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Jun 08

The Ultimate Euro 2016 Betting Guide: Part 3

unnamed-42Hello everyone and welcome to our guide on all things Euro 2016. This guide will walk through all the squads and groups at this years Euros and look to answer the question, who or what should I bet on this summer? Now, like every tournament we expect more than one shock, more likely or not coming from England, so don’t take the guide as gospel, especially our golden boot suggestions. If the last World Cup is anything to go by, it will be difficult to choose a winner, so try and use this guide as something that can help you make your own final decisions and let’s all try and make some money this summer.

The Squads

This section will look through each squad and evaluate their chances in this year’s competition. It will pick out key players, players to watch and look at each nation’s chances this summer, plus offer tips on a range of markers, from golden boot winner, to amount of goals scored and even how far a nation may progress. Please be aware though, these squads are mainly provisional ones and may have changed since we started writing this piece.

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So with Austria only entering their second European Championships to date, manager Marcel Koller has only named a 24 man provisional squad for his warm up matches. Austria qualified for this summer’s tournament, having won 9 games on the bounce, after their opening game draw with Sweden. A key feature to the Austrian’s success in qualifying was a stern defensive, equipped with current Premier League winner Fuchs, plus the likes of Munich David Alaba, holding in midfield.

Since their final qualifying game, they have struggled in recent friendlies, but with their opening fixture against the likely tournament whipping boys, Hungary, they should get off to a strong start.

Key ManDavid Alaba

Probably the first name on the team sheet for Austria this summer, as well as the most well known. The Munich full back is used to playing at the highest level, though features in a central midfield role for his country. Only two teams in qualifying, averaged less passes per goal than Austria and that ability to switch the play is in no small part down to Alaba. Not just a supplier, the defender come midfielder scored four goals in qualifying and has scored 11 in 42 games for his country; stats you rarely see in most international strikers.

Player to WatchMark Janko

Probably one of the lesser named strikers across Europe, but one who certainly knows his way to goal, Janko scored 7 goals in qualifying. This 6ft5 striker, who currently plays his trade for Swiss club Basel, has regained the scoring form which saw him gain a move to Portuguese giants Porto in 2012. Maybe not one of their most technically gifted players, it’s Janko’s presence up top and in front of goal which could see him surprise a lot of people this summer and possibly take the golden boot.

Tips: 

Janko to be Austria Top Scorer (2/1)

Janko to win the golden boot, each way (50/1)

(provisional 24-man squad) 

Goalkeepers: Robert Almer (Austria Vienna), Heinz Lindner (Eintracht Frankfurt), Ramazan Ozcan (Ingolstadt).

Defenders: Aleksandar Dragovic (Dinamo Kiev), Christian Fuchs (Leicester City), Gyorgy Garics (Darmstadt), Martin Hinteregger (Borussia Monchengladbach), Florian Klein (Stuttgart), Sebastian Prodl (Watford), Markus Suttner (Ingolstadt), Kevin Wimmer (Tottenham Hotspur).

Midfielders: David Alaba (Bayern Munich), Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City), Julian Baumgartlinger (Mainz), Martin Harnik (Stuttgart), Stefan Ilsanker (Leipzig), Jakob Jantscher (Luzern), Zlatko Junuzovic (Werder Bremen), Marcel Sabitzer (Leipzig), Alessandro Schopf (Schalke), Valentino Lazaro (Salzburg).

Forwards: Lukas Hinterseer (Ingolstadt), Rubin Okotie (1860 Munich), Marc Janko (Basel).

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Currently the highest ranked European side in FIFA’s world rankings, sitting 2nd behind Argentina, many are dubbing this young Belgian side as potential champions of this summer’s tournament. It was a relatively simple qualification for Belgium, with Wales their only loss throughout the ten games, who boast a squad full of potential and current world class talent, the majority of whom feature week in week out in the Premier League. Though they will be missing the heart of their defence in Vincent Kompany, they can still call upon the BPL’s best defensive pairing from last season in Vertonghen and Alderweireld.

