The Euro 2012 final is Spain v Italy, not Spain v Germany as many had predicted but it is hard to argue that Italy don’t deserve their place in the final having been convincing winners against the Germans. The Spain v Italy odds suggest Spain have a little in hand of Italy in this match but the teams met in the group stage of Euro 2012 and Spain might have been considered lucky to get anything from that match so Italy certainly can’t be underestimated.
Spain are the favourites and will be fancied having won Euro 2008 and the World Cup 2010 but Italy also have some recent tournament success to brag about, they won the World Cup in 2006. If you think Spain are going to be winning an unprecedented third major tournament in a row you can get odds of 4/7 that they lift the trophy and a more attractive 6/5 that they win the final in 90 minutes. Italy are much bigger at 6/4 to become the Euro 2012 winners and 3/1 to win the game in 90 minutes but perhaps the best bet in these markets is the draw.
The draw has been the most common result in this fixture over the years, six of the twelve matches between these sides have ended all square whilst Italy hold the edge over Spain with four wins to two. The most recent meeting between these teams, just three weeks ago in this competition, was also a draw so everything seems to point to the odds of 9/4 being justified. The recent match was 1-1 and a repeat of that scoreline is a fair price at 6/1 but also at 6/1 is 0-0 and that looks the better of the correct score bets. The reason why this game could be lower scoring is Spain’s record in the knockout rounds of major tournaments, they last conceded a goal in this type of match in 2006, that was nine games ago, some of which went into extra time. On this basis Spain also appeal to keep a clean sheet and they can be backed at 7/5 to do so in 90 minutes against Italy.
There are some strong European Championship Final stats that punters should be aware of ahead of this match, none more so than the usual lack of goals in this game. The last two European Championships finals have only been won 1-0 and it is over thirty years since a European Championships final had over 2.5 goals. These two teams have been involved in plenty of ‘unders’ matches so far at Euro 2012 and another under 2.5 goals match is a good bet at 1/2 if you don’t mind betting at those sort of odds. At better odds a bet on 0-0 at half time could pay dividends at 11/8, that has been the half time score in three of the last four European Championships finals and was also the half time score in the match between Spain and Italy in Group C just a few weeks ago. Click here to place your European Championship final bets using a very generous €/£250 free bet from Paddy Power.
Many people have been barking on about Liverpool needing to sign new wide players. Downing has been very disappointing and Jordan Henderson looks lost out on the right side of midfield.
With Dirk Kuyt leaving the club recently has also limited our options on the right. It is true to think that Andy Carroll will need service from wide positions, but Liverpool might have players in the squad that can play that wide role.
I would really love to see Martin Kelly be Liverpool’s regular right-back with Glen Johnson playing a new role on the right side of midfield.
I believe both players would form an exciting partnership down the right hand side of Liverpool’s midfield with their pace and willingness to get forward.
Plus, they are both very good defensively. Johnson likes to cut inside quite often, which would allow Kelly to stretch his legs down the outside where he can deliver his trademark dangerous crosses.
It has surprised me how they have not been used before in these positions, so hopefully new manager Brendan Rodgers sees their potential in this new role for the team.
With Johnson and Kelly playing down the right, I’m sure they would provide plenty of service for the improving Andy Carroll.
Liverpool’s middle of midfield could look very strong if the unlucky Lucas recovers fully from his serious injury, to play alongside Steven Gerrard.
This would spell the end for the Scot Charlie Adam in the middle of midfield, but I think he could play a really important role in the team on the left of midfield, with Jose Enrique playing at left-back behind him.
I’m sure many people will disagree with my theory on this one, especially as Adam is not the quickest.
But I think he is quick enough and Adam is a strong runner with the ball at his feet and willing to take people on, and Adam’s left foot could deliver the perfect service for Carroll from the left wing.
Enrique has great pace and could overlap past Adam as Adam will still have the tendency to drift inside with his central midfield role habit.
Playing on the left of midfield would not be too alien for Adam as he played quite a number of games there for Glasgow Rangers, so I’m sure he would slot in without a problem.
This idea of using our existing squad members in new roles for the team could save the club quite a bit of money and also provide great balance in the team.
I think Andy Carroll would get plenty of service from these players playing down the flanks.
Brendan Rodgers is his own man and I’m sure he will have his own ideas on who he wants to play wide for Liverpool.
I just hope he reads this article, it might just work, and if it does, save the club a lot of money.
England’s Euro 2012 exit is naturally bound to spark the age old debates amongst English fans and even officials as to why they appear to fail at International tournaments. So I thought I’d take a look into what is preventing England’s superstars from performing when they pull on the white shirt.
There is the ever existent belief that players are overworked. Most England players ply their trade in the Premier League which consists of 38 games a season, plus FA and League cup commitments and for some, their European competitions can result in players competing in 50+ games a season. It is hard to argue that exhaustion isn’t a reason for England’s constant failure. This season alone the likes of Gerrard, Henderson, and Johnson participated in full domestic schedules, getting to both the Carling cup and FA Cup finals with Liverpool. Meanwhile the likes of Ashley Cole and John Terry had victorious FA Cup and Champions League campaigns.
Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson and Glen Johnson after collecting their losers medals in the FA Cup final.
So a case can certainly be made for exhaustion when it comes to summer tournaments. Many fans called for a winter break in Premier League proceedings after Spain won both the Euro’s and the World Cup consecutively and gave birth to a great and innovative form of flowing football. But this would do more harm than good to English players in my opinion. At the end of the day, the players are going to have to play 38 league games. A three week break isn’t going to change that and would in fact mean the players would be playing games more often and would probably result in players being even more tired at the end of the season. The only way to counter this is to literally copy
The lads take a closer look at the recently released Premier League fixture list for the 2012/13 season, with all the key dates covered including Opening Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day and Star Wars Day… Plus, how to sum up Niclas Bendtner in 5 words and the leaked look at Liverpool’s 3rd kit…