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Netherlands vs Denmark Pick for Euro 2012

Day 2 of the always exciting Euro 2012 tournament gives viewers their first look at a powerhouse Dutch side as they take on an upstart squad from Denmark. Both teams were forced into dealing with this year’s version of the “Group of Death,” as along with Germany and Portugal, all four teams currently rank within the top-10 of FIFA’s world rankings.

For the Danes, they clearly received awful luck in the drawing process. They are a capable squad and would possess realistic thoughts of advancing in any other group. However, in a tough Group B setting with fixtures against the Dutch, Germans, and Portuguese, the Danes would likely be pleased to avoid a last-place finish.

Netherlands enters Euro 2012 as one of the bigger pre-tournament favourites and have been pegged by many pundits as the eventual victors of this tournament. They boast a wealth of world-class players at all positions on the pitch, and are likely the most lethal team on the attack in this competition. Head coach Bert van Marjwik has been criticized in years past for his insistence on employing a more defensive approach, opposed to letting the squad take full advantage of their sublime abilities. After years of falling short in major competitions, the pressure is squarely on the Dutch, and anything but a title will have Dutch fans demanding answers.

Netherlands vs Denmark Betting Odds:

Netherlands (-145) / Draw (+280) / Denmark (+500)
Over 2.5 (+105) / Under 2.5 (-125)

Match Analysis & Pick:

Despite the fact Denmark enter this contest as formidable underdogs on the betting line, they are still one of the top squads in the world. They have dangerous attackers, led by their prolific goal scorer Nicklas Bentdner, and possess enough quality to make the Dutch pay if they get complacent. In recent fixtures, the Netherlands have proved susceptible to defensive deficiencies, and with key back Joris Mathijsen recently succumbing to an injury, their shortcomings at the back could provide the Danes plenty of offensive opportunities.

While the Danes are a tough and dangerous test in an opening match for the Netherlands, the Dutch remain a class above. They can win any style of match and will exploit the vulnerabilities of Denmark’s backline. Like Netherlands, Denmark too has experienced some recent lapses defensively. In recent pre-tournament fixtures, both Daniel Agger and Christian Poulsen virtually gave away two goals to Brazil, and going against an equally dangerous Dutch squad, those miscues must be avoided.

Though recent history suggests that teams usually employ conservative tactics in their opening match of a big tournament, it contradicts the style of both sides. The Dutch are simply loaded with world-class talent and can score at will. The likes of Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder, and Robin van Persie are three of the most lethal finishers in the sport and should wreak havoc on the weak flanks of the Danes. Expect a game featuring a wealth of chances, with capable finishers on both sides. Goal-differential often comes into play in this tournament and good squads like the Dutch are well aware of this against inferior sides. The Danes will be competitive, but ultimately it won’t be enough against the Dutch firepower. A 2-1 score-line in favour of the Netherlands seems plausible in what promises to be a free-flowing affair loaded with offensive attacks. The Dutch will win, while the value on three goals being scored may be too sweet to pass up.

PICK: Netherlands to win (-145)