Betting Special: Where will Spain's goals come from in Euro 2012?
Vicente Del Bosque has tough decisions to make as he searches for David Villa's replacement. Adam Bate thinks it will require a collective effort to bring yet more Spanish glorySpain remain the 11/4 (3.75) favourites to win Euro 2012 and that’s perfectly understandable given the pedigree of this team and what they have achieved in recent years.
But a huge part of that success has been thanks to the country’s all-time leading goalscorer David Villa, who has bagged an astonishing 51 goals in 82 games for La Furia Roja. In his absence, the question is yet to be answered – who will score Spain’s goals?
The central striker options available to Vicente del Bosque all come with a caveat. Fernando Torres would be the natural replacement but has endured a frustrating – if glorious - season with Chelsea.
With a surprisingly less than prolific 28 goals from 92 international games, Torres needs to shake off question marks about his form and seize the mantle in Villa’s absence.
Torres is 4/1 (5.0) with William Hill to score first in Spain’s opening Group C game against Italy on Sunday and is 16/1 (17.0) to be top scorer in the tournament.
Battling for Torres’s place in the starting XI is Athletic Bilbao target-man Fernando Llorente. Indeed, the Basque forward would probably get the nod but for an injury-hit finale to the season.
Llorente offers a robust threat and could be used in conjunction with winger Jesus Navas should Del Bosque opt for a more direct approach late on in games.
As such, the 4/1 (5.0) price for Llorente to score last against Italy is tempting. He is also a 14/1 (15.0) pick with William Hill to be the tournament top scorer.
Alvaro Negredo is the third striker option and he is another that may be of interest as a last goalscorer at 7/1 (8.0).
But with doubts over all three of these forwards, coupled with Spain’s ability to score goals from a variety of sources, it favours the selection of a midfield player.
David Silva is hardly a goal machine for Manchester City but his role with the national team is a little different. He has an impressive 16 goals in 57 games for his country at a rate comparable to Torres.
As a result, the price of 15/2 (8.5) with William Hill for Silva to open the scoring on Sunday against Italy is a good one.
Ultimately it does not matter where the goals come from as long as they come.
And after scoring eight times in seven games to win the 2010 World Cup (conceding just two), it might not take as many as you’d think.
With that in mind, don’t overlook the price of 4/7 (1.57) for Spain to make light of their goalscorer issues and win their group.
William Hill have a Match Special for Spain's opening game, Spain to win and David Silva to score anytime has been enhanced to a massive 7/1 (8.0).
|Spain to win Group C at 4/7 (1.57) with William Hill
||David Silva to score first against Italy at 15/2 (8.5) with William Hill
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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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