#Euro2012 opens with Group of Dearth but what odds?

#Euro2012 opens with Group of Dearth but what odds?

By The Raptor


The Euro 2012 championships open tomorrow with Group A, which the Raptor’s conversion of bookmakers’ odds into percentage probabilities reveals to be by far the weakest group.   The four teams in the group combined have only a 7.51% chance of winning the tournament.   Group B, where Germany, Netherlands, Portugal and Denmark between them have an aggregate 39.25% chance of winning, is five times more likely than Group A to provide the tournament winner.  Or to put it another way, and this really does put the group’s weakness into perspective, England (at 8.02%) are marginally more likely to win the tournament than all four teams in Group A put together.

So, it will take something seriously improbable for one of the Czech Republic, Greece, Poland or Russia to trouble the UEFA official who fixes the ribbons to the trophy.    There again, the Greeks have form for doing just that.  In 2004 the bookmakers’s odds translated into a 1.08% probability of Greece winning.  And win the tournament is exactly what they did.   This time round their probability of winning is….1.08%   Is that an omen?    Probably not.    The Greeks kick off the tournament at 5.00pm UK time against hosts Poland, who actually have a lower FIFA ranking, but whose probability of winning the tournament is never the less marginally higher at 1.73%, no doubt due to home advantage.

Poland v Greece bookies’ odds converted into percentage probabilities by the Raptor:  Poland 49.72% Greece 21.14% Draw 29.14%

The 7.45 kick off sees Russia (at a 3.39% chance of winning the least improbable prospect in the Group) take on the Czech Republic (1.31%).   Both countries have of course have achieved something that has proved beyond England; winning the Euros, though in each case in an earlier and different incarnation; Russia, as the Soviet Union in 1960 (think Yashin in the black goalkeeping kit) and the Czech Republic as Czechoslovakia in 1976 (remember Panenka’s chipped penalty).

Russia v Czech Republic bookies’ odds converted into percentage probabilities by the Raptor:  Russia 44.07% Czech Republic 26.32% Draw 29.61%

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