Author Archives | Ryan Andrews

Orlando City Soccer vs. Wilmington Hammerheads USL Pro Semifinals Preview

Orlando City Soccer Look For Revenge In USL Pro Playoffs vs. Wilmington: The 2012 USL Pro playoffs are underway, and there are just four teams that are searching for the 2012 USL Pro Championship. Two of those teams are going to meet in Orlando at the Florida Citrus Bowl on Friday night, as the Orlando City Soccer Lions face the Wilmington Hammerheads.

Orlando City, the 2011 USL Pro champs, were easily the best team in the league this year at 17-1-6, accounting for 16 more points than the second place Rochester Rhinos, who will also play on Friday night. Meanwhile, Wilmington was able to sneak into the back end of the playoffs this year with 37 points, and it was able to take down the Richmond Kickers 3-2 in last week’s quarterfinals to be able to advance to this point in the season.

The Lions definitely aren’t going to be taking this game lightly, knowing that they were beaten by these very same Hammerheads back on June 2nd. That game was at Legion Stadium though, and this is at the Florida Citrus Bowl, where Orlando City posted a dominating 4-1 victory at the outset of the season in April. These two teams also played to a draw on July 25th, but by that point, OCS knew that there was never a double that it was getting into the second season with ease as the top team in the league.

Dennis Chin is going to be the key for the Lions, as he led the league this year with 11 goals and 13 assists. Chin scored the capping goal of the 4-1 win in April, but the man of the hour in that game was John Rooney, who scored twice in the first half out of the midfield. Rooney won’t be in the lineup on Friday night though, and Jean Alexandre is still nursing an injury that will keep him sidelined as well. This could be problematic for the Lions, though Head Coach Adrian Heath has arguably the deepest team in the league on his side, and replacements should be ready to go. We expect to see Jaime Watson teamed up with Chin up front, though Matt Luzunaris, who scored nine goals this year, will be in consideration as well.

Last year, the Hammerheads came back from a one-year hiatus and got into the playoffs, getting bounced out of their first round match. They looked to be on the wrong side of last week’s first round playoff fixture as well, especially early against Richmond. The Kickers took a 1-0 lead and could have easily been up 3-0 in the first 15 minutes. Wilmington was able to find pay dirt in the 69th and 72nd minutes, but just seven minutes later, the Kickers were level once again. The match seemed destined for extra time, but it was Tom Parratt, a man who didn’t score a single goal in the regular season, that made the difference.

The injury situation to Alexander Horwarth is definitely one worth watching. Horwath played 22 of the 24 games this year for the Hammerheads in net, but he suffered a hamstring injury and was replaced after just a few minutes of action, giving way to Troy Hernandez, who made his debut on the pitch with Wilmington in the game.

OCS went 8-0-4 this year at home and had a +19 goal differential in just 12 matches. The Lions have only been beaten once here on their home turf in team history, making the Citrus Bowl clearly one of the toughest places to play a match, let alone in the playoffs. Wilmington was an atrocious road team this year, accounting for just two wins. Only Dayton, Pittsburgh, and Antigua had fewer, and they finished in the bottom three spots in the table.

Friday night’s kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. (ET) at the Citrus Bowl, and the winner will advance to September 8th’s USL Pro Championship Game. If the Lions win this match, they will host the championship game for the second straight year against the winner of the Rochester Rhinos vs. Charleston Battery fixture, which is also going on this Friday night. If Wilmington pulls off the upset, either Rochester or Charleston will host the game.

Posted in Featured, USL Pro

Cardiff City vs. Huddersfield Town Picks, Predictions, & Tips 8/17/12

Money Behind Huddersfield Worth Backing Against Cardiff City Football: The 2012 English Football season gets started on Friday, August 17th, as Cardiff City and Huddersfield will both begin their conquests in the 2012-13 League Championship season. Join us at Total Soccer Source, as we take a look at the Cardiff City vs. Huddersfield match odds and make our predictions and tips for what should be a great match to start the season with.

This probably isn’t the start to the season that Huddersfield Town really hoped to draw. The newcomers from League 1 haven’t been in the second tier of English football since 2000-01, and that year, it was straight back down to Division 2. The same was true in 1995-96, a one-year stop for the Terriers. Meanwhile, Cardiff City has hopes this year of being able to earn promotion to the Premier League for the first time since 1957. Cardiff nearly got into the playoff last year, but thanks to the fact that West Ham United finished 10 points clear of fourth place Birmingham City, there was no need for the playoff.

