Euro 2012 Betting Preview – Portugal v Netherlands

June 16th, 2012 | Posted by in Euro 2012

Below we have further previews of the 2nd week of Euro 2012 where some important games will be played to see who will progress to the next round thanks to our friends at Sportingbet Australia. This Preview by GMorgan for the game Portugal v Netherlands . Check out all the Euro 2012 betting odds from a number of European, Australian and International online sports books.

Portugal v Netherlands – Metalist Stadium, Kharkiv – Sunday 17th June 2012

Portugal vs Netherlands  – Betting odds from major bookmakers and online sportsbooks

If there’s one team making a bold bid to take out this tournament’s biggest disappointment award, it is Netherlands. Having failed to pick up a single point from their opening two games, Bert van Marwijk’s men stand on the brink of making an ignominious early exit, the fallout from which will doubtless be both bitter and prolonged.

As it stands, the Oranje have to beat Portugal on Sunday, making up a two-goal goal difference deficit in the process and hope that Germany defeat Denmark in Lviv.

It’s a big ask and with internal divisions yet again emerging within Dutch camp, punters won’t exactly be falling over themselves to put money on van Persie and co sneaking into the last eight.

One glimmer of hope for the travelling orange hordes, however, is the fact that their side has not struggled to create chances in either of their two games to date and that Portugal continue to look anything but secure at the back.

van Persie finally found the net in Wednesday’s defeat against Germany and both Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Rafael van der Vaart looked lively when introduced as second-half substitutes in the same game, so van Marwijk must surely now throw caution to the wind and play all three from the start in a bid to seize this must-win clash by the scruff of the neck.

Such an approach will almost certainly see Mark van Bommel restricted to bench duties, with the Dutch likely to field a 4-1-4-1 formation and it will be interesting to see if van Marwijk makes further changes at the back where Jetro Willems and Joris Mathijsen both performed particularly poorly against the Germans.

There is also a case for Maarten Stekelenburg to be axed after another shaky display between the posts, with Swansea’s Michel Vorm and Newcastle’s Tim Krul waiting in the wings and full of confidence following fine seasons in the EPL.

The Dutch will certainly have noted how the Portuguese struggled to cope with high balls into the box during their win over Denmark and also how much joy the Danes enjoyed down the right courtesy of Lars Jacobsen’s overlapping runs.

With Cristiano Ronaldo granted licence to wander in-field from the left flank, Fabio Coentrao often found himself exposed, a situation the likes of van Persie and Arjen Robben would surely need no second invitation to exploit.

van Marwijk’s immediate tasks, however, will be to fend off the attacks of a furious Dutch media pack and then attempt to quell the mutiny in the ranks in a desperate bid to keep his side in the tournament and himself in a job.

No such internal issues seem to be affecting Portugal who bounced back from their unfortunate first-up defeat at the hands of Germany with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Denmark.

They may have left it late in terms of sealing the deal, but Paulo Bento’s men deserved to claim the points in Lviv and now know that even a point against Netherlands would be enough to secure a Quarter-Final berth provided the Danes do not spring a major surprise against Germany.

And yet it is hard to back the Seleccao with any great confidence.

Yes they looked lively going forward against the Danes and scored a couple of fabulous goals, but if they are to become a serious threat at this tournament, they need Cristiano Ronaldo to be at the top of his game and thus far, the Real Madrid man has been anything but.

It may be that the burden of the captaincy is getting to him or that he is simply feeling the effects of a long, gruelling season in Spain, but either way, Portugal need their talisman to contribute more than just skilful approach play.

With neither Helder Postiga nor Silvestre Varela the most reliable of international goalscorers, the men in red and green can ill-afford Ronaldo to miss the kind of regulation chances he squandered against the Danes. And his negative body language isn’t a good look either.

Equally, Bento will be demanding far more from star centre-back Pepe who has actually been more effective going forward than he has defensively. The Real Madrid man has been caught out of position on numerous occasions in both ofPortugal’s games to date and should never have been beaten in the air by Nicklas Bendtner for Denmark’s second-half equaliser in Lviv.

It’s hard to imagine that Portugal will show many changes to their starting line-up when they take the field in Kharkiv, although Varela may feel that the time has come for him to be handed a first start of the tournament and the experienced Ricardo Quaresma could also come into Bento’s selection considerations.

In terms of historical precedents, the two countires have met ten times since 1990 and the bad news for the Dutch is that they have beaten the Portuguese on only one of those occasions.

Given the defensive shortcomings of both sides, there should be some goals to enjoy amidst the tension on Sunday and it’s worth backing the Dutch to finally come good and sneak through to the last eight via the backdoor.

Prediction: Portugal 1-3 Netherlands

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