One major issue however is who will lead the side this summer? A team who even, baring in mind their age, have played an abundance of football in recent years, may feel the pressure, with such a weight of expectations on their shoulders. Kompany was the only real leader in the squad and may falter without his leadership.

Key ManKevin De Bruyne

Kevin De Bruyne has been making an impression for Manchester City in the Premier League this season and the Belgian ace will be a key player for the national team at Euro 2016. He scored five times during qualifying and will pose a constant threat to opposition defences. Probably one of the best players in Europe at present, if he can replicate his club form this summer, they could well be lifting the trophy this summer.

Player to WatchDivock Origi

This is probably a weird choice, when you consider the host of Belgian players to chose from, but seeing as Marc Wilmots is yet to define who is his first choice striker, Origi who got better with every game under Klopp, scoring 10 goals in all competitions last season, the exact same as fellow countryman and teammate Benteke. Wilmots clearly likes and has confidence in this striker, who deployed his services in the last World Cup, which was repaid when he scored the winner against Russia in a 1-0 win to see them qualify. Though it’s unlikely Wilmots will drop or look passed Lukaku’s exploits, if given the chance, we believe he could return his managers trust.

Tips: 

Euro 2016 Winners (11/1)

To reach the Quarter Finals (10/11)

Origi Belgium’s top scorer (9/1)

(provisional 24-man squad) 

Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Jean-Francois Gillet (Mechelen), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool).

Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham), Dedryck Boyata (Celtic), Jason Denayer (Galatasaray), Bjorn Engels (Club Bruges), Nicolas Lombaerts (Zenit), Jordan Lukaku (Oostende), Thomas Meunier (Club Bruges), Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham).

Midfielders: Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), Radja Nainggolan (Roma), Axel Witsel (Zenit St Petersburg), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Eden Hazard (Chelsea) Moussa Dembele (Tottenham)

Forwards: , Michy Batshuayi (Marseille), Christian Benteke (Liverpool), Yannick Carrasco (Atletico Madrid), Romelu Lukaku (Everton), Dries Mertens (Napoli), Divock Origi (Liverpool).
unnamed-26Now Hungary may have been quite fortunate during the qualifiers, playing in probably the least challenging of the qualifying groups. Greece the number one seed in their qualifying group, produced a woeful campaign, only winning one game, coming in the final fixture against Hungary. However this was the only loss for the side since 2015 and the question many are asking is can they do more than just make up the numbers?

On paper they are probably the weakest team in the tournament and there is little to suggest that, despite their expertly-worked play-off win over Norway. But Hungary will feel confident by the group they have been handed and will look at their second match, against Iceland as a decisive one, when battling for that third place spot and hopefully qualification to the round of 16. Other than that, it’s likely they will use the tournament as a learning curve to take with them into the upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

Key Man: Balasz Dzsudzsak

Undoubtedly the man on whom Hungarian hopes rest, Dzsudzsak is an energetic, skilful wide player who captains the side and these days plays in Turkey for Bursaspor. His end product can vary but he has a fine record for his country, scoring 18, with only Zoltan Gera currently in the squad boasting more goals.

Player to Watch: Zoltan Gera

One of the oldest and most experienced of the Hungarian squad, he may not have the legs to provide the flare, which clubs like Fulham and West Brom were used to in the Premier League, he certainly has the experience for a major competition and a big occasion, referring to Fulham’s run to the Europa League final, back in 2010.

Tips:

No goalscorer (6/1)

To lose all group games (9/2)

(provisional 30-man squad) 

Goalkeepers: Gabor Kiraly (Haladas), Denes Dibusz (Ferencvaros), Peter Gulacsi (Leipzig), Balazs Megyeri (Getafe).

Defenders: Attila Fiola (Puskas Akademia), Gergo Lovrencsics (Lech Poznan), Barnabas Bese (MTK), Richard Guzmics (Wisla Krakow), Roland Juhasz (Videoton), Gergo Kocsis (Puskas Akademia), Adam Lang (Videoton), Adam Pinter (Ferencvaros), Zsolt Korcsmar (Vasas), Tamas Kadar (Lech Poznan), Mihaly Korhut (Debrecen).