Cardiff City vs. Huddersfield Schedule and Match Information
Cardiff City vs. Huddersfield Match Date/Time: Friday, August 17th, 2:45 p.m. (ET)
Cardiff City vs. Huddersfield Stadium: Cardiff City Stadium
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Cardiff City vs. Huddersfield Odds: Cardiff City -0.5 (-122)
Cardiff City vs. Huddersfield Betting Line Total: 2.5 (Over -110)

It is quite clear that Cardiff is here to make some noise in 2012. The team has switched from its traditional blue and white kits to red, and the club’s motto is now “Fire & Passion.” The previously injured Stephen McPhail figures to be in the midfield for the Bluebirds, and they are going to hope to use a bunch of injury returnees to produce a great result to start off the season. Captain Mark Hudson is ready to go, and that’s perhaps the biggest addition to the team once again. David Marshall is going to be back in the pipes, just as he was for 47 of Cardiff’s 48 matches last year in the Championship. Leading scorer Peter Whittingham is still back to man the midfield as well, and that’s no shock for the only man to play in all 48 fixtures last year for Cardiff. Also note that this is the first League Championship fixture for summer signing Craig Bellamy, which is as big of a signing as the Bluebirds have had in years.

Huddersfield has a heck of a lot of momentum coming from last year’s fourth place finish. It is true that it took a miracle just to be able to force a playoff for the League One promotion to League Championship. It made the most out of it, getting up to the second division of English football. Now, there is some money behind the team, and there could be a heck of a jump to bring this team all the way up to the Premier League level as well. Jordan Rhodes looks to bring the team to the next level after scoring a goal midweek for his native Scotland in international competition, and he is going to be joined by a slew of summer signings, all of which are used to playing at this type of a level. Remember that Huddersfield is only a few years removed from playing in League 2, and getting all the way up here with a chance to challenge for a spot in the Premier League is largely unheard of.

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Cardiff City vs. Huddersfield Town Match Preview & Analysis: This could be a match that surprises many at the outset of the season. Huddersfield isn’t as raw as most teams that are making the jump from one level to the next right away, and the end result could be a lot of victories that most just don’t see coming. We know that Cardiff is the type of team that really could challenge for a spot in the Premier League next year, but we still think that this match reeks of a draw when push comes to shove.

Cardiff City vs. Huddersfield Town Punting Tip: Huddersfield Town +0.5 (+112) @ BetOnline Sportsbook

Cardiff City vs. Huddersfield Score Prediction: Cardiff City 1 – Huddersfield Town 1

Posted in English Championship, Featured

Euro Cup Quarterfinals Odds: Germany vs. Greece Tips & Predicted Results

Germany vs. Greece Picks: Germans To Keep Rolling, Knock Out Greeks: Euro 2012 betting action continues on Friday night at the PGE Arena, where one of the most talented sides in the world has to take on one of the up and comers looking to make a big time splash at this juncture of the tournament. Germany vs. Greece tips are going to be hot and heavy on Friday, knowing that only one of these teams can move on to the Final Four at Euro 2012. Don’t miss our Euro 2012 betting predictions for what should be a remarkable match.

Germany was the only team in Euro 2012 that was able to get all nine points from its opening matches, and it did so against the toughest group in the field. That’s why the Germans are now the favorites on the Euro 2012 betting lines, and they are going to probably be the toughest team to get rid of here in Poland and Ukraine. Meanwhile, the Euro 2004 champs from Greece are looking to rekindle that fire and magic that struck eight years ago in this illustrious tournament against one of the best sides in the world. It took a miracle just to get Greece into the knockout rounds in the Euro Cup, and it might be a team that could find a way to do some real damage if it can stay organized.

Germany vs. Greece Schedule and Match Information
Germany vs. Greece Match Date/Time: Friday, June 22nd, 2:45 p.m. (ET)
Germany vs. Greece Stadium: PGE Arena
Germany vs. Greece on TV: ESPN, ESPN3.com, ESPN Deportes
Click Here to bet on Germany vs. Greece Euro 2012!
Germany vs. Greece Match Odds: Germany -1.5 (+110)
Germany vs. Greece Betting Line Total: 2.5 (Over -105)

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Are the Germans the best in the world? Really, save for Spain, we don’t think that there is that much of an argument, especially amongst the eight teams that are left standing going into the Euro 2012 quarterfinals. Germany scored five goals with just two responses in the first stage of this tournament, and there really wasn’t a match that one could say that maximum points wasn’t the fair result. The team has just had some great contributions up front, especially from Mario Gomez. There was talk that Gomez could be taken out of the Starting XI in place of Miroslav Klose, but that just hasn’t been the case. Instead, Gomez has three strikes to lead the team, and he could very well be well on his way to the Golden Boot. Klose has been coming off of the bench instead, and he has found his way into all three of the matches for Manager Joachim Low here in Poland. Lukas Podolski has a goal, as does Lars Bender. Bender’s strike against Denmark proved to be the difference for the Germans in the last match in Group B, but at that point, it really didn’t make a difference; they already knew that they were going to be the Group B winners.

