Spain has underperformed so far in Euro 2012 yet they are still tournament favourites and just one game from the final, with only old foe Portugal standing in the way (played 7.45pm, Wednesday, June 27; TV: BBC1 / BBC1 HD).
A draw with Italy to kick of their group phase did not auger too well for Spain. Their best form was most recently when defeating France 2-0 in the semi-finals. While Spain failed to produce fireworks they were efficient, solid and workmanlike. The passing was exquisite at times and hinted at the depth of talent we all know the World Champions possess.
France failed to break down Spain’s defence and that solidity is crucial against Portugal. There is history there too. In an even match Spain won 1-0 when they met in the World Cup and this habit of getting the job done could see a similar winning margin, but possibly a couple more goals in the game, this time around.
The one piece of form that puts a mighty spanner in the equation is Portugal’s thrashing of their rivals by four unanswered goals late last year. However that was ‘Friendly form’ and this match is far from it.
Portugal has Ronaldo, and he at last came to life against the Czechs. Do not forget they also beat whipping boys Holland in their group. There does seem to be a lack of depth as far as quality players go. While Ronaldo can score all the goals Portugal will ever need on his own, he might just have to. Without him you would not fancy the team’s chance against even this slightly slipshod, but improving, Spanish side. Even with the talents of Nani, who has often made chances only to waste them, the Portugese are fielding a team too heavily reliant on one man. Conversely, Spain have a host of stars in waiting.
We tipped Portugal to win Euro 2012 at 20/1 before a ball was kicked at these finals. That tournament preview bet is still running and it is looking very healthy now their current odds to be crowned European Champions are down to as low as 5/1. However Spain still get our verdict in this crucial semi-final match. Their admirable defence combined with their efficiency and the sense that they raise their game just to the required level each time, well, it gives them the edge.
Spain are best priced at evens to win this game in normal time while Portugal can be backed at 7/2. If you want to see how all the top bookies bet then compare the best Euro 2016 match odds. The betting on the outsiders is tempting and surely this match is closer than those fractions suggest? But we will desist from lumping on Portugal.
While we could see Ronaldo & co going through, this preview’s better call is surely another display of professionalism from Spain who are now getting their act together. To bet on the favourites is a nice hedge against our existing 20/1 ante-post wager about the Portugese.
Spain v Portugal Betting Tips Advice:
- Bet on Spain to win in 90mins at evens with Bet365.
- Back Spain to win 2-1 in the correct score betting at 9/1 with BetVictor.
Keep up-to-date with the latest Euro 2012 match odds from the best bookies:
Spain v Portugal Betting