With all teams having played two games each, Euro 2012 now moves into the knockout phase.
The group games are reaching their climax, so slip up now and it’s all over. For Ireland and Sweden, it already is.
As both matches in each group will be played at the same time, which games would you prefer to watch?
Czech Republic vs Poland – in Wroclaw.
Greece vs Russia – in Warsaw.
At the beginning of the tournament, I wanted Russia and Poland to qualify from this group and I still feel the same.
A draw is enough for Russia against Greece; which would mean Greece being knocked out.
Poland need to beat Czech Republic, who should have plenty of support in Wroclaw.
There’s more at stake in the Poland game, for the hosts, so this is the game I’ll be watching.
Denmark vs Germany – in Lviv.
Portugal vs Holland – in Kharkiv.
Germany and Holland were most people’s prediction for this group and that’s the view I held too.
Sadly, Holland have been something of a disappointment and even a victory against Portugal wouldn’t be enough; if Denmark earn at least a point against Germany.
For Germany not to stay in the tournament, Denmark and Portugal would need to win.
I’ll be watching the Portugal game to see if Holland can finally set the tournament alight; or if Ronaldo and Nani can really turn the screw and knock them out with style, flair and flamboyance.
Croatia vs Spain – in Gdansk.
Italy vs Republic of Ireland – in Poznan.
The Republic of Ireland were never really fancied to make it out of this group but they could decide Italy’s fate.
Croatia and Spain would both stay in the tournament if Italy fail to win.
If Italy win and these two draw, three teams would be on equal points; Spain and Croatia would eliminate Italy with a 2-2 draw.
Although I’d like to see an Irish win over the Italians, it’s a pretty meaningless game so I’ll be watching Spain and Croatia; unless it’s terribly boring.
England vs Ukraine in Donetsk.
Sweden vs France in Kiev.
Could this be the year for England?
It’s not always the best teams that win, so with large helpings of luck and a side portion of rain stops play, anything is possible.
With Sweden no longer a threat, France might feel a little more comfortable in this group; but it’s not over yet.
Draws would ensure a safe passage for both France and England but Ukraine will be looking to win in front of their home fans.
Of course I’ll be watching the England game; very nervously, I should add.
Wayne Rooney is back for England, but what’s the odds of him doing a ‘high-on-emotion’ Paul Gascoigne and earning another red card?
- Poland-Ukraine 2012 (travelnotes.wordpress.com)
- Euro 2012 fans set to drink £70 million in beer BEFORE knockout stage (standard.co.uk)
- Euro 2012 fan photos (lfpress.com)
- You: Euro 2012: 10 Things We Learned from the First Round of Group Matches (bleacherreport.com)
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