Midfielders: Akos Elek (Diosgyori), Zoltan Gera (Ferencvaros), Adam Nagy (Ferencvaros), Mate Vida (Vasas), Laszlo Kleinheisler (Werder Bremen), Roland Sallai (Puskas Akademia).

Forwards: Balazs Dzsudzsak (Bursaspor), Zoltan Stieber (Nurnberg), Adam Gyurcso (Pogon), Adám Szalai (Hannover), Krisztian Nemeth (al-Gharafa), Nemanja Nikolic (Legia Warsaw), Tamas Priskin (Slovan Bratislava), Daniel Bode (Ferencvaros), Laszlo Lencse (Újpest).

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It’s unsurprising that Iceland, a country with only 323,000 inhabitants have never managed to qualify for a major tournament until this year with the new expanded format, but what is surprising is the fact they qualified for this year’s finals automatically. Iceland were terrific throughout qualifying, beating the Dutch both home and away and could have won the group if not for a final game loss to Turkey.

It’s a real Cinderella story, with the management team of Lars Lagerback and Heimir Hallgrimsson, their joint coaches, overseeing an intelligent, tactically astute side that narrowly failed to qualify for the last World Cup and spectacularly delivered on their rich promise this time around. Can the international minnows, replicate the likes of Leicester and show the world exactly what team spirit and canny management can do.

Key Man: Gylfi Sigurdsson

The Swansea playmaker is Iceland’s one genuine star in a team of workers. He’s a player with superb technique and at times fearsome deadball ability, who’s said to be one of the squad’s hardest-working players and will be influential in central midfield. He was superb in qualifying, scoring six times and will definitely be the player the supporters will be looking at to led the way this June.

Player to Watch: Birkir Bjarnason

The Basel midfielder should start on the left for Iceland and is, in keeping with the entire squad, a tireless performer with a real creative edge. He had a fine season domestically, scoring 12 goals, and is close to 50 caps for the national team. With the spotlight most likely surrounding the nation’s talisman in Sigurdsson, he may go under the radar and supply that something special.

Tips:

Gylfi Sigurdsson top Iceland scorer (7/2)

To be eliminated in the round of 16 (11/8)

(23-man squad)

Goalkeepers: Hannes Halldorsson (Bodo/Glimt), Ogmundur Kristinsson (Hammarby), Ingvar Jonsson (Sandefjord).

Defenders: Ari Skulason (OB), Hordur Magnusson (Cesena), Hjortur Hermannsson (PSV Eindhoven), Ragnar Sigurdsson (Krasnodar), Kari Arnason (Malmo), Sverrir Ingi Ingason (Lokeren), Birkir Sævarsson (Hammarby), Haukur Heidar Hauksson (AIK).

Midfielders: Emil Hallfredsson (Udinese), Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea), Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff), Theodor Elmar Bjarnason (AGF), Arnor Ingvi Traustason (Norrkoping), Birkir Bjarnason (Basel), Johann Gudmundsson (Charlton), Eidur Gudjohnsen (Molde), Runar Mar Sigurjonsson (Sundsvall).

Forwards: Kolbeinn Sigthorsson (Nantes), Alfred Finnbogason (Augsburg), Jon Dadi Bodvarsson (Kaiserslautern).

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Italy had a pretty simple qualification for the Euros this year, topping their group and though a lot of the wins were by single goal margins, it never looked in doubt. However their plans took a huge hit over the past month, with key midfielders Claudio Marchisio and Marco Verratti both missing out through injury. It was the last thing coach Antonio Conte wanted and the 2012 runners-up, who flopped at the World Cup, go into Euro 2016 on a sour note.

But this is Italy we are talking about and traditionally the Italians, even if they do not sparkle or perform to the levels of previous tournaments, they tend to find a way to get the job done. Getting to the latter stages this time would be quite an achievement for the Chelsea bound coach, considering the strength of the opposing teams they may come up against.

