When devising any punting strategy on a market the ability to get the market leader beat can open up a host of opportunities for a punter.

The outright win market for the European Championships is dominated by the current World and European Champions, Spain, who lead the market at 11/4 in front of Germany (7/2) and Netherlands (15/2).

They are a side that despite ruling all for the last six years, still are probably at the height of their powers as their big players such as Xavi and Andreas Iniesta still possess all the sparkle of previous tournaments.

However, there does seem to be plenty of negative vibes surrounding the Spanish camp for this seasons’ tournament, which has seen their price drift marginally in recent weeks and all the money come for the Germans.

The reasoning behind the drift surrounds the recent worry over the fatigue shown by Barcelona in the finals stages of the La Liga season and in the Champions League.

Spain’s game-plan is centred around both Barcelona playmakers Xavi and Andreas Iniesta and if they are below par, then Spain may lose their fantastic tempo that they impose on games.

These two players haven’t really had a break from the high-stakes environment they indulge themselves in – it seems as though Euro 2008, the 2009 Confederations Cup, the World Cup in 2010, and four La Liga season may have taken its toll on the engine room of the Spanish.

Another area that Spain are struggling with currently resides in the treatment room. Defender Carlos Puyol, a rock that has been one of the unsung heroes in this Spanish side, has been ruled out for around six weeks with a knee injury that requires arthroscopic surgery.

Inspirational striker David Villa is also struggling to be fit after missing the majority of the season with a broken leg.

Fatigue, injures and pressure are all mounting up on the reigning champions – will they reward their followers come the end of the tournament? It would be their greatest achievement to date, if they do so.