Germany new outright Euro 2012 betting favourites as Spain fail to impress

Spain might have qualified for the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 as winners of Group C, but it would appear their performances in the tournament to date have not been enough to support their status as favourites to win the competition.

Going into the summer showpiece in Poland and Ukraine, defending European champions and 2010 World Cup winners Spain were 11/4 co-favourites to lift the trophy alongside Germany.

They were still level pegging with Joachim Low’s side in bwin’s outright winner market at 9/4 following Germany’s win against Denmark on Sunday.

Qualification was less of a problem for Germany, who recorded three wins out of three despite being in the ‘group of death’ alongside Holland, Denmark and Portugal.

However, in the aftermath of their 1-0 win over Croatia last night, Spain odds on a tournament victory have gone out to 12/5, while Germany’s have been cut to 43/20.

La Roja coach Vicent del Bosque admitted after the victory that, despite winning the stats war, his side had been poor.

He complained that a “lack of clarity” shown by the players in executing their game plan was a cause for “concern”, conceding that “things didn’t go according to plan”.

Although Spain enjoyed 62 per cent possession and had 13 shots on target to their opponents’ three, they rarely penetrated Croatia’s defensive line.

In fact, it was Croatia who had the best chances to break the deadlock before Jesus Navas secured victory for La Roja with an 88th-minute strike.

Had it been Slaven Bilic’s men who made the breakthrough, Spain would have been contemplating an early exit rather than top spot in Group C.

And there is a feeling that unless Spain move up through the gears in the knock-out rounds, their title defence is set to end in failure.

Qualification was less of a problem for Germany, who recorded three wins out of three despite being in the ‘group of death’ alongside Holland, Denmark and Portugal.

Die Mannschaft were particularly impressive in their 2-1 defeat of Holland and will be confident of seeing off Greece in their quarter-final.

With this in mind, it is no surprise to see that 33 per cent of those polled by bwinbetting are tipping  Germany to be crowned champions on July 1st.

But while Spain and Germany are out in front in bwin’s outright winner market, the number of shocks already seen at the tournament means it should not be seen as a two-horse race.

In particular, Portugal’s performances so far suggest they could be good bets to win the tournament at 15/2.

France, third-favourites at 6/1, should also not be discounted from the reckoning, even if they have not yet secured passage to the quarter-finals.

And Italy’s draw with Spain in their first game of Group C shows that, even in the midst of a crisis, their team is a match for anyone on their day and could come into the reckoning at 8/1.

This, of course, leaves sixth-favourites England at 12/1. Like France, the Three Lions are not yet assured of a place in the last eight.

However, they are odds-on at 1/4 to book a quarter-final place and, with Spain far from the invincible force they were expected to be, even a potential meeting with the reigning champions might not be the end of their run.

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