Euro 2012 Betting: Don't underestimate England
Joe Hart is one of the world's best, and there isn't a better attacking left-back than Ashley Cole.
Harry Redknapp, writing exclusively for Betfair on Euro 2012, can see plenty of reasons for supporters of England to be optimistic going into the competition.
Forget the negativity, doubts and Wayne Rooney's absence from the first two games - England can go further than you think at Euro 2012.
Think of Chelsea in this year's Champions League and you realise that anything can happen and nothing is impossible in football.
A warning though: I'm optimistic and I always am with England; I thought we were going to win the World Cup in South Africa!
That said, I'm not putting my money on the Three Lions right now. Group D is tough and that is one reason not to steam into England at the current (16.0) on Betfair - they might well be available to back at a bigger price once the tournament is under way.
But I would never write us off like some have already done. Just remember Chelsea.
Like the Blues, our success will be built on a very solid defence and I'm not sure there's a stronger back five at the tournament. I wouldn't swap them for any other unit anyway.
Joe Hart is one of the world's best, and there isn't a better attacking left-back than Ashley Cole. Glen Johnson is a danger on the right while John Terry and Joleon Lescott bring experience, determination and reliability to the mix.
Rio Ferdinand isn't there, and it's tough on the lad. I love Rio, I signed him when he was a boy, and for me, he and Terry are the best central defenders England have.
But Roy has made his decision and you've got to support him.
First up is France and - like most opening games at a big one - I think it'll be tight and low scoring.
It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if it finished in a draw, and it's my opening England bet @ Betfair odds of (3.2). That result would suit both teams and if it's 0-0 after 70 minutes I can't see either side bombing on to get the three points.
And the 0-0 is a tempting option for my second bet, but I'll play Under 1.5 goals instead . Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker sitting in front of that defence makes us very tight and I can't see the French breaking us down more than once. They've got great players but let's not overdo it. We can win this group and if we do that I fancy us to reach the semis. We're organised and difficult to beat - a good mix.
It's no great revelation, but our problem is going to be in attack. I think Roy will go with Andy Carroll as the striker with Ashley Young in the hole and leaves the wingers as the only selection issues. Theo Walcott must take the right, and then it's down to James Milner or Stewart Downing on the left.
Stewart's had his critics this season, but if Carroll is the selection, I think his Liverpool team-mate must be played and told to deliver cross after cross in Andy's direction. With the personnel we have I really don't think there's any other way we can play.
So, there it is, a tough and tight opening game and a bit nervy no doubt, but let's get excited. Apologies Sandra, but I'm going to be glued to Euros for the next three weeks.
And I hope I'm cheering England right to the end!
Recommended Betfair Bets
3pts Back a draw between France and England@(3.2)
2pts Back Under 1.5 goals @(2.6)
2pts Back England to win Group D @(3.35)
1pt Back England to go out at the semi-final stage @(7.0)