Key Man: Giorgio Chiellini

As stated before, Italy are without key players for this years Euros and will be looking at their more senior members, to get them through and provide a traditional Italian performance. Chiellini is the epitome of the stereotypical Italian defender, strong in the tackle and an intelligent reader of the game, his experience and quality will be pivotal to anything the Italians do this summer.

Player to Watch: Lorenzo Insigne

The Napoli based winger has had a fine season in Serie A and his flare could be the difference between Italy getting out of a well organised and tough defensive group. It’s all well and good being hard to beat, but you also need to score goals to win games and with a strike force that doesn’t scream off the page, Insigne pace and skill could be the difference, in at least supplying goals this June.

Tips:

Goals conceded over 4.5 (8/11)

(30-man training squad) 

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Federico Marchetti (Lazio), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris Saint-Germain)

Defenders: Davide Astori (Fiorentina), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Angelo Ogbonna (West Ham), Daniele Rugani (Juventus), Matteo Darmian (Manchester United), Mattia De Sciglio (Milan), Davide Zappacosta (Torino)

Midfielders: Marco Benassi (Torino), Giacomo Bonaventura (Milan), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Alessandro Florenzi (Roma), Emanuele Giaccherini (Bologna), Jorginho (Napoli), Riccardo Montolivo (Milan), Thiago Motta (Paris Saint-Germain), Marco Parolo (Lazio), Stefano Sturaro (Juventus), Antonio Candreva (Lazio)

Forwards: Eder (Inter), Ciro Immobile (Torino), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Graziano Pelle (Southampton), Simone Zaza (Juventus), Federico Bernardeschi (Fiorentina), Stephan El Shaarawy (Roma)

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Portugal are something of an enigma. Instinctively, we put them amongst the favorites for near on every major tournament, with two semi-finals and a runner-up spot in the last four European Championships, it certainly enhances their claim here. But there is also this sense that they never quite deliver and after a poor performance at the last World Cup and some seemingly questionable performances in qualifying in recent times, it makes you think, how large is their modern-day reliance on Cristiano Ronaldo.

They certainly have a string of young talent flooding through the ranks, a squad that similar to England has a lot of future potential, but with an aging defense and a Ronaldo who won’t likely play at 100%, how far can they go.

Key Man: Cristiano Ronaldo

Arguably the best player in the world at present, Ronaldo, whether he plays down the flank or as the main man up top, whoever the opponent, they will be fearful of the recent Champions League winner. There’s not much to say about the Madrid man that I can’t tell you, other than this may be Ronaldo’s last chance to win a major tournament, especially at his very best. At the age of 31, it’s likely he will decline in future seasons and though he may still be at his best for the next World Cup, when Euro 2020 comes a calling, could a 35 Ronaldo still cut it? Personally, we think he will be putting everything into this competition and try and finally end the debate of who is better, Messi or Ronaldo.

Player to Watch: Nani

It’s been an up and down few years for the ex United man, but the winger seems to be back to his best, or at least to a level that brings excitement when he touches the ball. Though Ronaldo will obviously command near on all the spotlight for anyone watching Portugal this summer, Nani at his best is likely to provide some similar spotlight commanding performances and may need to for his nation’s sake, especially with Ronaldo being far from 100%.

Tips:

Ronaldo to win the golden boot (8/1)

Eliminated by shoot-out (11/2)

Ronaldo golden boot, Spain Winners (66/1)

Goalkeepers: Rui Patricio (Sporting Lisbon), Anthony Lopes (Lyon), Eduardo (Dinamo Zagreb).

Defenders: Vieirinha (Wolfsburg), Cedric Soares (Southampton), Pepe (Real Madrid), Ricardo Carvalho (Monaco), Bruno Alves (Fenerbahce), Jose Fonte (Southampton), Eliseu (Benfica), Raphael Guerreiro (Lorient).

Midfielders: William Carvalho (Sporting Lisbon), Danilo Pereira (Porto), Joao Moutinho (Monaco), Renato Sanches (Benfica), Adrien Silva (Sporting Lisbon), Andre Gomes (Valencia), Joao Mario (Sporting Lisbon).

