Gary Lineker famously once said that football is a game for 22 people that run around, play the ball… and in the end, Germany always win.
Well, the big-eared one could well be right for once this summer as Germany look set to rule Europe and end a 16-year trophy drought.
Joachim Low takes his side to Poland and Ukraine with expectations of leaving as European champions after a series of near misses in recent major tournaments.
Germany have lost to the eventual winners in four of the last five international championships, but with a squad full of brilliant young players well versed in Low’s fluid 4-2-3-1 system, Germany look set to go as close to winning as they have since leaving England with the Henri Delaunay trophy in Euro 96.
With this is mind, here are the three best bets regarding Germany’s chances in Euro 2012.
Germany to win Euro 2012 @ 14/5 (free £25 bet wins £95)
Germany are joint-favourites with Spain, but even so, they should be backed at 14/5 to leave Poland and Ukraine as European champions.
There are enough reasons to oppose Spain to land a third consecutive major trophy – injuries, fatigue, the sense that teams may just have worked them out – and Germany are brilliantly positioned to take advantage.
It must be remembered that there was little to choose between Spain and Germany in the last two tournaments: Spain beat Low’s side 1-0 in both the final of Euro 2008 and the semi-finals of the World Cup in South Africa.
But whereas Spain have not progressed (in fact, you could argue they have regressed considering some of their friendly results in the past 18 months), Germany have definitely improved.
And even then, despite Spain’s controlled brilliance and revolutionary passing game, Germany could reach bigger heights. They hit four goals past England, Argentina and Australia in World Cup 2010 and Low’s side were unlucky to lose a close match to Carlos Puyol’s set-piece header.
Since then, Low has evolved the team so they are less reliant on counter attacking and the players are maturing to an age that makes them the ideal tournament winners.
Already with vast experience behind them at club and international level, the average age of the likely starting line up is 25 and having qualified in fine style with a 100% record from their ten games, the quality of their attacking players is there for all to see.
Getting out of Group B will give them a relatively easy quarter-final against a side from Group A (or the ‘group of life’ as it has been cruelly dubbed) and once in the semi-finals, they can make up for their recent heartache by going on to lift the trophy once again.
Germany to score over 5.5 goals in Group B @ 23/20 (free £25 bet wins £53.75)
This is a Germany side that is jam-packed with attacking talent who are more than capable of scoring goals against any opposition in world football – so I really like the 23/20 that Low’s men score over 5.5 goals during their three Group B games.
Yes, I accept that Group B is the ‘group of death’ and with three fine sides to compete against in the shape of Holland, Denmark and Portugal that Germany have a tough assignment.
Even still, Germany scored 34 goals in ten qualifying games and have notched a further 29 in their last ten, which includes friendlies as well as qualifiers.
In fact, in the 22 games Germany have played since their third/fourth place play-off against Uruguay in South Africa, they have hit 57 goals at an average of nearly 2.6 a game.
There is no reason to think the goals will dry up and even a drop by over 0.5 of a goal will see them score the six goals that you need to be paid out on a tasty-looking 23/20 shot.
Mesut Ozil to be top La Liga goalscorer @ 14/1 (free £25 bet wins £375)
Ozil is the true star of this Germany team and can play a huge part in their success by getting among the goals, which makes him an interesting proposition for top La Liga scorer at 14/1.
Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema of France are obvious favourites and head the betting in this market, but the rest of the market leaders have question marks about them (the Spanish trio of Fernando Llorente, Alvaro Negredo and Pedro are not even guaranteed to play).
At odds of 14/1, Ozil is a value shout. He has enjoyed a brilliant season with Real Madrid and is the fulcrum of the German side.
A master of working in between the opposition’s defence and midfield and possessing technical prowess on a par with the revered Barcelona contingent in the Spanish set-up, Ozil could be the star of the tournament.
He scored five goals in nine qualifying games and with Germany likely to play as many as six matches, as a guaranteed starter Ozil can be among the goals to make that 14/1 price look awfully big come July.
New customers can register here to claim a free £25 bet or click here to see all our Euro 2012 odds.
Follow us on Twitter @bwinbetting