England Euro Cup Betting Prediction – Uncertainty Surrounding Three Lions Will Lead To Another Empty Tournament
Online betting players will see that England finally hired a manager with the European Championship only a month away, and he’ll have his hands full managing not only the expectations of a nation, but putting all his pieces into a functional squad that can challenge for honors and he may not have enough time to do it for Euro 2012.
Manager: Roy Hodgson (since May 2012)
Best Euro Finish: Third place (1968, 1996)
Soccer Betting Odds: +150 to win Group D, +850 to win Euro 2012
The English offense revolves around Wayne Rooney, even though Ashley Young led the Three Lions with three goals in 2011. He is their most dynamic player and you can play Rooney either up top by himself or off another striker, so it’ll be interesting to see where he lines up. England scored 17 goals in their 10 games en route to topping Group G, and a few more goals would go a long way in making the English fans calm down a little. Young will have to play a role in this from a wide position and with his pace, he can draw the defense out, and Darren Bent is more of a pure striker than Rooney, even though he isn’t that big and physical.
However, the age-old question for England is, who plays on the left side of midfield? Stewart Downing is the only natural left-footed player in the side, and he isn’t very good. Steven Gerrard has played there before, but usually ends up in the middle in the pitch, which is usually occupied by Frank Lampard. Both of these players are also getting up there in years.
Scott Parker looks in pole position to shield the back four and he may be the most important player in England’s soccer betting hopes for Euro 2012, because the defense looks shaky. Ashley Cole will be fine on the left, but the right side of defense leaves a lot to be desired and the central partnership of Rio Ferdinand and John Terry has been hit hard by controversy and injury; you’ll remember, there was a flap over Terry’s racism allegations and the Football Association taking the captain’s armband from him, and that led to Fabio Capello leaving his managerial post.
The rest of the options are either too young (Chris Smalling, Phil Jones) or not good enough (Gary Cahill, Jolean Lescott), although England has a solid keeper in Joe Hart, who still makes some weird decisions from set pieces, but he is an excellent shot stopper. While many England fans and the media have been calling for more goals, their ability to keep the opposition from troubling Hart is going to be the real key this summer and Parker, along with other holding midfielders like Gareth Barry, could be the focus of intense scrutiny. Parker is also captain of the side now, although the new manager may have something to say about that.
Roy Hodgson was booted out of Liverpool, but popped up at West Brom, where he has exceeded expectations and he’ll continue with the side until the end of the Premiership season. Hodgson isn’t going to give the media any quotes and how he handles them is going to be very important to England’s chances this summer. The English media has long been known to be fierce and after one bad game, they will call for your head; Hodgson learned this during his time at Liverpool, but the fact of the matter is, his players just weren’t very good at Anfield. Now he has a national side and the talent is there, he just has to figure out where to put it all.
More than in any other country, the media factors into England’s soccer betting chances because they have the ability to turn on the team and that gets into the players’ heads. Hodgson and his setup will have to do everything possible to shield the team this summer.
How It Will Play Out
England is the soccer betting favorites in Group D with France, the Ukraine and Sweden at +150, and they’re +850 to win it all. There are always big expectations for England at any major tournament, but the recent hiring of Hodgson could quell some of those expectations. It’s not likely, but it could happen.
The Three Lions could win this group and it would be worth something to lay a little on them, but any of the other three teams could as well, and they would need a lot of breaks to win it all. There are just too many question marks about this England team for them to be a serious Euro Cup betting contender in 2012.