Once again tournament football has evaded the Scottish (wipes the single tear rolling down face). However, that should not hamper your viewing of the European Championship in France, which starts later this month. Here is a breakdown of 10 bets in which you can possibly profit from.
Austria to beat Hungary (4/5)
I do fancy Marcel Koller’s chances at taking Burschen far in this tournament and opening Group F is the battle between the formerly conjoined empire. Das Team only failed to win a single game in qualifying; which was the opener against Sweden. The other fact is that they conceded thrice in the final eight fixtures.
The Nemzeti Tizenegy are nowhere near as magical as the Magyars in the 50s. They toiled into third place of an uninspiring group that was topped by a resurgent Northern Ireland and were one of the lowest scorers (11).
First-time winner: No (1/2)
Germany, Spain and France have won it multiple times. Whereas Italy, and Greece is the other teams to have lifted the trophy. The first three seem to be everybody’s conscience picks to be champions on July 10th, With that I would find it difficult to back the field.
Lowest scoring team: Albania (6/1)
Kuq e Zinjtë qualified for their first major competition in their existence with the lowest goals scored in qualifying (7). On top of that, they got a bum draw for the tournament. Not only do they have the unenvious task of playing the hosts, but Gianni De Biasi’s men will play Romania, who leaked just two goals in qualifying and a Swiss side that finished runners-up to the English.
Group points over/under: Portugal, under six (5/4)
I do not have high hopes for the Portuguese, and they could find it difficult to progress alongside Austria and Iceland. A solitary win against Hungary and a pair of draws against the former pair is not inconceivable, especially if Cristiano is not firing on all cylinders.
Number of teams to lose all their games: Exactly one (9/5)
Albania, Hungary and to a lesser extent Northern Ireland would be the prime suspects for this and with the expansion of this tournament, at least one side will go home without laying a glove on their opponents.
Eliminated in the quarter-finals: England (5/2)
I have the English going out at this stage to the Austrians. While the English have a decent enough strike force, there are real questions at the back. The side seems to be one that is a couple of years away from being at their peak. Which is understandable seeing as they have the youngest squad.
Reach the semi-finals: Spain (11/8)
La Roja is not garnering the respect they deserve. Apart from their slip up against Slovakia in the qualifying opener, they won nine in a row, conceding once. Vicente del Bosque has learned the lessons from the embarrassment the holders suffered in the World Cup. This time around he has selected a very balanced, in-form squad which should see them make the final four at least.
Goals scored: +131 (7/4)
The average during the 24 team World Cups was over 133, which is 2.60 goals per game. Three of the four tournaments surpassed this tally, with only Italia 90 dragging the average down.
Best Player: Andres Iniesta (28/1)
La Furia’s outstanding star four years ago was the creative playmaker at Barcelona. If they were to do it once again, there is no reason why he cannot repeat the feat. A midfielder from the winners has always won the award, so keep that in mind when betting.
Golden Boot: Marc Janko (50/1)
I am all in on Austria and can see the Basel striker being a longshot to bag the four or five goals that are usually enough to become the top goalscorer. Barring Savo Milošević at Euro 2000, the winner always made the semi-finals.
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