iBet: Expect England to struggle
Euro 2012, Group D
Lay England to qualify at 1.69 with Betfair
So what do we make of England? Truthfully, the build up has been chaotic and I expect them to struggle. The new manager clearly knows the squad’s limitations and is setting them up to not concede, but the top quality teams usually find a way through and England’s attacking options look pretty one dimensional. Although they are nine places below Roy Hodgson’s men in the FIFA rankings, France look the best team in this group by some way to me, and they could be a dark horse to go deep into the tournament. They are unbeaten in 20 matches, are tight at the back with only four goals conceded in ten qualification games, have a settled and in-form midfield, and unlike England have world class quality where it matters in Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, who almost un-noticed notched 32 domestic goals this season, and Bayern’s Frank Ribery. Then you have two more expansive teams in Sweden, who are definitely under-rated and score plenty, and Ukraine, who have home advantage but are ranked only 50th and seem vulnerable at the back. It’s a wide open group – anything could happen – and in my opinion England should not be odds on to qualify.
First round of group games at European Championships since 1980 have averaged under two goals, with only 27% producing more than 2.5 goals. I will be laying over 3.5 goals with Betfair in a number of them. Let the fun begin…
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