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Paulo Bento may have hit upon a formula to get the best out of Cristiano Ronaldo but Adam Bate thinks it is still too much to ask for Portugal to beat Germany at Euro 2012

Germany make their Euro 2012 debut against Portugal in Lviv on Saturday and will be expected to show Europe just why they are considered among the favourites to become the continent’s champions this summer.

Joachim Low’s team were finalists four years ago and World Cup semi-finalists in 2010, losing on both occasions to Spain.

But with much of that young crop now older and wiser, the time is now for this talented German side to seize the country’s first major trophy since 1996.

Germany are 11/10 (2.1) favourites with Sportingbet to begin their campaign with a win and make this so-called Group of Death appear a little bit easier ahead of games against the Netherlands and Denmark.

Of course, nobody is disputing the talent in this Portugal line-up. But while coach Paulo Bento salvaged qualification for a team floundering under Carlos Queiroz, they are without a win in 2012.

Portugal are 5/2 (3.5) to right that wrong in spectacular fashion on Saturday, a price that might not appeal as much as that aviailable on the Germans. The draw is priced at 11/5 (3.2) with Sportingbet.

That’s a possibility for a Portuguese side that have had three goalless draws in their last five games. But, as if to highlight the unpredictability of this side, sandwiched between two of those results was a 6-2 victory.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice that day and he can be relied upon to pepper Manuel Neuer’s goal at every opportunity here. Ronaldo is 5/1 (6.0) with Sportingbet to net the opening goal.

The presence of Ronaldo alone on the opposite team to the array of German talent, encourages the idea of a high-scoring contest.

Given that Germany’s last two games outside their own country resulted in a 3-3 draw and a 5-3 defeat, backing over 2.5 goals at 19/20 (1.95) may be tempting offer to those who believe this match could follow Russia's encouter with Czech Republic on the opening night and contain several goals.

But because this is the first game in a group where teams can ill-afford a slip up, this could develop into a cagey game.

For that reason, the best bet is to take the odds-against price of 11/10 (2.1) for the German win. That’s a great price for such a strong Germany side that has won 14 of its last 15 competitive games.

If those odds don’t appeal and for those who prefer more ambitious returns, there is a long shot pick that looks tempting.

Germany have gone 2-0 down in three of their last five games but went on to score three in two of those three matches.

With that in mind, picking Portugal/Germany in the HT/FT market offers industry-best value at 33/1 (34.0) with Sportingbet. A price that will boost the bankroll significantly, no matter how small the investment.


BET
OF THE
DAY
BEST BET
VALUE BET
Germany to win at 11/10 (2.10) with Sportingbet
Portugal/Germany at HT/FT at 33/1 (34.00) with Sportingbet

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Adam Bate is a professional freelance journalist who specialises in football and betting. He is editor of GhostGoal which can be found here - you can also follow Adam on

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