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Greece on the other hand, has itself a heck of a lot of work to do. This was a team that came out of absolutely nowhere to win Euro 2004, but since that point, we haven’t heard a lot from the side. Matters look gloomy to say the least for the Greeks virtually every step of the way in Group A. They fell behind 1-0 against the hosts from Poland before storming back to take a point, and then they were beaten relatively badly by the Czech Republic in a match that probably didn’t look as bad on paper with a 2-1 final score as the play on the pitch would have suggested. That being said, Greece needed to take all three points from Russia, the toughest team in Group A, to get into the second round, and it did just that, winning 1-0 on the strike by Giorgos Karagounis right before the intermission. The problem for Karagounis, though? He picked up yet another yellow card, marking his second in this tournament, earning him a suspension for this match. That means that Kostas Katsouranis, who is the only other midfielder to play in all three matches for the Greeks in this tournament to date, will be the acting captain for the soiree. The only two goal scorers thus far in Euro 2012 for Greece are Fanis Gekas and Dimitris Salpingidis. The goaltending switch has been a good one for the Greeks as well. Michalis Sifakis hasn’t allowed a goal since replacing the injured Kostas Chalkias, who suffered a knock 23 minutes into the match with the Czech Republic. At the time, Greece was being outscored 3-1 in the tournament. It has outdone its foe 2-0 since that point.

Germany vs. Greece Match Preview & Analysis: Still, there is only so much magic that one team can provide in a tournament. Without its captain and one of its only offensive threats, we just don’t see Greece being able to do all that much against the stout Germans. There is just going to be too much offense for the men in white and black, and we just don’t see how Germany is going to fail. This could be a very one-sided match in the end.

Germany vs. Greece Punting Tip: Germany -1.5 (+110) @ BetOnline Sportsbook

Germany vs. Greece Score Prediction: Germany 3 – Greece 0

Posted in Euro 2012, Featured

Group B Euro Cup Odds: Denmark vs. Germany Tips & Predicted Results

Denmark vs. Germany Picks: Germans To Finish Sweep of Group of Death: Euro 2012 betting action continues on Sunday afternoon at Arena Lviv, where the Germany Euro Cup campaign surges on in the Group of Death. The Germans already have six points to show for their work in the first two matches of this tournament, and they’ll be looking to come up with the clean sweep to make their way through Group B as the winners of the group, where a date with Greece will be waiting. The Denmark Euro 2012 competition started off with sound and fury, but without taking a point from this match, the Danes will be sent packing after a relatively short stay.

Germany isn’t quite into the second round yet, but it would take a loss, a Portugal win, and a heck of a lot of goals to be scored against it to get bounced from this tournament. In short, we just don’t see any way that all that needs to go wrong actually going wrong. That being said, getting a point would be a big time advancement for sure, as the Germans would much rather be taking on Greece in the quarterfinals than the Czech Republic. Just getting a point would suffice. A point might be enough for Denmark as well, but you can bet that it will be scoreboard watching during this whole match as well. The Danes need to better the result that the Portuguese have against the Netherlands to be able to get into the second round of the tournament, so perhaps even a victory won’t quite be enough to get the job done.

Denmark vs. Germany Schedule and Match Information
Denmark vs. Germany Match Date/Time: Sunday, June 17th, 2:45 p.m. (ET)
Denmark vs. Germany Stadium: Arena Lviv
Denmark vs. Germany on TV: ESPN2, ESPN3.com, ESPN Deportes
Click Here to bet on Denmark vs. Germany Euro 2012!
Denmark vs. Germany Match Odds: Germany -1 (+110)
Denmark vs. Germany Betting Line Total: 2.5 (Over -140)

Denmark was more or less the forgotten team in the Group of Death. However, what we really have forgotten is that this is a squad that is ranked in the Top 10 in the World FIFA Rankings, and that just cannot be underestimated. In the opening match against Holland, there was no doubt that the Dutch had the superior talent. However in the end, it was the teamwork and the spirit of the Danes that got them the three points. That same spirit nearly gave way to a massive comeback against Portugal as well. Denmark was facing a 2-0 deficit, only to get a two-bagger in the second half from Nicklas Bendtner to perhaps save the day. Alas, our questions that we originally asked from the Danish defense really started to come through. Stephan Andersen really didn’t have a great match, allowing three goals, and he really should have allowed a fourth to Cristiano Ronaldo as well. The defense simply wasn’t all that stunning for the Danes during the whole match, and it was truly night and day from the effort that was put forth against Holland four days prior.

