Euro 2012 Betting

Every four years, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) stages a major tournament for sanctioned national football teams. Although it is formally known as the UEFA European Football Championship, the upcoming 14th edition is more commonly being referred to as Euro 2012.

The final rounds of Euro 2012 between 8 June and 1 July 2012 will be hosted by Poland and Ukraine. The winner of the tournament earns the right to compete for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, which will be hosted by Brazil.

The joint bid by Poland/Ukraine was accepted by UEFA in 2007 over bids from Italy and Croatia–Hungary. This is the third time that the finals have been jointly hosted by two countries, following Belgium/Netherlands in 2000 and Austria/Switzerland in 2008. It will also be the last UEFA European Football Championship tournament with 16 nations participating, as the number will be increased to 24 starting in 2016, when France will play host to the event.

In the 2008 installment, Euro 2008, Greece were the defending champions. However, Spain survived as the ultimate winner, downing Germany 1–0 in the final. They became only the second nation in the tournament’s history to win all of their group stage fixtures and the championship. The first country to do so was France in 1984. Spain also became the first team to complete the tournament undefeated since Germany accomplished it in 1996.

Qualification for Euro 2012 is being contested by 51 national sides in nine groups, including six sections of six sides and three of five. The qualifying matches, which began in August 2010 and run through November 2011, determine which 14 teams will join the two host nations in the finals competition.

Following the conclusion of qualifying, the top team from each group automatically gets a spot in the finals tournament. The second placed team with the highest points total also qualifies automatically. The remaining eight second-placed teams must participate in two-legged play-offs, and the four winners of these will be entered in the finals, for which the draw will be held on 2 December 2011.

The format for the Euro 2012 finals is a group round with four sets of four teams competing round robin and the top two from each group moving on to the single elimination knock-out brackets. That makes a total of 31 matches to be played in all. It should be noted that this will be the last time this format is used for the UEFA European Football Championship, owing to the increase in the number of participants in 2016.

The finals matches of Euro 2012 will be conducted at eight stadiums. They are evenly divided between the hosts, with four of them in Poland (Gdansk, Poznan, Warsaw and Wroclaw) and four in Ukraine (Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kyiv and Lviv). The opening match is scheduled for 8 June in Warsaw, while the final will be held at Kyiv on 1 July.

Other than Donetsk and Kharkiv, each of the host cities is a popular tourist destination. The organisers expect more than 1.4 million fans to attend matches in person, and the events will be seen in over 200 countries and territories around the world via live satellite broadcast.

Betting on Euro 2012 has already commenced, of course, with wagering on qualifying matches as well as ante post at all major bookmakers plus sportsbooks online. Spain have been favoured at 3/1 to repeat as winners of the tournament outright, followed by Germany at 9/2, Holland at 6/1 and England at 9/1.

Bets may also be made on Stage of Elimination (Group Stage, Quarter Finals, Semi Finals) and Group Outright Winners (Qualifying, Finals). Special propositions seen at some bookmakers include Ireland to Qualify or Not, Poland to Lose Their Opening Match, Teams to Produce Top Goalscorers in Their Groups, and more.

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