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Bankers bet on Czechs for Euro

Analysts at Switzerland's biggest bank, UBS, have tipped the Czech Republic to win the European football champions in June, defeating Italy in a penalty shoot-out.

The Swiss squad, which will play the Czechs in the opening game in Basel, is in with a 75 per cent chance of reaching the semi-final, with a possible win against Germany in the quarterfinals.

But they are not likely to progress to the final with the Czechs throwing a spanner in the works. Euro 08 co-hosts Austria are not expected to get past the round-robin stage.

The analysts from the bank’s wealth management division used the same mathematical model to predict that Italy would win the 2006 World Cup.

This took into account a team’s current ranking, how often it had qualified for the championships, how often it had reached the semi-finals and whether it benefited from a home ground advantage.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR