Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Euro: After the Group Stage Predictions

Wow! What an exciting round of group play.  I turned out to be definitely wrong about some teams and I could not be happier about it.  There were some big surprises and huge letdowns (looking at you Netherlands and Russia).  A few brief points then let's get to the upcoming matches...

Seriously Russia? They beat the Czech Republic 4-1 and then proceeded to tie Poland and the lose to Greece.  They were the heavy favorites for this group.  What isn't helping? Their post game reactions...players walking directly off the field, the manager saying he thought the team played well, and the captain, Andrei Arshavin, getting in an argument with a fan after the game saying, "The fact we didn't live up to your expectations isn't out problem.  It's yours."  One Russian member of parliament has proposed banning Arshavin from being able to receive any Russian company endorsements now.  Ouch.

What happened Holland? Granted they were in the ultimate group of death but they should have performed much better.  They just could not finish when they got near the net.  I think this was their last chance to really do something as their team is aging.

Rough go Ireland.  They really didn't have much in the way of hopes for this but to lose all three games and end with a goal differential of -8 is pretty bad.  They knew they would lose to Spain but they were hoping to keep it together against Italy and Croatia.  Speaking of Croatia, I am a little disappointed in their performance.  They should have been able to beat Italy.  Having your last game be a must win situation against Spain is rough.  Every game is just crucial.

Quarter Finals

Czech Republic v Portugal: The Czech Republic pulled it together after getting blown out by Russia to win their next two games.  They have some goal scoring ability but I think they will have a tough time with Portugal.  Portugal started out against Germany looking like they were not going to be able to do much this tournament.  In Game 2 against Denmark Ronaldo continued his recent streak of having trouble scoring but they won a hard fought game.  Against the Netherland Ronaldo looked to be back in form and scored twice.  I am still not a real believer in this team but I think they will win.
Czech Republic 1 : Portugal 2

Germany v Greece: Germany started off game one not looking really in sync.  They were able to win anyways and showed some great play in their next two games.  Gomez (a traditional German name) has been a scoring machine.  Germany has to be excited to be playing Greece.  This should be an easier game than their last three.  They should not overlook the Greeks however, as they were able to put some magic together to make it out of the group stage.  This team is greatly inspired right now coming off their win against Russia and will be very ramped up for this.
Germany 2 : Greece 0

Spain v France: Spain started off a bit shaky tying Italy 1-1.  After that tie they decided to stop playing with 6 midfielders and try actually having a forward out there from the beginning of the game.  Spain has it's own version of Ronaldo named Fernando Torres.  He has had multiple scoring chances but has not been able to put it away.  In the last game he seemed to be starting to put it together again.  Spain has been completely controlling the pace of play in every game but they still don't quite look like they are fully clicking yet.  Can France pull out an upset and beat Spain? Sweden certainly handled them today.  I don't see them being able to pull this out.
Spain 2 : France 1

England v Italy: England survived their first two games without one of the best strikers in the world, Wayne Rooney.  In game three Rooney did his thing and scored the game winning goal.  England hasn't had to play the toughest teams to get out of the group stage but they performed relatively well.  They didn't deserve to beat the Ukraine but that is how the game works sometimes.  Italy just squeaked through the group stage and I don't see them being able to put up a real fight against England.  They were able to keep Spain to a 1-1 tie so anything is possible.
England 1: Italy 0

Further Predictions:

Spain 2 : Portugal 1

Germany 2 : England 0

Germany 2 : Spain 1


NoLimitNelson said...

Good calls, I think Germany is looking the best and would actually be surprised if Spain beat them. Good to see Ronaldo scoring even if you don't like him.

Stefan said...

I actually do like Ronaldo. He is just an easy target. The guy is crazy talented and keeps himself relatively out of trouble even with all of the pressure on him.