Monday, June 4, 2012

That's so Euro 2012

Who wants a prediction and preview of the UEFA European Championship?

Don't know what the European Championship is? It is basically the World Cup without Brazil and Argentina.

Ugh, this is a soccer post? Yes, don't worry I will go back to posting stupid youtube videos tomorrow.

Like most of my prediction posts this will probably be completely wrong and I will have to change everything after the group stage but for now this will do.

Group A (The Kind of Random Group):

Poland (FIFA-65/UEFA-32): Poland struggles to score goals but they are also hard to score on. Having home field advantage could prove to be huge.
Russia (FIFA-11/UEFA-8): What once was a team based purely on offense they have also struggled to score goals lately.  This team used to be really fun to watch but they have gotten a bit older now and their scoring has gone down. Their offense is still their best asset but it isn't what it used to be.
Greece (FIFA-14/UEFA-10): Boring soccer.  All defense and then they hope to score a goal with a counter.  This team could pull out some crazy surprise though (they won this thing in 2004) but I really doubt it.
Czech Republic (FIFA-26/UEFA-16): With a recent lineup change their goal total has gone down but their wins have gone up.  They also have the great Petr Cech in goal.
Prediction: I feel pretty confident with Russia coming out in first place. Picking Czech Republic to finish second is going out on a limb a bit as I could also see Greece doing some damage.
Group B (The Craziest Group of Death Ever): Ever team is ranked in the top 10? 
Holland (FIFA-4/UEFA-3): These dudes are good.  Like really good and really fun to watch.  They have one of the best collections of midfielders and strikers in the world.  Holland does one thing really well, score goals.
Germany (FIFA-2/UEFA-2): Germany has gotten younger and better in the last couple of years.  They are going to stay dominant for at least the next 10 years.  Germany has also started playing with a more creative style that is different than they have been in the past.  One thing that helps the German team, only three players on the roster don't play in the Bundesliga, these guys all know each  other really well.
Portugal (FIFA-5/UEFA-4): Portugal is still lead by the breathtakingly beautiful Ronaldo, who is also extremely talented.  Ronaldo now also has a better cast around him and this team can pack a punch.  The team has changed its formation from being based around Ronaldo which has created more options.
Denmark (FIFA-10/UEFA-7): In any other group Denmark would definitely be considered one of the favorites.  What might help them is that they have absolutely no pressure to perform as they are such underdogs.  Don't overlook this team though, they are good and can score some goals.
Prediction: This is a really tough one but I think Germany will come out on top with Holland in second place.  Everyone of these group matches will be really interesting and will have a huge impact on the overall outcome of the other teams.  June 23rd - Germany v Holland...can't wait.
Group C (Who Wants Second Place?)

Croatia (FIFA-8/UEFA-6): Croatia's style of play is based around the counter attack.  This can be extremely effective against attacking teams but with this group it might hurt them.  They won't have opportunities to counter against Ireland who doesn't attack themselves.  Spain controls the ball so much they might not have enough opportunities.  They should be able to handle Italy though.
Rep. of Ireland (FIFA-18/UEFA-13): The Rep. of Ireland plays some of the most conservative soccer in the world.  They rely on extremely good defense and winning 1-0.  Seriously, in the last 24 years they have only once scored more than one goal in a game in any major Championship.  Game should be close but if they fall behind early they will struggle to get back in it.   This is their first time qualifying for the Euro in 24 years.
Italy (FIFA-12/UEFA-9):  Italy has come limping into this tournament.  Their level of play has not been very good as of late.  They had an easy time qualifying for this Championship as their group was the weakest.  With their first game against Spain they may start this Championship in a hole that they cannot get out of.  Historically Italy always has a very resilient defense but this time around they will have to do their best to compensate for a very poor D.
Spain (FIFA-1/UEFA-1): The definite favorite to win this group.  It is unfortunate that Puyol is hurt as he is the leader of the defense and also scores a fair number of goals off set plays but this team can overcome that.  A really fun team to watch, they do it all, and they do it all at an exception level.  They are the masters at ball possession.
Prediction: I am very confident in Spain walking away with this group.  The Rep. Ireland could sneak by but I think Croatia will be able to score some goals and get second.
Group D (Not a Group of Death but a Toss-up)
Ukraine (FIFA: 50/UEFA: 28): Definitely the underdog in this group they will have to rely on the home field advantage.  Their starting forward is 35 and they have lost a number of players to injury. Not good.
England (FIFA: 7/UEFA: 5): For once the British media is taking the right tone with this team...don't expect much.  Wayne Rooney has been suspended the first two games, three starters have been injured in the last week and will not play, and Rio Ferdinand was not chosen for the team.  Why was he not chosen? Because John Terry (defender for England) was caught yelling racial slurs at his brother, Anton Ferdinand.  Safe to say, he and Terry don't get along.  This leaves the team with having to start a young defender who plays backup for his club team.  This team still has talent and should not be underestimated, especially as there is no real powerhouse in the group.
France (FIFA: 16/UEFA: 11): France struggled for a few years but now appears to be back in decent form with a goal scoring team.  They have not lost in their last 20 matches.  Their defense can be a little suspect at times, however.
Sweden (FIFA: 17/UEFA: 12): This team has recently changed its playing style to be much more creative and attacking.  This has played out well for them and made them a more interesting team to watch.  They also have a great forward in Zlatan Ibrahimovic. 
Prediction: France will come out in first place.  England really could put something together but I think Sweden will emerge as the second best team. Minus the Ukraine, this really could anyway though.
Russia v Holland

Germany v Czech Republic
Spain v Sweden
France v Croatia
Holland v Spain: Holland get their revenge for losing the World Cup final to Spain.
Germany v Croatia
Germany v Holland: Holland emerges victorious with a final score of 3-2.

There you have it! Go to Vegas and bet, nay, invest, all of your life savings.  You're welcome.


redhead fred said...

Was hoping that you would throw in some political views on why the Euro Cup is going to pull the EU out of their recession and save the world economy!

Tanner said...

I bet every team hates Greece so much. "You no deserve-a da Euro anymore!!!"