It all kicks off on June 8th, so check out our previews of Group A, B, C, and D. The top two teams in each group go through to the quarter finals and there are always some teams that get through that you would not expect, so check out our previews or try predict the groups for yourself in our Euro 2012 Predictor
Group stages in these big tournaments often do not go to plan! Take a look at the order of the games to be played and you might spot scenarios whereby certain teams may settle for draws, or other teams will have to go out and attack to win in order to qualify. Here are our tips for the group stages.
Group C sees tournament favourites Spain with a relatively easy set of opponents, with the exception of Italy. Spain should cruise this group, and at 8/15 are the lowest priced group winner favourite out of all groups. That's more than 50% profit if you are a big fan of Spain's total football style.
Italy are second favourites for this group at 16/5. That's more than 3/1 and a good bet in our opinion. Of course everyone is expecting the winner of this group to be decided in the opening Spain v Italy game, but we all know how well Italy can defend when it comes to tournament finals, and given it is an opening game in which they play Spain they may just settle for a draw.
Ireland and Croatia appear to be the whipping boys in this group, but we would not write them off completely. We expect Spain to go through, but the Irish have a habit of performing on the big occasion, and Croatia will not be an easy game. If either Ireland or Croatia take a win when they face each other in the second game of the group, then Italy may be in trouble of qualifying if they have lost to Spain. A loss for Italy in their game against Spain, and a win for Ireland against Croatia could see the Irish on 3 points, Italy on 0 points, and Italy left to play Croatia and Ireland in the final match to try make those points back.
WinDrawWin Tips: Spain to win the group, Ireland second,
Italy third, and Croatia bottom.