So many hopes
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Drizzle over London, a washed-out Edgabston, soggy royal sandwiches: this last week has been like living in a Morrissey song. But, don’t fear, the European Championships are just hours away and I’m sat here like a kid at Christmas. Well, a kid whose family has fallen on hard times so knows not to expect too much and besides, some of the better gifts were damaged in the post and it was too late to get any decent replacements.
Looking at the fixed-odds market, it is clear that the bookies see it as one out of a group of four (Spain 11/4, Germany 3/1, Netherlands 6/1 and France 9/1). There’s then a subsequent group of four sides (England, Italy, Portugal and Russia) all available around 18/1. It’s 40/1 bar with Ukraine perhaps the pick of the outsiders; the bookies are generally going 60/1 and, considering home advantage, this seems a good price (although Ukraine’s progression to the knockout phases would likely be at the expense of England).
Of course tournament football is notoriously unpredictable and in the last 20 years two rank outsiders (namely Denmark and Greece) have lifted the title.
Naturally, the spread prices (Sporting Index allocates 100 ‘points’ to the winner down to 25 for losing quarter-finalists) are more even. Spain are still the favourites by some distance (51-54), but, interestingly, France (29-32) and England (26-29) are pretty much evenly priced. As much it pains me to say it, England are the stand out sell here – it’s easy to see Hodgson’s men drowning in the group and even a quarter final exit (the likely opposition Spain or Italy) is still a winner.
More to follow with the pick of Sporting Index’s myriad of Euro 2012 markets