Euro 2012: who will come first, second and third?
The speculation about which teams will make it to the latter stages of Euro 2012 is already in full swing, as is the betting on the same subject with bookmakers and major online sports betting sites like Bwin Betting. However, as we all know, just because a team are the bookies’ favourites to make it, it doesn’t mean that they will live up to the pre-tournament hype – something which has particularly proven to be true when it comes to the European Championships. These are some unscientific predictions for first, second and third place.
1st – Germany
The young German side is still probably rated slightly behind Spain with most bookmakers, but this tournament may have arrived at just the right time for them. England fans will have painful memories of the demolition the Germans inflicted on the national side during the 2010 World Cup and, yes, you could argue that England were awful in the first half of that game (they were) and that things might have been different had Lampard’s goal stood, but Germany were still cool and ruthless for such a young team. They are two years older and more experienced now and – crucially – hungry to prove themselves.
The quality in the Spanish squad is unarguable and is surely the greatest depth of talent available to any side in the tournament, but can they really sustain their success to win a third successive major international trophy? No country has ever won a successive Euro, World Cup and Euro before, and Germany has the advantage of greater hunger for success. Throw in a slight dip in Spanish domestic football this season, and this tournament could be the end of Spanish dominance.
3rd- The Netherlands
The Dutch proved to be surprise packages at the last World Cup, as no one expected them to get to the final and also no one expected them to play the way they did to accomplish this! They did not impress many with the tactics they adopted – particularly in the final – but they were undoubtedly more of a team than they have been since 1988. If they can combine that with more classic football, they should be a good bet for the semi-finals.