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The Germans have three goals in this tournament to date, and all three of them belong to the man of the hour, Mario Gomez. We really weren’t all that sure how Gomez was going to fare in this lineup for Germany in this tournament, but what Manager Joakim Low has figured out is how to get all of his strikers on the field. Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose have gotten into both matches, and all of the big time midfielders have had their appearances as well. In defense, Philipp Lahm has led a very organized bunch as well, and that should fare well for the future of this tournament as well. There is a reason that Germany is amongst the Euro 2012 favorites at the moment, as the team hasn’t allowed a goal yet here in Poland and Ukraine. Manuel Neuer and his defense deserve a lot of credit for how well they have played at the back.

Denmark vs. Germany Match Preview & Analysis: We really just don’t know if the Danes are going to be able to get the job done in this one. Perhaps laying a goal is a bit risky with Germany, but at least we are getting plus odds. We think that more often than not, the Germans are going to win this match, and it seems more like that they are going to win it by multiple goals than the Danes would be at getting a point. It has been a good run for Denmark here in the Euro Cup 2012, but it will come to a close with a resounding defeat on Sunday.

Denmark vs. Germany Punting Tip: Germany -1 (+110) @ BetOnline Sportsbook

Denmark vs. Germany Score Prediction: Denmark 0 – Germany 2

Posted in Euro 2012, Featured

Euro 2012 Group B: Portugal vs. Netherlands Tips, Predictions, & Picks

Euro 2012 Portugal vs. Netherlands: Dutch To Crash Out, Portugal To Survive: La Oranje hasn’t really had a whole heck of a lot of success here at Euro 2012, but now, they have a chance to salvage their Euro Cup fixtures if they can find a way to take three points from Portugal. The Portuguese know that this fixture means everything as well though, and it should make for one final fantastic match here in the Group of Death in Group B.

It is amazing to think that Holland is still in this tournament in spite of the fact that it doesn’t have a point to show for its work yet. That being said, three points and some help in the form of Denmark getting beaten by Germany, and the Dutch will be flying high into the quarterfinals as the runners up from Group B. Still, Portugal is salivating at the idea of just being able to get a point from this match. If it can do that, it should be able to advance into the second round. If Denmark is able to beat Germany though, the only result that would help out the Portuguese is a win in this fixture. As long as they match what the Danes are able to do on Sunday, they will have survived the Group of Death and will be in the quarterfinals of Euro 2012.

Portugal vs. Netherlands Schedule and Match Information
Portugal vs. Netherlands Match Date/Time: Sunday, June 17th, 2:45 p.m. (ET)
Portugal vs. Netherlands Stadium: Metalist Stadium
Portugal vs. Netherlands on TV: ESPN, ESPN3.com, ESPN Deportes
Click Here to bet on Portugal vs. Netherlands Euro 2012!
Portugal vs. Netherlands Match Odds: Netherlands pk (-115)
Portugal vs. Netherlands Betting Line Total: 2.5 (Over -115)

Portugal has had itself a great tournament to date. The team really was good enough to get a point out of that opening fixture against Germany, and though it just didn’t happen, there had to be an increased sense of optimism about how the team was going to play through the rest of the group stage of this tournament. Alas, what we saw at the outset of the game against Denmark was quite the impressive showing four days ago. The Portuguese jumped out to a 2-0 lead and looked prepared to sail to three points. Of course, the Danes were able to fight back and level the match at two goals apiece, and Cristiano Ronaldo simply fanned on a shot that easily would have been a goal 99% of the time otherwise. That being said, it was Silvestre Varela that was able to come off of the bench and save Portugal’s skins in the 87th minute to take down Denmark, and as a result, the Portuguese control their own destiny for the most part to get into the second round of Euro 2012.

The Netherlands Euro 2012 campaign really should be over at this point, as there is really no excuse for being in a position to have no points from two matches when you are ranked in the Top 5 in the world. The Dutch have just one goal to show for their work in this tournament, that coming from Robin van Persie against the Germans in their last match. That being said, we really haven’t heard much of anything from Dirk Kuyt, Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Nigel de Jong, Mark van Bommel, Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben, and Rafael van der Vaart. That’s a heck of a lot of big time names that just haven’t been able to contribute to the offense quite yet in the Euro Cup 2012, and that means that there is a lot for this group to do to be able to get this team into the second round of the tournament. Maarten Stekelenburg would like some more help in front of him as well, as he has now allowed three goals in his first two fixtures here in Ukraine.

