Euro 2012 betting preview - Group C - Spain 1/2
We continue our Euro 2012 betting preview with the third country in group C, namely Spain. As we all know, Spain are the current European Champions and World Cup holders. They sit at the top of Fifa's ranking system and are playing some fantastic football. They are the natural favourites to win their group, even though it is a fairly tough group consisting of Italy, Croatia, and Ireland. In our previous article we covered Croatia, if you have not read it you can do so right here.
Spain have qualified for almost every finals, only missing out 3 times since 1960. And this time around the qualifying round went again as expected for the Spanish team, they breezed through it by winning all eight matches comfortably, scoring a total of 26 goals and conceding just 6 goals. It has to be said that the opposition was not that impressive, group matches were pretty straight forward as the group consisted of an average Czech side and several poor teams (Scotland,Lithuania and Liechtenstein).
Euro 2012 betting odds
Spain is the natural favourite to win the whole tournament, and the odds thereafter. To win the tournament you can get 3.60 (bodog). If you are looking for odds on them to win their group, you can get 1.62 (Betfred).
When we look at odds on top goalscorers, here are some examples (goals scored during qualifying in brackets):
- David Villa, (7 goals in 8 games), 15.00 top goalscorer and 5.00 top Spain scorer
- Fernando Torres, (2 goals in 3 games), 21.00 top goalscorer and 4.33 top Spain scorer
- Fernando Llorente, (3 goals in 5 games), 21.00 top goalscorer and. 4.33 top Spain scorer
Here are the odds on the group stage fixtures:
- Spain v Italy (Gdansk) Best odds: 1.85 3.60 5.50
- Spain v Republic of Ireland (Gdansk) Best odds: 1.36 5.00 11.00
- Croatia v Spain (Gdansk) (Gdansk) Best odds: 8.00 4.00 1.60
Betting analysis: Spain's position as the tournament favourites may come under threat from Germany if Villa doesn't recover from injury. With or without him, we think they should have no problem winning the group (odds 1.62 available with Betfred) Whether they can do this with 3 wins from 3 is another thing (odd 3.75 available with Ladbrokes). An outside bet could be Spain to be eliminated in the Semi Finals (odd 4.33 with Ladbrokes). The downside for Spain is that in tournament play they can be contained, sometimes struggling to convert chances. The prices for Torres and Llorente as Top Tournament Goalscorer have shortened recently with the doubts over David Villa, and we think the value may lie with Llorente and the odds 21.0 with Stan James.
Spain Euro 2012 team sheet
Below we give you the rundown on all the key players of the Spanish side, the top world class players that through their performances will decide whether or not Spain will defend their Euro title.
Key men: Goalkeeper
Iker Casillas (Real Madrid) 121 caps, 0 goals. Spain have some of the best goalkeepers in the world, but Iker Casillas is the rightful number 1. He is the team captain and much respected. His strengths being excellent shot stopper, having great reflexes and good at sweeping up. In addition he is very solid overall and makes very few mistakes. Spain's backup keepers are excellent too, should they need to step in and replace Casillas.
Key Men: Defence
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) 83 caps,6 goals. Ramos will be moved into central defence after Puyol's withdrawal. He is a quick and strong defender with pace, and tough tackling and positionally aware. In addition he is good in the air and offensively a potent goal threat. Negatives are that he can lack discipline and is prone to rash tackling.
Gerard Pique (Barcelona) 38 caps, 4 goals. Pique is a strong and composed central defender. He reads the game well and provides good cover to other defenders. Offensively speaking he plays the ball well from the back, and quite often starts the attacks. His weakness is that he lacks pace, so can be outdone by speedier players.
Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid) 33 caps, 0 goals. A versatile defender who is capable of covering the entire back four positions, Arbeloa is a really dogged defender that is difficult to beat and covers really well. In addition he is able to get up and down the pitch and will join in the attacks.
Conclusion so far:
Spain have versatile players and many combinations for defence. For instance both Arbeloa and Ramos are able to cover all positions across the back four. As an option, the Spaniards might go with Valencia's exciting left back Jordi Alba and have Arbeloa at right back. A slight worry for us, and a possible sign of defensive weakness, would be that in the rather easy qualifying group they conceded goals in 5 of the 8 games. Will for sure be interesting to see how this plays out against the great attacking sides they eventually will meet during the Championship. Next up we are taking a look at the key players in midfield and attack, continue to the next part for the remainder of our Euro 2012 betting preview of Spain!