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Group B preview: Germans to see off Portugal

by Sean Goff | June 9, 2012

MAIN MAN: Portugal’s prospects at Euro 2012 depend on how Ronaldo performs (INPHO)

Group B betting preview: Germany v Portugal Saturday, 7.45pm (BBC and RTE2)

The lowdown

Germany won all 10 of their qualifying games and go into this tournament as 10/3 second favourites to win it outright.

Manuel Neuer has been outstanding in goal while Bastian Schweinsteiger is widely recognised as one of the best midfielders in the world and is 16/1 to be player of the tournament in Paddy Power’s online betting. It may be a cliche but expect ruthless efficiency and this German side to get stronger as the competition goes on.  Lost the 2008 Euro final to Spain who again defeated them 1-0 in the 2010 World Cup semi-finals.

While it would be ungenerous to label Portugal a one-man team there’s no doubt that Cristiano Ronaldo’s form is closely tied to the national’s side performance. If opponents target him and get him rattled, his propensity to sulk will seriously hinder their chances. Ditto Nani.

Match bet

Germany are solid, reliable and consistent and unlikely to have any individual rushes of blood to hinder the overall team effort while Portugal’s defensive qualities are often overlooked but they have reached the quarter final stages of the last two Euro Championships and World Cups. But if Ronaldo goes off message they are likley to have soak up a lot of German pressure and might just crack. Germany to win.

A Correct Score stab in the dark

If you fancy a German win then you must at least fear some part of Portugal’s machinery breaking down at a critical stage. Even allowing for their defensive qualities a mis-timed tackle around the box could gift Germany a free-kick or penalty. 1-0 to the Germans is 7/1 or for the more conservative Germany to win to nil is 13/5.

A goalscorer bet to look out for

Mario Gomez scored 26 Bundesliga goals for Bayern Munich and 12 Champions League goals this season and comes into Euro 2012 as one of the favourites to be crowned Top goalscorer. If he opens his account against  Portugal in which he is 11/2 to score first expect those odds to tumble.

Something a bit random

It could be a cagey opening 45 minutes from Germany in particular who know they play the Dutch next in what’s bound to be a tight group. As they feel their way into Euro 2012, a scoreline of 0-0 all at half-time with Germany winning 1-0 at full-time is 11/1.

Robbie Fowler says

The first game’s always vital, especially in this group. Germany will be looking to get off to a strong start. Germany and Holland are the favourites to go through but it’s a tough opener. On paper there are a lot of goals in this but both teams want to do well and the emphasis might be on stopping each other scoring instead. Germany will win, for me, but it won’t be a foregone conclusion.

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