Forwards: Rafa Silva (Braga), Ricardo Quaresma (Besiktas), Nani (Fenerbahce), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Eder (Lille).

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Similar to the predecessor Trapattoni, Martin O’Neill’s Ireland have qualified for this year’s finals in a well organised fashion and are a side who many find hard to beat. Not one to set the world on fire, with their attacking presence, there will be no harder-working side, during this tournament but who have that little sprinkling of genuine talent and certainly do not lack experience. Qualification for the last 16 will be difficult in a tight Group E but they have the capacity to pull off the one big result that could see them through, via third place.

Everyone will want to forget about their last appearance in a major final, back in 2012, where they went home with no points, one goal scored and nine conceded that year.

Key Man: Shane Long

The epitome of hard work; Shane Long will be leading the line for the Irish this year. He may not be a world class finisher, but is a player who will give no side a moments peace and will be looking to prey on any mistake he may well cause. He only scored three goals during qualifying, but as stated before his game is not about goals and his hard work will be hopefully finished off some of the more technically gifted players such as Hoolahan or another hard worker in Walters.

Player to Watch: Wes Hoolahan

As mentioned before, Hoolahan is one of Ireland’s more technically gifted players and is one many will be looking at to add that something special to a side we all know will be working extremely hard. It’s all well and good working hard and making yourselves difficult to beat, but every side needs a match winner or that bit of quality to keep the opponents guessing and the now Championship midfielder is that man for Ireland.

Tips:

Shane Long Top ROI scorer (4/1)

Group goals scorer under 2.5 (10/11)

(provisional 35-man squad)    

Goalkeepers: Shay Given (Stoke), Darren Randolph (West Ham), David Forde (Millwall), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday).

Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Cyrus Christie (Derby), Paul McShane (Reading), Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa), Richard Keogh (Derby), John O’Shea (Sunderland), Alex Pearce (Bristol City), Shane Duffy (Blackburn), Marc Wilson (Stoke), Stephen Ward (Burnley).

Midfielders: Aiden McGeady (Sheffield Wednesday), James McClean (West Brom), Glenn Whelan (Stoke), James McCarthy (Everton), Jeff Hendrick (Derby), David Meyler (Hull), Stephen Quinn (Reading), Darron Gibson (Everton), Harry Arter (Bournemouth), Wes Hoolahan (Norwich), Eunan O’Kane (Bournemouth), Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff), Robbie Brady (Norwich), Jonathan Walters (Stoke), Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen), Callum O’Dowda (Oxford).

Forwards: Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Shane Long (Southampton), David McGoldrick (Ipswich), Kevin Doyle (Colorado Rapids), Daryl Murphy (Ipswich).

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Sweden were made to work, to qualify for this summers European Championships, just edging a close fort encounter between the Danish, via the playoffs 4-3. They’ve been drawn into an almost uncallable group and will be encouraged by the injuries that have afflicted their group rivals Italy and Belgium. If they can get off to a good start against Ireland in their opening fixture, Sweden might just have the capacity to cause a surprise and gives Ibrahimovic a chance to shine.

Key Man: Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Sweden’s talisman and undisputed superstar has generally had to do it all in recent years. Scoring 11 of his nations 15 goals in qualifying, its obvious that without the 34-year old striker, most of the Swedish squad would be on their holidays right now and it will take a very brave or stupid punter to back them to taste any genuine success  Despite an ego and superstar status Ibrahimovic, the nations captain, has been a fine servant for his country, winning over 110 caps, scoring 62 and enters the tournament after an outstanding season with PSG, in which he broke the French scoring record. We doubt he will add Golden boot winner to his collection of honors throughout the years, but if Sweden can progress through the groups, likely via third place, he has a chance.

Player to Watch: Zlatan doesn’t like anyone watching anyone else

As it says above Zlatan doesn’t like anyone watching anyone else and simply doesn’t let us watch anyone else.

