Number Game

Numbers Game: French fancied for Euro joy

Thursday 7th June 2012 8:41

Benzema and France: Fancied at Euro 2012

Benzema and France: Fancied at Euro 2012

In a special edition of TEAMtalk's Numbers Game, Matty Briggs thinks France (9/1) and Holland (6/1) are the two teams to follow at Euro 2012.

Laurent Blanc's France are one of two Value Bet picks.

England's first Euro 2012 opponents were my selection several weeks ago and were chalked up at 14/1, but after plenty of media attention and their recent 4-0 win over Estonia, the bookmakers have slashed Les Bleus into 9/1.

But despite the price collapse, I still think there is a degree of value in backing Blanc's men.

I've also gone with another of Europe's powerhouses, Holland (6/1), as my other Value Bet.

The Dutch have also seen some support and shortened slightly over the last few weeks, but they have the attacking prowess to be a real handful over the next month and should give us a run for our money.

The Banker is Germany and Holland to qualify from Group B at evens, as I simply cannot envisage any other combination.

In-form Ashley Young is tipped up to top score for England at 13/2, while France ace Karim Benzema is the 12/1 tip to win the Golden Boot, while there are tips for four other Euro 2012 hot-shots.


    France to win Euro 2012 at 9/1 and Holland to win Euro 2012 at 6/1.

    France and Holland are the two against the field for me. France have developed rapidly under Laurent Blanc and look together and they have a midfield full of talent. Striker Karim Benzema will be their talisman and if he continues his club form with Real Madrid, then France could go all the way. Holland are my other pick, and although they don't quite represent the value of France, they are hard to ignore after top scoring in qualification. If their defence can give them a platform and if they can hit top form in the knockout phase, then their array of attacking options could blow away the opposition.

    In the outright book, both Russia and Poland have been lively outsiders with Sky Bet and are the teams the punters are sticking their each-way cash on. Poland had been as big as 66/1 earlier in the year but have now been clipped into 40/1, while Russia are now in to 20/1 from 28/1, not least after a very impressive win over Italy.France have proved popular and are now 9/1 from 14/1. The French could really do anything in this tournament and have arguably as talented a squad as most. If they click, and crucially have no off-the-field problems as in the past, a good run can be expected here. They have been heavily backed to win Group D and are now 11/8 favourites ahead of England, who are 15/8.French striker Karim Benzema has proved popular for the Golden Boot at 12/1, while Russia's Aleksandr Kerzhakov has seen each-way support and is now into 33/1 from 80/1.
  • WHO'S HOT -

    Spain lost just one of their last 40 games in either qualifying for major tournaments or the finals of them.

    France have gone 21 games unbeaten.

    Germany won each of their 10 qualifying games and scored three or more goals in eight of them.

    Since the 2010 World Cup, Greece have lost just one of their last 21 internationals and are 12 games unbeaten.

    England have won four of their last five games 1-0.

    Holland have won eight of their last nine games in the group stages of major tournaments.

    Russia have gone 14 games unbeaten.

    Republic of Ireland have gone 14 games unbeaten.

    Sweden have won eight of their last nine games.

    Ukraine have lost two of their last seven.

  • WHO'S NOT -

    Italy have won just two of their last nine games in the finals of this competition, and have lost their last three friendlies without scoring.

    Denmark have lost two of their last three games - against Russia and Brazil.

    Portugal have only won one of their last six games.


    In the outright market, the two sides at the front both look too short for Sky Bet. Spain are 11/4, while Germany can be backed at 3/1 and both will be strong, but in a competition like this there is bigger value to be had, especially when the majority of both squads have suffered recent major set-backs in the Champions League, and Spain look short of a frontman to lead the attack.
    The Netherlands look a decent price at 6/1, though you have to bear in mind they are in the 'group of death', along with Germany, Portugal and Denmark. Robin van Persie has just had the season of his life while Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has been scoring for fun in the Bundesliga. Add the creativity of Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart, and they have an awesome looking attacking threat.
    Russia and Poland have both been popular to qualify and win Group A, with the Czech Republic and 2004 winners Greece completely friendless. The straight forecast of Russia finishing top with the Poles in second at 9/2 seems to be the logical choice.
    In Group C, Croatia to qualify at 6/4 looks like a bet. The Spanish look certainties to finish top, so the straight forecast can be backed at 3/1. The Italians look a poor side especially in the reserves should any first teamers get injured and will be totally reliant on Andrea Pirlo to pull the strings in midfield. Croatia have an extremely talented squad that have played together for a long time so are definitely worth supporting.

    France have won four of their last five games v England.

    Poland are six games unbeaten v Greece.

    Holland are eight games unbeaten v Denmark.

    Germany have only won one of last six v Holland.

    Italy haven't beaten Croatia in any of their five meetings since 1994.

    Ireland won just one of last 13 v Spain.

    Ukraine have never beaten France in six attempts.

    England won just one of last 13 v Sweden.

    Portugal are eight games unbeaten v Holland.

    France unbeaten in 11 v Sweden.

  • BANKER -

    Germany and Holland to qualify from Group B at evens.

    I've not seen a single pundit anywhere go against the grain in Group B. The general consensus is that Germany and Holland will make progress from the group and with that in mind, you would expect a heavy odds-on price and not an even-money shot.

    Germany to beat Portugal at evens.

    Lukas Podolski speaking after Germany's recent defeat by Switzerland said: "Of course, defeats like this shouldn't happen and they hurt, and losing 5-3 to Switzerland is definitely not on, but I can promise there will be a different team on the field (against Portugal). We have got to live with the criticism. We are all focusing on Portugal and have got to be fit for that game, and we will be fit."

    You can follow Matty on Twitter at @MattPBriggs.



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