Make money whilst enjoying the Euros, with Pies’s top tips… (prices correct at time of posting)
1. Lukas Podolski to be top goalscorer: 25/1 (Blue Square)
Germany will surely go far in Austria & Switzerland (it’ll be like a home event for them) and they have always been great bullies of lesser teams. L-Pod scored eight times in qualifying and I think he’ll have a big tournament. Back him each-way to finish in the top four scorers, and you’ll get around a 6/1 return on your cash.
2. Fernando Torres to be top scorer from a Premier League club: 3/1 (SkyBet)
Liverpool’s Spanish striker faces competition in this market from just one other player: Cristiano Ronaldo. The only other men who might outscore him are Chelsea’s Michael Ballack (Germany), Holland’s Robin van Persie (Arsenal) and Turkey’s Tuncay (Boro) – and I can’t see any of that trio getting more than Torres. I’m confident that Spain will go further than Portugal in the tournament, so 3/1 represents good value.
3. The tournament’s opening match – Switzerland vs Czech Republic – to be 0-0: 13/2 (PaddyPower)
The Czechs have a solid defence, the Swiss are well-organised and playing at home, as hosts of the tournament. Neither side will want to start with a defeat (obviously), so I could see this ending in a fairly dull stalemate.
4. Spain to win the tournament: 6/1 (Blue Square)
Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Cesc Fabregas, Xavi, Fernando Torres, David Villa: the spine of Spain’s team is the most talented bunch of players in Europe right now. Of course, they always underperform in major tournaments but if they’re ever going to win anything, this is the year. You won’t get much better than Blue Square’s 6/1.
5. Czech Republic to finish bottom of Group A: 3/1 (Paddy Power)
No Rosicky or Nedved, ancient Jan Koller up front, and an ageing back four. Yep, the Czechs are definitely on the wane – they had a poor World Cup in Germany, and that was with Rosicky and Nedved – and I suspect that they will end up bottom of their group, behind Portugal, Turkey and Switzerland.
6. Group D to be highest-scoring group: 14/5 (betinternet)
The bookies favour Group B to be the highest-scoring group, but that’s only because Austria is in it – but although the Austrians are a terrible team, they are still co-hosts, and hosts never do that poorly, no matter how shit they are. My money would go on Group D as having the most goals, because it’s the most open: Spain, Sweden, Greece and Russia. All of those teams will fancy beating each other, and Spain could dish out a couple of big defeats.