Although not reflected by the 2-1 scoreline, Portugal’s victory over Holland in their last outing was more straightforward than expected, and thus they have been trimmed to 13/2 to win Euro 2012.
Portugal had been unimpressive in their opening two tournament games, with captain Cristiano Ronaldo of all people wasting a plethora of chances, en route to a loss and draw against Germany and Denmark respectively.
The Real Madrid superstar proved his true worth to the national side on Sunday night though, as he fired a brace to send a dominant Portugal into the last eight at Holland’s expense.
Now, Paulo Bento’s men face a favourable tie against Czech Republic in the quarter-final, and will take heart from their opponents progressing into the knockout phase by unconvincingly winning the weakest group in the tournament.
They will also take confidence from the sides’ meeting in the last renewal of the European championships, where Portugal triumphed 3-1 at the group stage of Euro 2008 to see the Czech Republic crash out.
That match featured a strike from Portuguese captain Ronaldo, who, after his double against the Netherlands, now seems an appealing prospect at 4/1 to claim the Euro 2012 Golden Boot.
Given the superior nature of his team in contrast to their quarter-final opposition, he looks good to rack up further strikes in his side’s march to the last four.
No strangers to the latter stages of European championship competitions, Portugal’s advancement this year represents the fifth in succession in which they have progressed past the group stage of the tournament.
This is the first of those occasions where they have failed to their group however, though that fact is unlikely to be too much of a detriment to their chances of glory in Poland and Ukraine.
A potential meeting with Spain awaits should they get past the Czechs, but Vicente del Bosque’s men looked as ordinary as ever in clinching their group, and so Portugal could be worth snapping up at 13/2 to claim a maiden European crown.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.