The Germans should stop Ronaldo as Dutch cruise
Netherlands Vs Denmark Today 7pm
My Prediction: The Oranje 3 – 1 Denmark
Just like my Arsenal the Dutch play sexy football. And just like my Arsenal, the sexy football has always seen them achieve good results but never win the World Cup. During the last showpiece in South Africa in 2010, Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk decided to throw sexy football out of the window and play boring but effective football; kind of like Chelsea. That performance got them to the final only to lose to Spain. But it’s a theory that critics are saying must be repeated if the Oranje are to truly come out victorious in Poland and the Ukraine. The Dutch have the pedigree in Robben, Sneidjer, Van Persie, Van Bommel, Van der Vaart and all the other “Vans” but it’s their technique that will either win or lose the title for them. Denmark have a few great players but nothing compared to the Netherlands. I consider them one of those middle level European countries that will never win anything but will also always qualify. Rather colourless if you ask me.
Germany Vs Portugal Today 9:45pm
My Prediction: Germany 2 – 1 A Seleccao
Are Portugal serious? With all the talent the country possesses they have failed to impress on the international scene for years. Infact they lost their last friendly coming into this tournament and it was against Turkey of all countries, in Lisbon. With players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani you would expect better but no such luck. They are up against one of the tournament favourites. Germany lost to Spain in the final of Euro 2008 by just a single goal so they’ll be hoping to go all the way this year. These two teams however did play each other in the quarter finals of the last showpiece, with Germany edging out Portugal 3-2 in the quarter finals. Germany are pure class with the likes of Ozil, Podolski, Muller, Klose, Schweinsteiger, Boateng not to mention Neuer in goal. Pole CR7!
Spain Vs Italy Sunday 7pm
My Prediction: Spain 2 – 0 Italy
The 2010 World Cup winners vs the 2006 World Cup winners; although the current Fifa World rankings show just how different the two teams are now. Spain are number one in the world and Euro defending champions while Italy have dropped to 12th in the rankings. The two teams played each other in the quarters during the 2008 tournament with Spain only advancing 4-2 on penalties after a goalless affair. Spain have won all their pre-tournament friendlies while Italy have lost their last three friendlies, 1- 0 to Uruguay last November, 1-0 to the USA in February and 3 – 0 to Russia last week. Italy will also be without crucial players like Antonio Cassano and Giuseppe Rossi. Spain also have a few injuries but not to absolutely crucial players and I see them taking the upper hand here as they begin the defence of their title. Rumours of a rift between Barcelona and Real Madrid players are in my view, a sideshow which won’t have much impact on the pitch.
France Vs England Monday 7pm
My Prediction: The Three Lions 1 – 3 Les Bleus
Why isn’t Roy Hodgson listening to Gareth Southgate and lower his expectations in order to avoid disapointment. Oh England! As a football team they remind me of Andy Murray; the best tennis player who has never won a Grand Slam. Good enough to compete with the big boys but never good enough to beat them. Wayne Rooney, who is suspended, has predicted that England will do well but of course he has to as he has to see himself featuring at some point. Sadly Jermaine Defoe had to leave camp this week after his father passed away but Hodgson still has the in form Danny Welbeck all set to make his debut in an international tournament. Along with Defoe and Rooney out, England will be missing Frank Lampard, Gary Cahill and Gareth Barry. Yikes! France on the contrary have been in superb form in recent months, actually since the 2010 World Cup. Les Bleus are unbeaten in their last 22 mathces and coach Laurent Blanc is confident although wary. He says he knows England will play a physical game on Monday and that it will be difficult, but he knows he has the pedigree to go through. And that pedigree includes the likes of Benzema, Ribery, Malouda, Nasri, Valbuena, Clichy and the list goes on. Pole Roy.