WHEN major football tournaments start I always begin with who can’t win it rather than who can.
I have to oppose favourites Spain, simply because three major back-to-back wins – they are World Cup holders and defending European Champions – has never been done by any nation.
Plus the loss of David Villa and Puyol will be huge for the Spanish, who are in Group C alongside Croatia, the Republic of Ireland and Italy.
Italy are in disarray, England don’t have the quality to win at this level, Portugal rely solely on Ronaldo for anything they do and the hosts Poland and Ukraine just aren’t good enough.
So that leaves us with Germany at 3/1, who for me win it, followed by saver bets on Holland at 6/1 and France at 9/1.
The Germans are in the so-called Group of Death, Group B, alongside Denmark, Holland and Portugal, but Joachim Low’s men look really strong. They are not only efficient and well-organised, but they have a goalscoring threat and a tournament pedigree to back that up.
France, who are in England’s group along with Sweden and Ukraine, have lots of talent as usual, and it seems to be coming together superbly under Laurent Blanc.
Heading into Monday’s Group D opener against England in Donetsk, Les Bleus are unbeaten in 21 successive internationals, and that suggests Roy Hodgson’s men will be up against it, despite the wins against Norway and Belgium going into Euro 2012.
One bet I really do like for the next couple of weeks is Bastian Schweinsteiger to be player of the tournament at Sky Bet’s 20/1.
He is the leader and engine room of the German side and if they do well it’ll be because he has had a good competition.
Look out for the markets on today’s opening matches – Poland v Greece at 5pm and Russia v Czech Republic at 7.45pm.