Even the most blinkered of patriotic supporters should accept England is seriously up against it in Euro 2012 and must be hot betting tips to return home in disgrace. Playing against the Group D favourites France in their first match, Roy Hodgson’s band of apparent second-raters may prove to be exactly that (played on Monday June 11).
There are some pretty terrifying statistics for England to ponder, or rather ignore, going into this game. These include the fact that France has never tasted defeat to Blighty in the European Championships, ever. Hard to believe isn’t it? But true. If you think that is irrelevant to this encounter then consider a second stat: France is unbeaten in their last 21 games.
It is also rather sobering to consider that England have failed to get through the Group stage of the Euros for 4 of the last 6 attempts. On paper, England look a weaker squad than in years gone by with so many of the big names out: Rooney, Lampard, Ferdinand et al. For one odious reason or another they are all missing. If you, like me, feel it is some of these guys who have been holding back the team for years then maybe now is the time for new blood. However the new blood has not been invited into the team. It has been forced upon a manager bereft of options and starved of Euro-class players.
The team, the squad, the manager are all late stand-ins. The top players are missing and where is Capello? Gone too. No wonder expectations are low in some quarters. It is the preparation from hell.
In recent history both Denmark and Greece have won this competition when completely derided, unfancied outsiders and totally ignored in the bookies odds. That is a very dubious straw for eternal optimists to cling to. There is no denying the squad is weak and the options limited. Expectation should rightly be muted. This is as poor a bunch of players as has ever been sent from these rocky shores.
Remember, one thing England has never possessed is the killer instinct. Our long renowned history of penalty shoot-out failure is the tangible face of this lack of belief in the face of ‘Russian roulette’ pressure. Hence the Germans solid success in all encounters, bar the only two that really mattered (and they were not won using a pig’s bladder substitute).
Then there is the little matter of the weather. Temperatures will be thirty degrees during the game – and we do mean Celsius. The French sensibly arrived early to acclimatise. The English left it to the last minute and only cast off their woolly jumpers the day before. Given the conditions, it will not be easy running around after the ball if, as expected, the French have most possession.
So what hope is there for the weakened England team against France, who are in the ascendancy? To be frank, virtually none. The only thread of hope is that the Frogs lose their discipline and dissolve into the rabble that appeared at the World Cup only two years ago. However since that time there have been no signs of such failings. It is their Achilles Heel, if indeed one exists at all. Both teams can lay claim to fragility under stress.
That said, it is a major source of consternation to us that France are even odds-against to win this encounter and the general odds of 6/4 about a French victory look generous in the extreme. All we can guess is that patriotic ‘mug punter’ money for England has skewed the bookies’ markets.
Top betting firm Bet365 Online Bookmaker offers these betting odds: 6/4 France, 2/1 Draw, 9/4 England.
So, to come to our betting tip, it has to be a healthy win bet on France at around 6/4. Lump on. To see a comparison of the prices available from the best online bookmakers click this link: England v France Betting.