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Sports Spread Betting - Euro 2004

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Group D - Holland, Germany, Czech Rep, Latvia

Holland: (FIFA Ranking 4)

Coach: Dick Advocaat
Dangerman: Ruud Van Nistlerooy
If they were a premiership team they'd be Manchester City - a star studded, exciting line up who can be devastingly good or devastatingly bad!

Holland stuttered in qualifying, ending up in the play offs where they lost to Scotland in the first leg before battering them 6-0 in the second. These 2 results sum the team up in recent years. On their day, they can beat any team in the world, but they can also be very unpredictable.
As one of the hosts of Euro 2000, they were unlucky not to make the final - losing on penalties to Italy in the semi having missed 2 penalties in normal play. Historically they have a good record in this tournament, with recent stars Van Basten, Gullit, Koelman and De Boer all providing memorable moments.
The current team also seems to have the flair of those of the past. Advocaat has to pick from Van Nistelrooy, Makaay, Hasselbaink, Kluivert and Van Hooijdonk to play up front - that's quite a choice! In addition Robben, Davids, and Sneijder can be superb in midfield. However questions have been asked about the Dutch defence, which Stam apart does look a little weak.
Providing the Dutch can prevent the infighting that has ruined previous tournament campaigns they are very capable of being a major force this year.

The Dutch looked a little jaded against The Germans in the 1st game, but managed a 1-1 draw, which was followed by the game of the tournament so far where Holland were 2 up against the Czechs, only to lose 3-2. It could have been 8-7! Holland now must beat Latvia in the final game and hope that the Germans don't beat the Czechs.

Current Spread Prices:
Tournament Index: 17-20 (see main Euro 2004 page for a full list of prices and betting expanation)
Group Index - 6-7 (see Euro 2004 page for betting explanation)


Germany: (FIFA Ranking 9)

Coach: Rudi Voller
Dangerman: Michael Ballack
If they were a premiership team they'd be Manchester United - once all conquering, but seemingly not as strong as they once were.

Writing off Germany before a major championship has always been a foolish pastime - their experience, durability and talent (as well as their ability at penalty shootouts!) will always ensure that they are genuine contenders.
They travelled to the last World Cup as no-hopers and came home as runners up, while they cruised through the qualifying campaign for Euro 2004 unbeaten.
However a recent 5-1 hammering by Romania has left the side bereft of confidence and form, although their star player Michael Ballack was absent for this game. Ballack is fit for the championships and his prescence may make all the difference.
This will be a very difficult group, with realistically Germany battling it out with Holland and the Czechs for the 2 places in the next stage.
Historically Germany are a force, but is the present team capable of living up to the success of those of the past?

In the first game the answer to the above question would have been - Yes. A very convincing 1-1 draw with the Dutch gave the Germans renewed confidence. However a 0-0 stalemate with the minnows of Latvia has left German football in a state of shock and needing to beat the Czechs in the final game. However the Czechs have already won their group and are rumoured to be resting many of their star names for the final game. Will this fall into the German's hands?

Current Spread Prices:
Tournament Index: 24-27
Group Index: 7-8


Czech Republic: (FIFA Ranking - 10)

Coach: Karel Bruckner
Dangerman: Nedved
If they were premiership team they'd be Southampton - a good well organised team with some good players.

The Czech's won their tough qualifying group which included Holland and the Rep of Ireland. As the third class act of this so called 'group of death', the Czechs have a superb record in this tournament, winning it in 76 and coming runners up to Germany in 96.
They have one of the best midfielders in the world in Nedved and blend some very good players with a superb team ethic. Their goalkeeper Cech is rumoured to be on his way to Chelsea, whilst Liverpool's Milan Baros has spent most of the season recovering from a broken leg, but will be very fresh for the tournament.
Don't be surprised to see this class outfit in the quarter finals as group winners. They certainly have the ability - What a good prediction!!! They will now face Denmark in the 1/4 finals which they will really fancy and victory in this game will see a mouthwatering semi against France or Greece.

Current Spread Prices:
Tournament Index: 48-50
Group Index: MU 25


Latvia: (FIFA Ranking - 52)

Coach: Alexsandrs Starkovs
Dangerman: Marian Pahars
If they were a premiership team they'd be Wolves - okay in parts, but struggle to hold their own at this level.

Latvia caused the shock of the play offs by knocking out Turkey with a 2-2 draw in Istanbul after a slender home victory. However one pundit has remarked ' Anyone who gives Latvia a chance in Portugal is talking total and utter Baltics'!
They couldn't have been drawn in a more difficult group and are likely to be the group's whipping boys. However they have done superbly well to get this far for a country of just 2.3 million whose most dangerous player is Southampton's Marian Pahars. Most of their other players play in various parts of the fragmented Soviet Union, but will be in the shop window for some lucrative Western European contracts for next season.
They play a rigid 4-4-2 counter attacking system which obviously worked in qualifying but will not be good enough to get results in Portugal.

The Latvians have surprised a lot of people in this tournament. They took a shock lead against the Czech Rep in the first game, before just being beaten 2-1. This was followed by a 0-0 draw against the mighty Germany - a game in which the Latvians were denied 2 clear cut penalties by English referee Mike Riley. A win in the final game against Holland, and Germany not beating the Czechs would see Latvia progress. Unlikely, but stranger things have happened. It's a funny old game!!

Current Spread Prices:
Tournament Index: 0.5-1.5
Group Index: 0.5-1.5





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