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Portugal vs. Netherlands Match Preview & Analysis: This match has relatively level odds for a good reason. We really don’t know if either of these teams are going to be able to take three points from the other. That being said, we know that the Dutch are going to have no choice but to go for broke and try to get three points, but in the end, we think that a first half goal by La Oranje will be eliminated late on by Cristiano Ronaldo or one of the other big time Portuguese players to let this match end in a draw. The question that will remain though, is whether that will be enough to get Portugal into the Euro 2012 quarterfinals. We think that it will.

Portugal vs. Netherlands Punting Tip: Draw (+230) @ BetOnline Sportsbook

Portugal vs. Netherlands Score Prediction: Portugal 1 –Netherlands 1

Posted in Euro 2012, Featured

Euro 2012 Group B: Denmark vs. Portugal Tips, Predictions, & Picks

Euro 2012 Denmark vs. Portugal: Teamwork Key For Danes To Hold Portugal: Denmark and Portugal were both involved in 1-0 matches on the first match day in Group B on the UEFA Euro 2012 betting lines. One team is significantly happier than the other though, as the Danes know that they can potentially wrap up a surprising spot in the quarterfinals if they can get a point out of this second match. Don’t miss our Portugal vs. Denmark picks, as we answer the question as to who will win the Denmark vs. Portugal match.

The Portuguese know that they are going to need a heck of a lot of chances to win this match. They had their opportunities in the opening fixture against Germany, but they just weren’t able to get all that much on net. Of course, we know that Portugal knows that that was the toughest match that it had to endure, but this is the easiest match of the bunch in the Group of Death, and it is a fixture that absolutely has to be won in all likelihood to have a shot of getting into the quarterfinals.

Denmark vs. Portugal Schedule and Match Information
Denmark vs. Portugal Match Date/Time: Wednesday, June 13th, 12:00 p.m. (ET)
Denmark vs. Portugal Stadium: Arena Lviv
Denmark vs. Portugal on TV: ESPN, ESPN3.com, ESPN Deportes
Click Here to bet on Denmark vs. Portugal Euro 2012!
Denmark vs. Portugal Match Odds: Portugal -0.5 (+100)
Denmark vs. Portugal Betting Line Total: 2 (Over -145)

The Danes though, played the most remarkable match of any team in our eyes in the first four days of this tournament. The squad got the goal that it badly needed on the counterattack from Michael Krohn-Dehli, who was able to get the job done for his nation. After that, there weren’t a heck of a lot of opportunities for Denmark, but the squad was able to do some damage on the counterattack and frustrate the heck out of the Netherlands and its tremendous attackers. Holland managed to get 20 shots off, but most didn’t end up hitting the target. In the end, Denmark probably would have been content with a point, but it managed all three, and now, it probably needs just two more points to ensure that it will get into the quarterfinals in shocking fashion out of Group B.

In net, both of these teams could have some problems. Stephan Andersen did a remarkable job against the Dutch, but we just don’t know if he is really ready to take over as the goalie to bring this team back to international prominence. Rui Patricio really didn’t have all that great of a match against Germany, though he wasn’t called into all that much work either. He only had to face four shots and two corners, but of that work, he did allow a goal to Mario Gomez.

The respect just doesn’t seem to be there for either of these teams. Sure, the Portuguese have names like Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo, and we know that they two are amongst the best in the world at their trade. However, both of these clubs are expected to finish behind the Germans and the Dutch in Group B. Denmark especially though, is ranked No. 10 in the world, and that tends to be forgotten. In other groups against other teams, it would have been a disappointment had the Danes not ultimately gotten three points from that opening fixture.

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Denmark vs. Portugal Match Preview & Analysis: This is a dangerous match for the Portuguese. We think that they could come into this one thinking that they are going to take all three of these points in a heartbeat without many issues. In the end though, we think that Holland really underestimated the Danes, and Portugal might very well do the exact same thing. We love the intensity that Denmark used in this first match against the Dutch, and a similar effort would be crucial towards getting a point.

Denmark vs. Portugal Punting Tip: Denmark +0.5 (-110) @ BetOnline Sportsbook

Denmark vs. Portugal Score Prediction: Denmark 1 –Portugal 1

Posted in Euro 2012, Featured

Group B Euro Cup Odds: Netherlands vs. Germany Predicted Results

Netherlands vs. Germany Picks: Germans & Dutch To Put On A Show: The pressure is on both the Germans and the Dutch, as they try to navigate their way through the Group of Death and into the quarterfinals on Euro 2012. Now though, there is a heck of a lot of pressure on both of these teams, as neither one is anywhere near a lock to make it through the group that they were supposed to dominate. Check out our Netherlands vs. Germany picks and predictions for what should be one of the most entertaining matches of the first round of this tournament.

