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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Euro 2012 - Group D Betting Preview

Euro 2012 - Group D - Betting Preview

Hosy nation Ukraine are "seeded" in Group D, making this group one of the easier groups to progress from and both France and England have been installed as odds-on favourites to progress.  These two sides will clash in the group opener in Donbass Arena, Donetsk with other games being played at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev.

Ukraine: 40/1 for tournament, 4/1 to win Group and 11/8 to qualify

Ukraine Coach Oleg Blokhin has named three goal-keepers in his squad with only one cap between them following the news that veteran Olexandr Shovkovskiy must undergo shoulder surgery and joins Andriy Dykan on the sidelines ahead of their first European Championships.

The co-hosts have ten players from Dynamo Kiev in their 26-man squad including legendary striker Andriy Shevchenko and are unbeaten in their last five friendlies since going down 4-0 to fellow finalists the Czech Republic in Prague back in November.

Sweden 50/1 for tournament, 6/1 to win Group and 2/1 to qualify

The Swedes qualified as the best runners up from the Group stages with 24 points from a possible 30 including a 3-2 home success over Holland back in October and this will be Sweden's fourth consecutive Championships.

Sweden's best result in the European Championship back in 1992 when they reached the last four as hosts. The mercurial Zlatan Ibrahimovic orchestrated a 3-1 win in Zagreb against fellow qualifiers Croatia recently and if Sweden are to go deep in Euro 2012 the Milan striker must have a big tournament.

France: 10/1 for tournament, 13/8 to win Group and 8/15 to qualify

France have won the tournament twice in 1984 and 2000 and Les Bleus have been transformed by new coach Laurent Blanc from the ill-disciplined rabble that went to South Africa in 2010 to a side unbeaten in their last 18 internationals and potential Euro 2012 winners.

The squad contains eight players from the EPL including Newcastle United duo Yohan Cabaye and Hatam Ben Arfa who have played key roles in the renaissance of the Magpies; this French side may lack the brilliance of the Michel Platini winners of 1984 or the Zinedine Zidane inspired 2000 Champions but they are clearly a more unified side under their new coach and are genuine contenders.

England: 10/1 for tournament, 13/8 to win Group and 1/2 to qualify

England have gone into major tournaments with unjustified hopes high in recent years only to disappoint - often badly - and this time there is no doubt there is not the same level of expectation ahead of Euro 2012.

English expectations are low, but could this work in their favour, especially with a favourable draw i the group stage? The recent 2-3 home loss to the Netherlands seemed to expose England’s limitations but with the pressure off could this be their year?

Wayne Rooney is suspended for the first two group games and new coach Roy Hodgson has left central defender Rio Ferdinand at home, preferring former caption John Terry.

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All odds are taken from BetVictor as at May 26th.

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