Come on France, er, Sort of - (CoFeSo - Bet 1)

Top the group and avoid the Spanish blah, blah, blah…

Here at 20steps we see things a little differently. Firstly if you want to actually win the European Championships and get proper credit, then it is better to defeat the reigning champions on the way. Not only that but the runners up spot ensures no meeting with the imperious looking Germans until the final itself. Now hands up England fans who want to meet Germany in a big semi-final?

Secondly, if England come second in the group then their quarter-final will be Saturday evening and not Sunday. Nobody wants a quarter-final on Sunday night, speak to any boss in England and they are praying for the French to come top, otherwise offices, shops, garages, will be empty come Monday morning.

Lastly and most selfishly of all, come second and beat the Spanish and England’s semi-final will be on Wednesday night instead of Thursday. And here at 20steps, we don’t work Thursday.

So the upshot of all this is a big 20steps style ‘Vive la France’. Bet 1 of CoFeSo is for the French to win tidily versus Sweden and top the group, go for Les Bleus to win by the scores detailed below.

All bets to be placed at Victor Chandler. Divide your starting pound thusly…

1-0 - 27p @ 13/2

2-0 - 24p @ 15/2

3-0 - 14p @ 16/1

2-1 - 21p @ 8/1

3-1 - 14p @ 16/1

Maybe worth a cheeky punt on Rooney to score first too, the ‘barnet’ is best price 11/2 with StanJames and Coral. Come on England!

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Taxi for Ron… Eng-ger-land Memorial Stream - Bet 1 (again)

Greece have nearly gone, Poland are hanging on in there by a thread and a wonder goal, but for two teams tonight could be the end of the road. Anybody who questioned the value of England’s point on Monday afternoon should take a peek at the brown trousers currently being worn by the Dutch and Portuguese. Losing your first group match at a major tournament makes it absolutely crucial that you turn things around straight away, and for the two teams above that chance comes tonight.

Defeat for either side makes it almost impossible for them to qualify, whilst defeat for both will make their match on Saturday the mother of all wooden-spoon-offs. The Netherlands face Germany tonight in the latest installment of international football’s greatest rivalry. This is a game that would grace the final, expect excitement, tension, drama, cards, and as for the scoreline, that is anybody’s guess.

First though Portugal must face Denmark. The Dane’s, who shocked Europe in 1992 by winning the whole darned tournament, have already seen off the Netherlands and don’t bet against them providing another upset this afternoon. The Danes have won three of their last five games against The Navigators, and finished above them in qualifying for this tournament and the last World Cup.

Expect defensive style Danish Dynamite and back them to prevail in the ‘draw-no-bet’ market at 5/2 with BlueSq.

Eng-ger-land Memorial Stream

Bet 1 - £1 - Denmark to beat Portugal (draw no bet) - 5/2 with Blue Square

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A good start? EMS - Bet 1

So yesterday evening England’s fortunes mirrored those of 20steps. Just as a 1-1 draw versus France leaves us no closer to knowing whether ‘Roy’s-Boys’ will qualify from group D, so it also means that bet 1 of the Eng-ger-land memorial stream was null and void.

For 20steps that means back to the old drawing board, while I suspect for England things might be a little rosier. Last night down the ‘Lion I found myself constantly having to reassure my fellow drinkers that 1-each versus France and their friend Monsieur Referee was not a bad result. This after all was only Hodgo’s third game in charge, in Championship Manager it would only have been a a pre-season friendly for crying out loud. Roy’s team can only get better.

But there was another reason for optimism last night. Every time a promising England move broke down or a finish was poorly executed the camera would cut to the most anxious man in the stadium. Wayne Rooney, underneath his exquisite barnet, looked like the archetypal tortured soul, forced to watch England’s two opening games from the touchline thanks to his own stupidity. The mission for England is simple. Stay alive in the competition until Rooney is available, then unleash him on the Ukraine, he made his name at Euro 2004, maybe in 2012 he will write it alongside those of European legend?

Watch these spaces for a new bet 1, coming soon…

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Eng-ger-land Memorial Stream - Bet 1

England finally get their Euro 2012 campaign started this afternoon against the French in the cheerful holiday town of Donetsk. And while most intelligent observers don’t think ‘Roy’s Boys’ have a chance in hell, 20steps has a long history of non-intelligent observations to keep up.

