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Euro 2012: Spain v Portugal match betting preview

by Rob Dore | June 27, 2012

Preview: Spain v Portugal, Wednesday 7.45pm RTE2

By Rob Dore

The lowdown…

Spain are the defending champions, two-time winners and reigning World Cup champions. They’re the tournament favourites at 13/8 and strong favorites to beat Portugal in the first semi-final of Euro 2012. In the parlance of the young and creepy older people on Twitter pretending to still be young, Spain are amaze-balls. They’re unbeaten in the tournament so far, qualifying top of their group ahead of Italy, playing a passing style of football which leaves commentators and pundits needing several changes of under garment during a game.

Portugal have never won this competition but they have become one of the most consistent participants. They finished runners-up to Greece in 2004 and, including this tournament, have made it to at least the quarter-final stage in each of the last five tournaments. This particular incarnation aren’t a one man team but they’re pretty close. Which explains their outright price of 6/1. They qualified behind Germany in their group, who they lost to in their opening game, winning three games in a row since then.

Match Betting…

Spain are the easy option in this game and at 19/20 they’re not a crazy short price. However they haven’t been the most impressive team in the tournament so far, particularly when it has come to finishing teams off. Except against Ireland but I don’t want to talk about that anymore. In Cristiano Ronaldo (27) Portugal have a player who has the ability to tear through the Spanish back line. If his form continues to improve and Spain look as run-down as they did against a lackluster French side then Portugal to win in 90 minutes at 7/2 could be a great bet.

Correct score stab in the dark…

IF it’s a stab in the dark you’re after then how does Portugal to win 2-1 at 14/1 sound? If Spain recover sufficiently between games then they could do a number on Portugal but bloated and jaded by their recent success we’re backing them to struggle to rise to this occasion.

A goalscorer bet to look out for…

Ronaldo has been getting better as the tournament has progressed and will be the most backed player in the Paddy Power goalscorer bets. He’s the joint favorite to score first at 11/2, a position he shares with Fernando Torres. If those are the only options then Ronaldo is the one to back. At least we know he’ll start.

Ronaldo is too easy though and with Spain likely to try and mark him out of the game he may turn provider in this game. Raul Meireles (29) was inconsistent in the win over the Czech Republic but we know he can strike a ball. At 25/1 to score first and 11/1 to score anytime Meireles doesn’t demand a big bet to turn a good profit.

Something random…

With Pepe and Sergio Ramos on the same pitch at the same time the chance of a red card always goes up. When they’re competing against each other it must be even more likely. Pepe is the 14/1 favorite to be sent off with Ramos at 18/1. More conservative but a seeming banker is backing each man to simply be booked in 90 minutes. Pepe is 5/4 to be booked and Ramos is 13/8.

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