One of the Euro 2012 tournament favourites Holland begin their campaign in the ‘Group of Death’ against Denmark at the Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv.
Holland v Denmark – Group B (Euro 2012)
Saturday June 9th – 5.00pm
These sides met in the last World Cup in South Africa in 2010, when Holland ran out 2-0 winners thanks to a goal from Dirk Kuyt and an unfortunate own goal from Liverpool team mate Daniel Agger.
As it stands the betting for this match sees Holland as odds on favourites at 8/13, the draw at 12/5 and a win for the Danish is available at odds of 11/2. This group has been dubbed the ‘Group of Death’ for obvious reasons, with Germany and Portugal also eyeing up a spot in the elusive knock out stages of the European Championships. Germany are the 6/5 favourites to win the group, with Holland following close behind at odds of 15/8.
The Dutch can boast an impeccable record during their qualification campaign, having lost just one match against Sweden, a match which took place after their place at Euro 2012 at already been booked. With a number of top international players in their side including Van Persie, Sneijder, Robben and Huntelaar, any team which face the Orange men will need to be at their best to overturn these kingpins of Europe.
Denmark certainly can’t match this depth of quality in their squad selection but have always represented a threat in any competitive tournament which they have taken part in. Morten Olsen’s side are familiar with the underdogs tag and won’t be drawn into the pressure scenario of playing this talented Dutch side. With a number of players plying their trade in the Premier League including Daniel Agger and Nicklaus Bendtner, Denmark will certainly create some problems for the Dutch themselves.
The Danes have had an extremely positive qualification campaign, topping their group by three points, having competed alongside the likes of Norway and Portugal, the character of this side has already been well tested. Olsen’s side managed to make it through the qualification process beaten only once which was an admittedly hard task away to Portugal.
The major threat for a well organised Danish side is Premier League star Robin Van Persie, who is certainly a candidate for top goalscorer in this summer’s tournament having been in flying form over the past 12 months. A bet been used by many football fans is Holland to win Euro 2012 and Robin Van Persie to be first goalscorer at big odds of 22/1.
The Dutch coach will be eager to distance this crop of players from the side which was defeated by Spain in the World Cup in South Africa, having seen a lot players involved in wreckless tackling on the the now world champions. Total football coming from the Oranje may be too much for this Danish side.
Not only do the Danish back four need to cope with Robin Van Persie but they also have the goal machine Klaas Jan Juntelaar’s amazing strike record to contend with. He was the top goalscorer in the qualification stages with an amazing 12 goals from 8 games and it would be no surprise to see him get his goal tally off to a start in the Dutch’s very first game.
There’s no denying that Denmark have a well organised outfit but they lack the goalscoring threat that the Netherlands seem to have in abundance. Their one hope of goals is Sunderland striker Nicklas Bendtner. The 24-year-old Dane has put his bench warming habits from Arsenal firmly in the past and has had a really encouraging season under Martin O’Neill. With eight goals for the Cats this season in the Premier League Bendtner will cause problems for the Dutch and his size and control have been a major threat to the best teams in the English league including Man City and Arsenal.
Big things are expected from Holland this summer and they must start their campaign in Poland/Ukraine with a win. Judging by their qualification campaign, the Dutch should make easy work of this average Danish side. The 8/13 available for a Holland win doesn’t exactly scream value for the average punter but there is value to be had elsewhere.
Look towards the handicap market for the value on the betting here. Holland -1 seems to be the place for a canny bet on this match and at a 8/5 price you can’t go far wrong. In a romantic frame of thinking the Danes will sit back and then attack on the counter but if this is to be their game plan, then they surely will leave themselves exposed at the back – step forward Robin Van Persie or Klaas Jan Juntelaar who will rain down on the Danish goals. Holland to win 2-0 at 11/2 or 3-1 at 12/1 also offers some value.