In spite of failing to justify favouritism in a 1-1 draw with Italy on Sunday, Spain still look value at a short 1/5 to win Group C.
Vicente Del Bosque’s men seemed to lack a cutting edge for much of their opening tournament outing, though their dominance of possession with slick, incisive passing was evident as ever.
Andres Iniesta in particular appeared in imperious form, and landed the man-of-the-match award as his trickery and movement posed persistent problems for the Italians.
If he can replicate a performance even close to that standard, it seems as though Ireland and Croatia will find it difficult to cope with Spain as a whole.
It should also be noted that Spain lost the first game of their 2010 World Cup victory, before triumphing in each one thereafter, which makes sense of their 1/5 price to win their group.
They therefore seem better value to advance as group winners, than Germany do to triumph in Group B at 1/12.
In what is described as the ‘Group of Death,’ Germany still face fixtures with the fancied Netherlands, and their conquerors on Saturday, Denmark.
Initially tipped to struggle enormously to qualify, the Danish turned in a terrific display to overcome the Netherlands, and suddenly look immensely tough opposition for the Germans.
Also bearing in mind the Dutch’s greater need for points now in their clash with Germany, they will be fired up to take all three in the meeting.
Another point that may deter punters from backing Germany for group success was the nature of their narrow 1-0 win over Portugal on Saturday.
Mario Gomez’s late winner came in the aftermath of a match which was far from spectacular, but saw greater Portuguese chances go to waste before the Bayern Munich striker made the difference.
Indeed, Real Madrid defender Pepe crashed an effort against the crossbar with the scores level, and a vulnerability at the back could again be exposed when the likes of Robin Van Persie are in opposition.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.