Hodgson has a deserved reputation for making his teams devastatingly hard to beat and England also boast an impressive 6 clean sheets in the last 8 games. A run that includes that fine 1-0 win against Spain. France are also notoriously slow starters at major tournaments not having been victorious in their opener since Euro 2004 against, er, England.

Still 13/10 for England to beat France tonight in the ‘draw-no-bet’ market looks overpriced so that is where 20steps is putting its pound.

Eng-ger-land memorial stream (EMS)

Bet 1 - £1 - England to beat France (draw no bet) - 13/10 @ StanJames

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Welkom bij 20 stappen Euro stijl

So the Euro’s are well underway. The first two games produced goals, excitement, drama, sending-offs and a fabulous performance from the Russians. Hopefully for them it will not prove as useful as Argentina’s 4-1 drubbing of South Korea at the 2010 World Cup. (The Argentines bowed out in the quarters by the way)

Yesterday also saw the demise of the Knee Jerk Reaction Stream. If you want a bet you can be sure about, then don’t nail your colours to the Poles. So today begins a 20steps European Championships special, and given the utter failure of 20steps so far, I am mixing it up a bit. Time is short so I will be brief. Bet 1 requires £1 to double into £2 and so the following bets will be placed on the Netherlands v Denmark game.

All Netherlands to win at Victor Chandler:

27p on 1-0 @ 13/2

24p on 2-0 @ 15/2

14p on 3-0 @ 14/1

23p on 2-1 @ 8/1

14p on 3-1 @ 14/1

If any of them come in we will have over the requisite £2. Total outlay by the way is £1.02. (what’s two penneth between friends!)

Euro-a-Go-Go & KJRS - Bet 3

If ever a continent needed a shot in the arm then it would be this Europe of ours right about now. Financial meltdown looms on the horizon like a giant bowl of cabbage soup threatening to tip over and drown us all. The the dust settles in London after a weekend of celebrations marking the 60 year reign of a great imperial tyrant. Weather forecasters all over the place predicting the wettest, coldest, windiest, skinty-ist summer on record.

At least we have the European Championships to cheer us up. 16 teams, 368 players, 31 matches, 8 venues, an unspecified number of racists, and ultimately, on July 1st, one supreme winner. And lets not forget that the Euro’s are an event that has a long association with shocks, upsets and the entirely unpredictable. Denmark winning from the beach in ‘92. Greece lifting the trophy in ‘04. England reaching the semi’s in ‘96. Indeed, 13 previous tournaments have produced 9 different winners, compared with a paltry 8 victorious nations coming from 19 World Cups!

20steps also gets back underway today, brandishing the £4.50 pocketed when England defeated the mighty Norway, we find ourselves looking left and right, up down for a fantastic even money bet to take us closer to our million-pound target. Poland kick things off in Warsaw at 5pm today and look a generous price to overcome Greece and get the show on the road.

So pack up the bunting, batten down the hatches, draw the curtains and sit back to enjoy the 2012 edition of the European Championships. The greatest 16 teams battling it out to see which of Spain or Germany will be crowned the winners.

20step - Knee Jerk Reaction Stream

Bet 3 of the KJRS will back Poland to get off to a winning start later today against Greece at 23/20 with Victor Chandler.

KJRS Bet 1 - £1 on Chelsea v Bayern Munich - Less than 2.5 goals - WON - £2

KJRS Bet 2 - £2 on England to beat Norway - WON - £4.50

KJRS Bet 3 - £4.50 on Poland to beat Greece @ 11/10 with Victor Chandler

Euro 2012 Tips

Top Scorer

Fernando Torres - Each Way - 20/1 @ bet365

Robin Van-Persie - Each Way - 10/1 @ totesport

Outright

Germany - Winner - 10/3 @ bet365

Euro 2012 - Patriotic Tips

Andy Carroll - Top Goalscorer - (no really, worth a couple of quid, surely) - Each Way - 50/1 @ boylesports

England to reach the Semi’s  - 9/4 @ bet365

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