Warsaw: With Group B containing four teams inside the top 10 of the Fifa world rankings, it could be argued that there has never been a more deadly "group of death" in the history of major tournaments.
Germany, Netherlands, Portugal and Denmark make up Group B and while all four teams might have been relatively confident of enjoying a successful tournament, the reality is that only two of those sides can progress to the knockout stages.
Germany, ranked third in the world, are the favourites to progress to the last eight of the tournament, with Sportingbet chalking up Joachim Low`s side at just 1/4 (1.25) to qualify while the same firm offers 11/10 (2.10) that the Germans top the group.
Germany, of course, have progressed to, at least, the semi-final stage of the previous three major tournaments so their pedigree is without question.
Netherlands are ranked fourth in the world and will be keen to repeat their success from World Cup 2010, when the Dutch made the final before losing to Spain.
Sportingbet make Bert van Marjwik`s side a 9/20 (1.45) shot to qualify and the same firm offer 9/5 (2.80) on the Dutch winning Group B.
Portugal, tenth in the world, have had their problems in the build-up to the tournament and were held to a goalless by Macedonia before slumping to a 3-1 defeat against Turkey in their final warm-up game.
Clearly, the Portuguese will need to up their game if they are to survive the group of death but with Cristiano Ronaldo in their ranks, their chances cannot be dismissed. Paulo Bento`s side can be backed at 5/4 (2.25) to qualify with Sportingbet with the same firm chalking them up as 4/1 (5.0) shots to win the group.
The outsiders are Denmark, ranked ninth in the world. Morten Olsen`s men will provide stuffy opposition in all three of their group games and, given that they topped Group H, which included Portugal, in qualifying, it would be foolish to write them off.
They are available at a chunky 17/4 (5.25) to qualify with Sportingbet while the same firm offer a massive 14/1 (15.0) to top the group.
Denmark can make an impact and could be the value selection to grab a qualification berth but Joachim Low`s Germany look like excellent value to emerge triumphant from the group of death and should be backed at Sportingbet`s 11/10 (2.10) to win Group B.
First Published: Wednesday, June 06, 2012, 19:09