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By Thomas Ough
Everyone thinks Germany or Spain will win. Whilst Germany are good, it would be unpatriotic to support them on the Queen’s 60th birthday, so I’m going for Spain. Villa may be out injured, but with Lionel Messi up front and Antonio Valencia on the wing you’d be a fool to be against Pep Guardiola’s team. With odds of 5/2 to win you’re guaranteed some return on an investment.
Who will lead Spain up the steps to collect the trophy? Whilst Iker Casillas is the favourite owing to his being Spanish captain, I think the Euro-centric liberal press have once again ignored England’s brave John Terry. Stripping off his suit to reveal a full Spanish kit and carrying Franco’s flag round the stadium, I can’t see past him, and at 7/1 you stand to make a decent profit from a punt.
Top scorer is more difficult to decide; along with Micah Richards and Rio Ferdinand, usual favourite Emile Heskey will be missing this tournament through outrageous managerial misjudgement, while Spain will only have seven shots on goal all tournament as they complete 654 passes in every game. Mario Gomez and Robin Van Persie are obviously favourites, but after such a prolific season with Liverpool it’s hard to see past Andy Carroll. If Hodgson plays his cards right I expect him to form a dynamic partnership with fellow alleged violent criminal Stewart Downing. With Paddy Power offering 150/1 you’d be a fool not to bet.
As everyone knows the real money is in cards and corners, so you would be well-advised to look at statistics online before each game. Remember that for every game Pepe plays you need to add an extra 3 cards as he starts each match with a booking in anticipation of what he’s going to do. Betting on corners is dull and boring, but if you’ve got no friends and don’t like football then you might as well.
Hope this helps; remember any money you win is legally ours as well.
PHOTO// Petar Milosevic