Euro 2004 Bets: Props, Part II
will be Euro 2004’s leading scorer? We’ve compiled a list
of contenders, as well as players to avoid. Some choices might
surprise you, but ignore them at your peril.
He led France in scoring during qualifying with eight goals.
But David Trezeguet was a close second with six, and that’s
solid evidence France’s goals will be split between the two
strikers. Considering France’s pathetic opposition in
qualifying, expecting Henry to be as prolific against
Europe’s finest is a big stretch at these odds. Avoid.
van Nistelrooy (8:1):
The only thing RVN’s got going for him is he’s a penalty
taker. But, as we said before, this Dutch team will not go far
in this tournament and van Nistelrooy’s clashes with his
coach and teammates are a big reason why. These odds are awful
value, especially since Ruud’s got no chance. Avoid.
While it’s easy to see Italy winning Euro 2004, it’s
harder to imagine them scoring bucket loads of goals. In any
case, Vieri won’t score all of Italy’s goals, and he’s
poor value to be the tournament’s leading scorer. If you
must have a bet on an Italian, take Antonio Cassano (50:1).
He’s had an excellent season, and if given enough playing
time Cassano could really stand out at Euro 2004.
He’ll split his goals with Henry, making neither one a
serious contender for leading scorer. Avoid.
He was fourth leading scorer at the 2002 World Cup. He’s
Portugal’s only natural striker, and will get most of their
goals since he plays alone up front. Playing at home will be a
huge boost for Pauleta and his country, and Portugal could go
all the way. The price is a bit shorter than we’d like, but
still decent value and a good bet.
Owen is a streaky player. He’d be a risky choice for top
goalscorer even if he were at the top of his game. Plus,
England don’t have to rely on him for goals. If you really
fancy a bet on an Englishman, take Wayne Rooney (40:1).
Although he had a disappointing season with Everton, the
seventeen-year-old has excelled at the national team. Euro
2004 could be his time to shine.
and Roy Makaay (20:1): Even if Holland can get their
act together, it would be foolish to expect any Dutchman to
lead Euro 2004 in scoring. With such depth up front, goals
will likely be divided among Kluivert, Makaay and van
Nistelrooy. Avoid all three.
He missed most of Spain’s qualifying matches, which explains
the high price. But the coach was impressed with him at Monaco
this season so Morientes will definitely be included in the
starting eleven. His three goals at the 2002 World Cup prove
that Morientes can perform at this level. The only worry is
how far Spain can go in this tournament. If they manage to do
well, Morientes will be the reason why. He’s a smart pick,
and good value too.
A natural playmaker, Totti will set up Vieri and Cassano more
often than scoring goals himself. The only reason Totti is
priced so short is his name recognition. Avoid.
Despite a string of awful results recently, the Germans are
known to pull together when it counts. They finally have a
real striker in Kuranyi, and if they make the late stages of
Euro 2004, he could easily be the tournament’s leading
scorer. And what a price!
He was the Czech Republic’s go-to guy in qualifying, scoring
eight important goals. He’s their main penalty taker, and
the country’s leading scorer. The Czech coach rarely rotates
players, so expect Koller to feature in all their games. The
Czech’s have a strong team, fully capable of winning this
tournament. If they do, Koller will lead the way. It would be
a mistake not to like him at this amazing price.
Dahl Tomasson (50:1)
and Ebbe Sand (100:1): Tomasson is Denmark’s number
one striker and main penalty taker. He was third in scoring at
the 2002 World Cup. Sand is in excellent form this year. The
Danes won this thing in 1992, and these two could help them do
and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (66:1): Larsson was Sweden’s
highest scorer at World Cup 2002 with three goals. Zlatan is
always a threat too. Since Sweden is a high scoring team,
don’t be surprised if one of these two takes the prize even
if the Swedes only make the semi-finals.
With five goals in qualifying, he is the best Bulgarian
striker coming into Euro 2004. If the Bulgarians can pull off
another spectacular run like at USA ’94, they won’t do it
without Berbatov. And with odds in the three-digit range,
it’s worth putting at least some small change on this guy.
there you have it. Pauleta, Morientes, Kuranyi and Koller make
the short list. These four have a combination of the best
chance and the best value to be leading goalscorers at Euro