Euro 2012 - The Quarter Finalists
By FootballCliches, bettingexpert.com | Published
The stage is set for the Euro 2012 Quarter Finals as tonight the Czech Republic face Portugal. Today our Euro 2012 correspondent Adam Hurrey reports from Warsaw before tonight's quarter-final.
With the line-up for the knockout stage now complete, here’s how the eight teams still in contention have fared so far:
Czech Republic – Tournament odds 54/1*
When Russia skilfully dismantled the Czechs in their opening game, few would have believed that Michal Bilek was to lead his side into the quarter-finals as Group A winners. Doubts remain over the fitness of captain Tomas Rosicky ahead of their clash with Portugal in Warsaw this evening - I’ll be covering that game in tomorrow’s blog.
Portugal – 15/2
Portugal’s Euro 2012 campaign burst into life with a dramatic 3-2 victory of Denmark in their second game. Cristiano Ronaldo located his shooting boots to seal qualification in the win over a dismal Holland in the final group game and he is available at just over 4/1 to be the tournament’s leading goalscorer.
Germany – 9/4 fav
The stand out performers from the group stage will go into their quarter-final against Greece with supreme confidence. The youngest squad at the tournament have shown no signs of nerves so far and their incisive, attacking style should prove too much for the Greeks. They can be backed at 13/8 to score three or more goals in Gdansk.
Greece – 64/1
Squeezing past Russia in Group A brought back memories of Greece’s surreal Euro 2004 campaign, and a defensive approach is expected against the Germans. Veteran skipper Giorgos Karagounis's suspension, after picking up two yellow cards, is a mighty blow to their hopes.
Spain – 5/2
A few doubts are beginning to creep in about the effectiveness of Spain’s possession-obsessed approach and with Fernando Torres yet to fire on all cylinders, they seem unsure of their favoured set-up. The reigning champions remain hard to beat, but one wonders which France will turn up in their quarter-final in Donetsk.
France – 12/1
Lethal against Ukraine, dreadful against Sweden. No-one is sure what to expect from France in the quarter-finals, where defender Philippe Mexes misses out through suspension. Reports of dressing-room discontent were confirmed by coach Laurent Blanc, whose positive spin was that “it shows that there was a bit of electricity.”
England – 9/1
England’s low-expectations policy is being tested by their advance to the quarter-finals as Group D winners, but they are yet to produce their definitive performance of the tournament. Wayne Rooney returned with a goal against Ukraine, and Italy will fear him in Kiev on Sunday.
Italy – 9/1
Italy’s quarter-final is the hardest to call. England are even money to proceed to the semi-finals, with the Azzurri a fraction more at 20/21. Cesare Prandelli must decide if Mario Balotelli’s temperament can withstand the pressure of a knife-edge knock-out game. With a tense encounter expected, the Italians can be backed at 9/1 to vanquish England by the means of a dreaded penalty shoot-out.
*odds supplied by Betfair. Correct at time of writing.
Adam will be covering Euro 2012 for the BettingExpert blog with thanks to our friends at Betfair.
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