Friday, June 8, 2012

Loaded week-end

Off to a promising start in the Euros with the Greeks and Polish drawing. In tennis, Nadal and Djokovic also won as expected, setting up a final that promises to be a spectacle for the ages.

A fully-loaded week-end it looks to be. Here are my views on the week-end matches.

Netherlands v/s Denmark. It's hard to go against the Dutch here although Denmark will certainly give them all they can handle. But in this Group of Death, Holland need to ensure they get the full 3 points as their remaining games are against Germany and Portugal. A draw-no-bet for the Dutch here looks safe.

Germany v/s Portugal. Portugal's performance in these Euros depend on their main man, Christiano Ronaldo. If he has a good tournament, so will the national team. Germany will be their solid selves and it's hard not to see them go through. I see Germany as a good draw-no-bet as well.

Spain v/s Italy. The Italians are struggling right now and they don't look anywhere as good as their predecessors. That said, they should never be discounted because they almost always rise up on the big occasions. Spain is the best team in the tournament, but that doesn't necessarily mean they'll be winners at the end. They shouldn't be beaten by this Italian team though, and are taken as a safe draw-no-bet as well.

Ireland v/s Croatia. I think the Irish could be the surprise package of this group and of the Euros in general. I like the work of Trappatoni and he's got the experience in these kinds of tournaments. Croatia are capable of the best and worst, and they now have a really good striker in Everton's Jelavic. I still like Ireland's chances here, and they look to be the best value draw-no-bet of the week-end.

Back to Roland Garros where the best 2 players will square off in Sunday's final. Will it be Djokovic's first or Nadal's seventh? I think the Spaniard looks as good as ever, and will be all too aware that if he can't beat the Serb here, he won't beat him anywhere else. The French Open is his territory and he will be pumped up for it. Djokovic is the best among the rest on the surface and can give the Spaniard a real game, but at the end, it should be business as usual for Nadal. He is recommended to win it all.

Saturday's woman final between little-known Italian Errani and Sharapova. This is a fantastic opportunity for the Russian to win her first French Open and hence complete the career Grand Slam. She should be able to do it and is selected to win as well.

Finally, news just eked out that I'll Have Another will not compete in Saturday's Belmont Stakes, hence killing off any hopes of a Triple Crown winner. That clears the way for either Union Rags or Dullahan to win it. Union Rags as a Place looks safe and is the recommendation. For long punters, Street Life as a Place could also be the way to go because this horse will finish the best of them all.

Win: Nadal, Sharapova
Draw-no-bet: Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Ireland.
Place: Union Rags

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