Impressive Germany are likely to go all the way if not win the Euro 2012 title
Germany Vs Denmark Sunday 7pm
My Prediction: Germany 2—1 Denmark
Denmark and in particular Nicklas Bendtner has been rather impressive during this Euro campaign. Even after their surprise 1-0 victory over Netherlands last Saturday, they fought hard to try and get at least a point out of the match with Portugal. 3-2 is a respectable loss; unfortunately it doesn’t give you any points. Bendtner’s form is unbelievable and I wonder how Arsene Wenger is unable to use him at Arsenal. It means the national coach Morten Olsen knows how to use him. What I really respect about Olsen and the Danish, is that he is the only coach in the world, I believe, who has more than 100 caps for Denmark as he has been in charge of the team for more than 100 games and consistency—something you rarely see with national team coaches. Germany is impressive as always and solid in almost every position. They are the only team in the group that has already qualified for the next round after winning two out of two games. Mario Gomez of course is the player on everyone’s mind after scoring two against the Dutch and a goal in their opening tie against Portugal. Coach Joachim Leow and his side have remained confident and are playing like winners and right now it’s clear that they will go far in this tournament. Probably one better than Euro 2008, where they reached the final; yes actually win it! Their only real competition right now would be the team that beat them to the title four years ago—Spain. I hope Leow will field a strong team here as he may choose to rest his big players since they’ve already qualified and field inexperienced guys. Still I see Germany taking the day.
Netherlands Vs Portugal Sunday 9:45pm
My Prediction: L’Oranje 3—0 Portugal
As a member of Team Oranje, I am so disappointed with the Netherlands campaign in the tournament so far. Listening to a SuperSports analyst during their game with Germany, the problem appears to be based on big egos. Some players feel they are so important and that is affecting play on the pitch. Even though Robin Van Persie has got their only goal in the tournament so far, he has missed so many chances. Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneidjer are not themselves and the team has actually apologised to the fans for their performance—or rather lack of performance. But this is their only chance to redeem themselves and they can. A 3-0 win over Portugal and hoping that Germany beat Denmark would see the Dutch go through to the next round. Portugal came alive in their game against Denmark but they are vulnerably at the back. If the Netherlands can take advantage of this, they could find themselves in the quarters and yes in the semis and final. Wishful thinking eh? It’s not a crime.
Croatia Vs Spain Monday 7pm
My Prediction: Croatia 1—3 Spain
I think Croatia were lucky to get a point out of the game with Italy considering how many powerful shots Mario Balotelli alone had on goal. The Croatians, however, are second in the group and can qualify if Italy draw with the Republic of Ireland. I don’t see Spain taking their foot off the gas considering they haven’t yet gone through which means Croatia will still end the group games on four points. This game, however, won’t be as easy for Spain as the Republic of Ireland game but it will still be a win. Fernando Torres showed on Thursday why he deserves starting position and given his current form; he is bound to score a couple of goals. Sad for Cesc Fabregas who will have to contend with bench warming for most of the game, but it just shows how coach Vicente Del Bosque is spoilt for choice. Pole Croatia, you’re going home.
Italy Vs R. Ireland Monday 9:45
My Prediction: Italy 2—1 R.Ireland
I feel sorry for the Irish but proud of them for even participating in the tournament. And so are their fans. It was great to hear every Irish fan in the stadium singing their hearts out even as their team was 4-0 down and exiting the competition. Clearly, they are realistic and know their capabilities. However, while I believe Italy will play their hearts out because they need to qualify, former Republic coach Mick McCarthy says he thinks the Irish will actually smash Italy. McCarthy says he gave players like Shay Given, Damien Duff, Robbie Keane and Richard Dunne their debuts and says they would not want to hang up their international boots on a bad note. He says the Irish have nothing to lose and it can be dangerous playing such a team. I think it will be a hot contest but the class of Italy is more likely to shine through.