What is at stake for the Holland vs. Germany Euro 2012 match? What isn’t at stake? Germany will essentially be able to lock down its spot in the second round of this tournament with a victory, and unless Portugal beats Denmark, a loss for the Dutch would see them out Euro 2012. Even then, it wouldn’t be easy to get out of this group, knowing that it would take a win and some help just to have a shot of advancing. A draw for both teams would likely suffice, as we would then know that the Dutch would still be alive and the Germans would still control their own destiny. Still, three points is clearly the ultimate goal for both of these teams, and we have no doubt that both are going to be going for broke offensively.

Netherlands vs. Germany Schedule and Match Information
Netherlands vs. Germany Match Date/Time: Wednesday, June 13th, 2:45 p.m. (ET)
Netherlands vs. Germany Stadium: Metalist Stadium
Netherlands vs. Germany on TV: ESPN, ESPN3.com, ESPN Deportes
Click Here to bet on Netherlands vs. Germany Euro 2012!
Netherlands vs. Germany Match Odds: Germany pk (-130)
Netherlands vs. Germany Betting Line Total: 2.5 (Over +100)

There most certainly isn’t going to be a shortage of stars in this match. It was truly surprising to see the Dutch failing so miserably time and time again versus Denmark in that opening match. There were 20 shots that were unleashed, but only eight got on target, and few were truly golden opportunities. Arjen Robben wasn’t all over the field like he normally is, and Robin van Persie just didn’t have as many good efforts as he normally does. Wesley Sneijder really had every chance in the world to try to do some damage, but it just wasn’t meant to be. You could visibly see the frustration mounting for each of the stars, as they just couldn’t get anything through the Danish defense, and if that happens again, that could see La Oranje out of the Euro Cup.

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Germany has all of the firepower in the world, and it was disappointed that it couldn’t really get all that much going against the Portuguese in the opening match of the tourney. Just four shots made it to the target, and there weren’t all that many great chances that didn’t get on goal either. However in the end, Mario Gomez was the man of the hour, as he was able to save the day and give his country the three points that it badly craved. It is going to be interesting to see if Miroslav Klose gets the call to be in the starting XI with more offense likely be needed in this match.

Both of these defenses have had histories of having their problems. Obviously, both were rock solid in their opening match, but the argument could be made that neither team was really the best on the pitch against their first foes. There are a lot more questions around Maarten Stekelenburg, who is still trying to get out of the shadow of Edwin van der Sar, one of the best net minders that this country has ever had to offer.

Netherlands vs. Germany Match Preview & Analysis: We think that the talent level in this match is out of this world. Both know that they are going to have to push forward quite a bit in this fixture, and that is going to be what makes the difference in the game. Expect to see both sides on the board relatively early, and in the end, we will see at least one more goal to push this one past the number. Both of these teams are good enough to get all three points out of this fixture for sure.

Netherlands vs. Germany Punting Tip: Netherlands/Germany Over 2.5 (Even Money) @ BetOnline Sportsbook

Netherlands vs. Germany Score Prediction: Netherlands 1 – Germany 2

Posted in Euro 2012, Featured

2012 Euro Cup Odds & Picks: Germany vs. Portugal Match Odds & Preview

Germany vs. Portugal Match Analysis: Cristiano Ronaldo To Give Portuguese Life in Tight Match: For years and years, the Germans and the Portuguese have been vying to become some of the best teams in Europe. Germany has definitely had more success, finishing in the Top 3 in four major tournaments in the last two decades. However, Portugal has some of the top rising stars in the game. Which team will win the Germany vs. Portugal match? We have all of the answers with our Euro 2012 picks here at Total Soccer Source.

On one glance at it, it would seem as though offense should be the name of the game. After all, just taking a look at some of the names on both of these rosters has to make fans of the game think that this has the potential to be a five- or a six-goal clash. Cristiano Ronaldo could come up with a two-bagger on any given night, and the likes of Lukas Podolski, Thomas Muller, Miroslav Klose, and Mario Gomez are all good for positive contributions to the offense every single game.

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Germany vs. Portugal Schedule and Match Information
Germany vs. Portugal Match Date/Time: Saturday, June 9th, 2:45 p.m. (ET)
Germany vs. Portugal Stadium: Arena Lviv
Germany vs. Portugal on TV: ESPN, ESPN3.com, ESPN Deportes
Click Here to bet on Germany vs. Portugal Euro 2012!
Germany vs. Portugal Match Odds: Germany -0.5 (-105)
Germany vs. Portugal Betting Line Total: 2.5 (Over -105)

We have also seen both of these net minders really struggle at times. Portugal allowed four goals to Cyprus at the beginning of Euro 2012 qualifying, and Germany allowed three to Switzerland in one of the last tune-up matches. Manager Joakim Low for the Germans knows that this is going to be his big challenge with this team, just as it has been quite a bit over the course of the last few years. Philipp Lahm is a fantastic defender, but he is more known for his streaks down the wing offensive than anything else. Per Mertesacker might be responsible for keeping tabs on Ronaldo.

