa and inspirational Carlos Puyol. Fatigue may also play a part as this squad, mainly made up of players from Barcelona and Real Madrid, have had a gruelling season. In fact it’s been a gruelling two year period since their win in South Africa. For those reasons they have to be opposed here.
Incredibly Germany (10/3) haven’t won a competition since Euro 96 but that is set to change in Poland and Ukraine as Joachim Low’s side seem to tick all the boxes. The spine of the side (Neuer, Badstuber, Schweinsteiger, Gomez) is entrenched in the Bayern side that were so close to winning the Champions League last month and the squad is enriched further with key Borussia Dortmund players like Mats Hummels and Mario Gotze. Lob in Mesut Ozil and the profilic Miroslav Klose and you have a team brimming with talent.
The Dutch (13/2) kicked on from their South African performance with a solid display in the qualifying round of this competition picking up 27 points from a possible 30 and scoring more goals than any other nation. But it’s at the other end of the pitch where doubts sit and the centre-back pairing of Johnny Heitinga and Joris Mathijsen gives cause for concern. Holland have also been placed in a tough group alongside Germany, Portugal and Denmark so qualification is not guaranteed either.
Of the others, France (9/1) have been well supported in recent weeks after going on a long unbeaten run but faith has been in short supply for England (15/1) and Italy (16/1). The former start the tournament at their biggest price ever for this kind of competition.
- No European team has ever won three consecutive international tournaments
- Absent David Villa won the Golden Boot in Euro 2008 and shared it in World Cup 2010 for Spain.
Recommendation: Germany @ 10/3 with bet365