Tips:

Ibrahimovic top scorer for Sweden (1 /2)

Ibrahimovic to win the Golden Boot (25/1)

(23-man Squad)

Goalkeepers: Andreas Isaksson (Kasimpasa), Robin Olsen (Copenhagen), Patrik Carlgren (AIK).

Defenders: Ludwig Augustinsson (Copenhagen), Erik Johansson (Copenhagen), Pontus Jansson (Torino), Victor Lindelof (Benfica) Andreas Granqvist (Krasnodar), Mikael Lustig (Celtic), Martin Olsson (Norwich).

Midfielders: Jimmy Durmaz (Olympiakos), Albin Ekdal (Hamburg), Oscar Hiljemark (Palermo), Sebastian Larsson (Sunderland), Pontus Wernbloom (CSKA Moscow), Erkan Zengin (Trabzonspor), Oscar Lewicki (Malmo), Emil Forsberg (Leipzig), Kim Kallstrom (Grasshoppers).

Forwards: Marcus Berg (Panathinaikos), John Guidetti (Celta Vigo), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris), Emir Kujovic (Norrkoping).

The Groups

This section will look at groups E & F and offer a guide on what tips are available for each. It will also give you an idea of what potential upsets may occur and hopefully give you a better understanding on who should qualify into the last 16
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This is probably the hardest group to call in this years Euros and one that could literally go either way. Belgium are the favorites here, but could easily and most likely be happy with qualifying via any other position. They certainly have the quality to upset and scare their opponents, but do they have the experience like their group rivals, Italy. The Italians may not have a host of quality, but they have the mindset to see them progress and maybe provide a shock or two. The real fight is likely to come from Sweden and Ireland, who if you believe the bookies and the pundits, they will be fighting for third spot. The two sides met in the opening fixture and could be massive for either side. Sweden have the talisman and Ireland have the team spirit, who will prevail.

Tips for this group:

Third place finish (9/2)Republic of Ireland

As stated above, it looks to be a battle throughout, with the opening game against Ireland and Sweden key, which could see Ireland take an early advantage for progression. However with every game being as hard as the next, it may not make a difference. It terms of value, there is not much in this group, with this the only stand out bet.

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Now, this may seem like an easy group on paper, and yes it would be, that is if either side within in it, could arguably be seen as a favorite. The bookies dub the Portuguese as the favorites, which if not for Ronaldo, I doubt they’d be shown the same respect. Neither side stands out based on recent performances and this may be a group to consider betting outsider. Austria have been improving dramatically in recent times, as have Iceland and Hungary, so again it’s hard to pick a definitive winner here, with everything just leading back to Portugal and Ronaldo.

Tips for this group:

Winner of the group (2/1): Austria

Portugal may have Ronaldo, but also have an aging defense and a inexperienced squad of young players. Austria are a side on the up with a host of talented players, who follow a hard working ethos. Austria have the easiest of starts against massive underdogs Hungary and a win could see them, play very negatively against Portugal, to secure progression. If this is the case, then I can only see one winner here.

To qualify from the group (4/6): Iceland

Its Iceland’s first major competition and one that with the third place progression for four of the six third place sides, a great chance to see them not only enter their first competition but play in their first knockout stage. As stated already, its no easy group, but Iceland are a side who can hurt a lot of sides on their day and are not shy of a goal or two. They should clinch third spot, if not higher, as long as the occasion doesn’t get the better of the players.

To lose all group games (9/2): Hungary

This probably won’t be a tournament to remember for the Hungarians. Now normally, for a side like Hungary to progress this far, they would probably face a very tough group, like in many previous European competitions. But with the now extended format, allowing more teams, groups don’t have that same wow factor as before. So why is this bad? Well normally in an underdog situation a side will defend and counter, work hard and reap the rewards, like the Greeks in 2004. However with a group like this, one that could literally see any side beat the other, the ethos changes into attack, something which we think will disadvantage, one of the competitions underdogs.

*Unfortunately Mr Green has been unable to send us his own top tips. As many know he is currently travelling around Asia for the year and finds it very difficult to spend time researching tips. Hopefully though Mr Red & Blue have supplied a sufficient service.  

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