On the other side of the pitch though, it is going to be tough to think that Portugal is going to be able to hold the Germans. That is going to be the real contest for the Portuguese, who routinely struggle defensive.

Germany vs. Portugal Match Preview & Analysis: That being said, we just don’t know if the Germans are going to be able to get the job done when push comes to shove. Don’t be all that shocked if an early Germany goal gets wiped away in the second half with a strike by Ronaldo or one of the other offensive stars on this Portugal team. We just don’t see this one having all that many goals, and we think that it is a lot safer to back the Portuguese and the half ball on the Euro 2012 betting lines than anything else. We wouldn’t be totally shocked if the underdogs are the ones that end up playing the part of the aggressors for a good chunk of this match in the latter stages in spite of the muscle that the Germans have to offer.

Germany vs. Portugal Punting Tip: Portugal +0.5 (4/5) @ BetOnline Sportsbook

Germany vs. Portugal Score Prediction: Germany 1 – Portugal 1

Posted in Euro 2012, Featured

Euro 2012 Betting Tips: Who Will Win Netherlands vs. Denmark Match?

Soccer Betting Tips for Euro 2012: Uneasy Defenses Lead To Five Goal Affair: The “Group of Death” in Group B is set to be contest starting on Saturday afternoon, and here at TSS, we are taking a look at the Euro 2012 odds and lines for this match and making our Netherlands vs. Denmark match picks and predictions for what could be quite the entertaining fixture.

The one thing that we know we are going to see is a heck of a lot of offense. The Danes are surprisingly ranked No. 9 in the FIFA World Rankings right now, and a lot of it is because they just keep finding ways to put the ball in the back of the net. Though there isn’t a player on the team that has scored a goal in Euro 2012 competition, there are plenty of goals and caps to go around in the front five or six. Dennis Rommedahl, if he gets the call, will be playing in his 117th match for his country. Nicklas Bendter of Arsenal is just 24, and he is sure to get the start as one of the real offensive threats for this Danish team. Also keep an eye for Christian Poulsen off the bench, as well as Christian Eriksen and Lasse Schone of Ajax Amsterdam, all of which could play a big time part of an upset if Denmark is to pull it off.

Netherlands vs. Denmark Schedule and Match Information
Netherlands vs. Denmark Match Date/Time: Saturday, June 9th, 12:00 p.m. (ET)
Netherlands vs. Denmark Stadium: Metalist Stadium
Netherlands vs. Denmark on TV: ESPN, ESPN3.com, ESPN Deportes
Click Here to bet on Netherlands vs. Denmark Euro 2012!
Netherlands vs. Denmark Match Odds: Netherlands -1 (+125)
Netherlands vs. Denmark Betting Line Total: 2.5 (Over +115)

Of course, we can’t count out anything that the Dutch have the ability to do. Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie, Wesley Sneijder, Dirk Kuyt, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Rafael van der Vaart… They all have the ability to put the ball in the back of the net, and they are all going to be playing big time roles in what should be a good offensive effort against a suspect Danish club with a brand new net minder taking the reins as a full-time starter in a major tournament for the first time in his career. This is going to be quite the interesting challenge to say the least for Stephan Andersen, who clearly has his work cut out for him after taking over for Thomas Sorensen, who has basically been replaced on the squad after some suspect outings over the course of the end of the qualifying efforts and friendlies leading into Euro 2012.

Where we become concerned about the Dutch though, is in their back four. They just don’t have these players that are going to be stalwarts in defense, and the truth of the matter is that we don’t think all that much about Maarten Stekelenburg as the last line in defense. The AS Roma net minder just hasn’t been all that great in his career in these big time spots, and he is certainly not the same type of goalie that Edwin van der Sar was back in the day for this team. Needless to say, the offense might really have to step it up, which isn’t something that we are overly worried about. It might take a lot of two and three goal efforts to get this team out of the Group of Death and into the Euro 2012 knockout rounds, though.

