Spain And Italy May Dominate Group C But Wikis Suggest Lack Of Goals

By Sam Darby on 18/04/2012 15:54

Group C will provide plenty of clues as to who is going to win Euro 2012 with many eyes on the European and World Champions Spain and many will be expecting them to dominate their group. Group C also contains Italy who need to prove they are still a force to be reckoned with whilst most will be expecting Ireland and Croatia to struggle in Group C but will it all go to form?

The main pointer from the Spain ValueChecker wikis is perhaps not to expect as many goals from the team as we got in qualifying. Spain always seem to score plenty of goals in qualifying but when it comes to the major tournaments the goals can often dry up. Heading into Euro 2012 (in 90 minutes play) Spain had scored just eleven goals in their last ten major finals games, despite winning two tournaments in that time! Betting on Spain not scoring too many goals at major finals looks a good bet.

In qualifying for Euro 2012 Spain had a much better defensive record in the first half of games compared to the second half. Spain only conceded one goal in the first half of their qualifying games but in the second half of their games they conceded five goals. Bets on the first half of Spain games should focus on Spain keeping clean sheets but that may not be such a good bet for the second half of their games.

Italy are the second favourites in Group C and if looking for a bet on their games in this group it could pay to take a look at the anytime goalscorer odds. Antonio Cassano looks by far the biggest goal threat for Italy currently. During Euro 2012 qualifying Cassano scored six goals for Italy in nine matches, four more goals than Italy’s next best goalscorer. Cassano scored in five different games and Antonio Cassano should be the best anytime goalscorer bet for Italy in competitive matches.

It is also worth noting that Italy’s reputation as a tight defensive unit is very much deserved according to the Italy ValueChecker wikis. In their nine Euro 2012 qualifying matches they conceded just two goals and both of those came in the first half. Italy also won six matches with a clean sheet. Italy should be considered in the clean sheet and win to nil markets (when playing worse opposition) and should be backed in running to concede no goals in the second half unless playing against very attacking opposition.

Italy have a great defensive record but only a decent attacking record which means many of their games end up fairly low scoring. In Euro 2012 qualifying eight of Italy’s nine matches finished with under 3.5 goals and four finished with under 1.5 goals. Just five games has under 2.5 goals so it would appear that Italy games are a very good bet for under 3.5 goals whilst under 1.5 goals looks to offer better value than under 2.5 goals.

The Croatia ValueChecker wikis suggest that Niko Kranjcar could be good value in the goalscorer markets for Croatia in forthcoming competitive matches. During Euro 2012  qualifying Kranjcar was Croatia’s top goalscorer with four goals from eight matches. He only actually scored in two games but in both those games he scored the first goal of the game. Kranjcar is often a fair price to score anytime but should offer even better value to score first for Croatia.

Another pointer from the wikis is that Croatia don’t score a great amount of goals, especially in the first half of their matches. During Euro 2012 qualifying Croatia scored 21 goals in 12 matches, not a great record for a qualifier, 13 of those goals came in the second half of Croatia’s games. Their poor record of scoring in the first half meant Croatia were only winning five out of twelve games at half time (five half time draws, two half time losses) and Croatia should be opposed to be winning at half time and if they haven’t scored in the first half they could be good value to score in the second half.

As for Ireland, the goalscorer markets certainly look likely to provide the best bets on this team if the Republic Of Ireland ValueChecker wikis are anything to go by. One Republic of Ireland player stands out a mile when it comes to goalscorer bets. Robbie Keane is Republic of Ireland’s all time top scorer and the only player to score more than 50 goals for his country. During Euro 2012 qualifying Keane scored seven goals in eleven matches five of which came in different matches and three of which were last goals. However he only scored one first goal so Robbie Keane should be backed to score anytime and to score last in Republic of Ireland’s forthcoming competitive matches.