Euro 2012 - Group D preview
Group D is expected to be the main focus for punters in the early stages of Euro 2012 as Roy Hodgson looks to escape from tricky fixtures against old enemy France, Sweden and joint hosts Ukraine. England are the joint 13/8 favourites alongside France to win the group with Ukraine a 4/1 shout and Sweden as big as 6/1 to qualify.
For Euro 2012 William Hill are intent on offering an extensive array of betting opportunities on each and every group/team. In addition to our customary pre-match and In-play markets we have odds available for group forecast betting, team points predictions, Highest/Lowest scoring match/team..........etc.
Below we are going to consider the stand out markets in relation to England's Group D and try to highlight how our special markets can add something to the betting experience during the Euro 2012 tournament.
Roy Hodgson's reign as England manager got off to a promising if not rip-roaring start with a 1-0 win in Norway. With Steven Gerrard installed as captain, a solid 4-4-2 formation looks to be the foundation of the 64-year-old's Euro campaign. Wayne Rooney's 2-game suspension has presented an immediate dilemma for the new boss, who has rapidly reacted with an improvised yet encouraging partnership between Liverpool number 9 Andy Carroll and Manchester United's Ashley Young.
The England midfield does not possess the creative flair of Spain or Holland, however when combined with an experienced back five and Roy Hodgson's disciplined approach to cup football, England go into the tournament as a team that should be hard to beat.
With that in mind under the England Group Specials, England to concede under 3 goals @ 6/5 over the course of their three games in Group D looks to represent decent value. In addition if you fancy the national team to struggle in front of goal without talisman Wayne Rooney then for them to score under 3-goals could be worth a punt at odds of 11/4!
The forecast betting in Group D will cause a lot of debate. Despite poor displays in recent international tournaments, the French league has had a strong 2011-2012 season with many exciting newcomers breaking into the France squad. Both are 13/8 to win the group, therefore the 9/2 France/England forecast represents outstanding value when compared to the 7/2 offering about England/France to finish in that order.
Joint hosts Ukraine and Sweden will be keen to cause an upset. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic leading the line the Swedes shouldn't be underestimated. The AC Milan star is as big as 50/1 to be the tournament top goalscorer, and if Sweden can win their opener against hosts Ukraine on June 11th in Kiev then the 10/3 about them finishing runners-up in Group D would be an attractive option.
For us though the runners-up position holds little interest. This may not be the finest crop of players that have represented England at the Euros, however Roy Hodgson should inject a degree of passion back into the national game, something that was lacking under the guidance of Italian manager Fabio Capello. Winning Group D could have a massive bearing on the tournament. The runners-up will have a quarter-final date in Donetsk with the winner of Group C, which is more than likely to be Spain (11/4 Tournament Winner) unless the Italians or Ireland pull something special out of the bag. More importantly, however, coming second to France and handing over bragging rights to our better looking, better dressed neighbours must be avoided at all costs!