Netherlands vs. Denmark Match Preview & Analysis: In the end, we really don’t think that either of these teams are going to be kept off of the scoreboard in this match. Though we know that the opening matches of these tournaments tend to be a bit more defensive in nature, we really like what both offenses are bringing to the table, and we have a lot of questions about both of the defenses. In the end, we do think that there is just going to be far too much pressure coming from the Dutch offense for Andersen to deal with, and he might ultimately conceded two or three times. In the end though, we think that Denmark is a slightly underrated team, and we tend to forget that this is a team that is ranked in the Top 10 in the FIFA World Rankings right now. The Danes won’t go quietly. We definitely think that there are at least four, maybe even five goals that are going to be split in some way, shape, or form on Saturday night.

Netherlands vs. Denmark Punting Tip: Netherlands/Denmark Over 2.5 (7/6) @ BetOnline Sportsbook

Netherlands vs. Denmark Score Prediction: Netherlands 3 – Denmark 2

Posted in Euro 2012, Featured

Germany Euro 2012: Handicapping Germany’s 2012 Euro Odds

Euro 2012 Germany: Offensive Firepower Should Give Germans Edge: In 1996, Germany won the Euro Cup. Prior to that in 1990, it was the World Cup champ. Since that point though, the Germans have been trying to get back on top of the world, and there have been a number of near misses. They finished in third place in both the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, and they were the runners up in 2002. They also finished second best in Austria and Switzerland in Euro 2008. Could this be the tournament in which the Germans get over the hump and become champs once again? The Euro 2012 odds are definitely on their side.

The truth of the matter is that you are definitely going to have to look past the opening round schedule that the Germans have. They are clearly in the “Group of Death,” but in our eyes, they definitely have one of the best two teams in the foursome and really shouldn’t struggle to get into the quarterfinals, where the draw really could open up for them and give them a relatively easy stroll into at least the semifinals, if not all the way to the finale of Euro 2012.

Euro 2012 Schedule for Germany
Saturday June 9th: Germany vs. Portugal 2:45 p.m. (ET) (ESPN)
Wednesday, June 13th: Netherlands vs. Germany 2:45 p.m. (ET) (ESPN)
Sunday, June 17th: Denmark vs. Germany 2:45 p.m. (ET) (ESPN2)

Offense is definitely the name of the game for the Germans. Mario Gomez, Miroslav Klose, and Lukas Podolski will all find time on the pitch for sure, and Bastian Schweinsteiger regularly comes out of the midfield. He has 23 goals in his 90 matches for his country, including two in this tournament. Thomas Muller could be a big force as well, as could Real Madrid’s Mesut Ozil if given the chance. On the other end of the pitch though, there could be some more issues. Philipp Lahm is one of the best offensive wing defenders in the world, and he is most certainly not shy about trying to fire some shots on target. He and Per Mertesacker are going to have their work cut out for them for sure, especially trying to protect Manuel Neuer, Bayern Munich’s net minder.

The 2-0 shutout over Israel in the final tune up before the Euro Cup was great for the team, but before that, there were five goals allowed to Switzerland, two to France, and three to Ukraine in the warm-ups. Needless to say, that type of defense just isn’t going to cut it no matter how strong this team is offensively.

But that brings us back to the offense. In the qualifying for Euro 2012, the Germans were scoring goals left and right. They accounted for three goals with half a team against Azerbaijan after qualification was already a given, and two against Austria. Both matches were on the road. At home though, is where the goals really were pouring in. There were six against Azerbaijan at home to speak of, and three against a Turkey team that was a semifinalist in this event in 2008. Head Coach Joakim Low and his men also scored four at home against Kazakhstan. This was the most dangerous offense in the World Cup in 2010, outside of that of perhaps the Dutch, one of the teams that Germany will have to take on in this tournament.

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Statistically speaking, Germany is one of the top teams in this tournament, ranking No. 3 in the world and No. 2 in Europe as of the start of June. The team slipped just behind Uruguay, one of the up and coming squads in South America just before the outset of this tournament, but it isn’t going to bother the Germans one bit. The problem, though? No. 4 Holland is right in the rearview mirror of the Germans and could overtake them by the time this tourney is said and done with.

Germany 2012 Euro Championship Odds & Predictions: In the end, there is a reason that Germany is the second favorite on the board to win Euro 2012 behind the Spanish at +300. The Germans are -400 to advance out of this group and are +105 to win it in spite of the tough schedule. Gomez is the favorite to win the Golden Boot of Euro 2012 at +700, and Germany is the only team in this tournament that has four different players ranked in the Top 10 that can win the Golden Boot. Gomez is joined by Klose, Muller, and Podolski. This is going to be a team that is insanely difficult to get out of this tournament, especially knowing that a team like Russia or Poland could be waiting in the quarterfinals. Click Here to bet on Euro 2012!

Posted in Euro 2012, Featured

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