By Todd Shale
Some online betting sharps were surprised to see a youthful German team dominate at the World Cup, and now they’re one of the favorites heading into this summer’s European Championships. If you want to lay a wager on the Germans to win it all, go ahead, because they are that good and getting better all the time.
Manager: Joachim Loew (since July 2006)
Best Euro Finish: Champions (1972, 1980, 1996)
Soccer Betting Odds: +105 to win Group B, +300 to win Euro 2012
Only the Netherlands scored more goals than Germany’s 34 during the qualifying stages, but the Germans were also the only team to win all their qualification matches, going 10-0-0. Miroslav Klose continues to score for his county as he was second in qualifying with eight goals, while Mario Gomez and Mesut Ozil notched six goals each for the Germans, and it was basically a continuation of the World Cup, when Germany may have been the most attack-minded team in the tournament. While the strikers get credit for putting the ball in the net, the midfield powers the offense with Ozil, who is only 23 and was second overall in qualification with seven assists, while 22-year-old Thomas Muller had four assists, along with three goals in six games in 2011.
We haven’t even brought up Lukas Podolski, who is on his way to Arsenal next season and would like to show the Gunners what they’re getting. Don’t forget about Andre Schurrle at 21 years old and 25-year-old Sami Khedira, either. This could be the best collection of young German talent we’ve ever seen and they’re also going to be favored at Brazil 2014, as well…and beyond.
The defense begins with Bastian Schweinsteiger, who has to be considered one of the top three holding midfielders in the world, but he can also push forward if the team needs him to. Schweinsteiger shields the back four and almost always makes the right pass to get the offense started, and as most soccer betting players who watched Bayern Munich’s massive win over Real Madrid in the Champions League semifinal, he can take a pressure-packed penalty as well. If you watched that match, you also know that keeper Manuel Neuer can stop a penalty and he showed why Manchester United was trying so hard to
sign him after the World Cup, but he decided to stay in Germany instead. Captain Philipp Lahm has the right flank covered, while a pair of 23-year-olds, Holger Badstuber and Mats Hummels are in the middle.
Now, it’s a matter of finding a consistent player to take over the left flank, but overall, the Germans are a sound defensive team as they’ve always been and they gave up just seven goals in qualification. Teams are so afraid of their attacking nous that they won’t push forward in fear of getting caught on the counter. The phrase, “the best defense is a good offense” certainly applies to the Germans, but they can handle themselves at the back.
Manager Joachim Low hasn’t been afraid to throw his younger players to the wolves and they’ve responded in a major way, to the point that “The Team” is going to be a force on the continental and national stages for the next decade. There may have been a few critics of his promotion after Jurgen Klinsmann decided to leave the setup, there can’t be many more as Germany is one of the most exciting teams in the world to watch. They were the second-youngest team at the World Cup, but finished third and now many are expecting them to win every time they hit the pitch, which is a huge credit to Low and his staff.
How It Will Play Out
There are more than a few soccer betting players that think Germany would have given Spain a better game than the Netherlands, who threw away their attacking style and resorted to kicking the Spanish all over the pitch, to no avail as they lost 1-0. You have to believe that the Germans would have stuck with their style of football and tried to play with Spain, and there is a good reason why those two are at the top of the list in terms of odds for Euro 2012: it’s the match that everyone wants to see.
You wouldn’t be criticized for picking the Germans to win this tournament as they continue to get stronger and stronger. With a firm nucleus of players from Germany and specifically, Bayern Munich, they’re similar to Spain, which is basically Barcelona without Lionel Messi, and all the players are familiar with each other, which helps as the games get tougher. The Germans will finish in the top three and if they can get into the championship game, they’re going to be a popular 2012 Euro Cup betting pick.
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