EURO 2012 Draw Preview

Euro 2012

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Published: 12/12/2011

After the dull and uninspiring World Cup of 2010, the build-up has already begun in earnest for Euro 2012, the next major international football tournament which will be held in Poland and Ukraine.

Fans around Europe will be hoping that the championship can restore real entertainment value and match the standards of Europe’s premier club competition, the UEFA Champions League.

The sixteen qualifying nations are already known and each will take their place in the draw for the championship at UEFA headquarters on December 2.

Following the release of the seeding pots, there has already been a vast amount of anticipation surrounding the draw and all the possible permutations which could arise – including which nations will potentially form the traditional ‘group of death’.

The two host nations will fill up Pot One alongside Holland and defending champions Spain. Other nations will assumedly be hoping to draw either of the hosts who are considerably weaker than the Dutch and Spanish, despite having home advantage.

The host nation’s placement in Pot One is to deliberately give them a fair chance of progressing past the group phase of the tournament and prolonging their stay in the championship in front of their partisan spectators.

Crucially, the seeding of two nations in Pot One who would otherwise be in Pot Four means that there is a real chance of a premature clash between some of European football’s toughest heavyweights.

England, Italy, Germany and Russia all form Pot Two therefore ensuring that Holland or Spain will square up to another highly ranked team in the group stage.

Indeed, a potential match-up between Spain and Germany in the group stage would see an early repeat of the 2008 final.

Portugal look the obvious threat and danger to the higher seeds in Pot Three, which also occupies Croatia, Sweden and 2004 champions Greece.

Euro 2000 kings France lurk menacingly in Pot Four alongside 1996 finalists Czech Republic and either of those nations look destined to complete the Group of Death and potentially cause a scare to the favourites. The ante-post odds are likely to change significantly both during and after the draw as each nation finds out who they will play in June 2012. It seems advisable from a betting perspective to hold fire until after the ceremony – as a teams’ chances can be severely affected by pure chance with so many strong nations in the tournament.

For example, although England’s current ante-post odds of 12/1 may look appealing on the main, they would not represent great ante-post value should the Three Lions be drawn alongside Spain, Portugal and France which is a distinct possibility.

As with any major football tournament, it pays to be in the know before investing in a wager.

So it really is imperative to wait for the Euro 2012 draw to happen, allowing one to sit down and study fixture opponents, head to heads and possible permutations for the knockout stages.

The seedings have definitely opened things up and the draw should prove that at least half a dozen nations hold solid claims – making for an excellent competition both from a footballing and betting point of view.


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