Euro 2012 Preview: Part 2

Euro 2012 Preview: Part 2

Euro 2012 begins tomorrow folks.  I. Can’t. Wait.  But as stated yesterday, here is my 2nd of a 4 part series previewing Group B.

Group B:  The teams in Group B are Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, and Portugal.  On Satuday Denmark and Netherlands play each other and Germany and Portugal play each other.  Also known as the “Group of Death”, Group B is expected to be a hotly contested group filled with passion and unbridled energy from both the fans, the coaches, and the players.

Netherlands:  The Dutchmen, inventors of “total football”, are one of the teams expected to lift the trophy this tournament.  The Dutch have an excellent attack littered with world-class attackers and a talented midfield.  Scoring an impressive 37 goals goals in qualifying, the Dutch are definitely not short on attack; it is their defense that will need to solidify the team’s place if they wish to be a part of Europe’s best this summer.  Players like Van Persie, Huntelaar, and Sneijder will surely do their part as they are consistent and coming off of great form from their club teams.  The Dutch keeper Stekelenburg will also be looking forward to this tournament after he had a phenomenal last tournament, the 2010 World Cup where he only allowed 6 goals for the whole tournament (2 of which were penalty kicks).  I expect the Dutch to be in top form this year and be strong contenders for being the Champions of the tournament.

Denmark:  When one thinks of top teams in Europe one doesn’t typically think of Denmark as being one of those.  However, Denmark had an impressive qualifying campaign.  While Denmark doesn’t have many big-name players, every player on Denmark’s team contributes to the team’s performances.  Bendter, Lindegaard and the young Christian Eriksen will be looking to guide the team out of the “Group of Death”.  Denmark has an uncanny knack for a high work rate and putting in good effort.  That may or may not be enough for Denmark to make it to the knockout round of the tournament.  However, I won’t be surprised if Denmark is bested by the other teams in the group and fails to advance.

Germany:  The Germans have endured a long string of recent “success” on the international stage of tournaments.  The 2002 World Cup saw them get 2nd, the 2006 World Cup saw them in 3rd place, in Euro 2008 they were 2nd, only being bested by Spain in the final, and then most recently finishing in 3rd place at the 2010 World Cup after losing to Spain in the semi-final then beating Uruguay in the consolation match for 3rd place.  Germany will have the youngest team at Euro 2012, a team even younger than their team at the 2010 World Cup, which was touted for it’s youthful line-up.  Germany’s youth has led Germany to a renewed hope of European and international success in soccer.  I’m looking forward to the introduction of Mario Götze to the international soccer stage.  He is touted to be one of the best youngsters in the world, ever since he scored his first international goal against none other than, Brazil, at the tender age of 19.  Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski will be looking for goals and chemistry to help lead the attack with the likes of youngsters of Özil and Müller.  Maybe this might be Mario Gomez’s year to come up big at an international tournament after having his best season to date with Bayern Munich.  Other prominent players like Schweinsteiger, Lahm and Neuer will be holding down the back and controlling the pace of the game.  I am very excited to see this German team potentially win it’s first trophy since Euro 1996.  I expect Germany to easily make it out of the group, and potentially, the final.

Portugal:  Quick, think of Portugal’s best player!  Obviously, it is Cristiano Ronaldo.  One of the best players in the world will be looking to carry his team to European glory and prove their worth on the international stage once again.  Portugal is one of Europe’s proven best.  The team is flooded with talent like Nani, Meireles, and Coentrao. Who are all major players at their clubs who provide excellent skills and assets to the team.  When Portugal is playing, expect them to “play”.  They have a high work rate and drive that allows them to control the game and attack relentlessly throughout the game.  Portugal will need to score many goals in their group games if they want to progress out of the group.  Therefore, I predict that Portugal will be risky and play a very offensive tournament to get early goals, then try to hold their lead by defending rigorously to secure a win and ultimately, their advancement out of the group.

In my opinion I expect Germany and the Netherlands to progress out of the group, with Portugal coming in a close-third.  Portugal could surprise me, however, and play excellent soccer and kick the Netherlands or Germany out of the running.  Sorry Denmark, but you are in a very tough group surrounded by talent in every direction.  Group B, the “Group of Death”, will one of the most hotly contested, if not the most contested, group in the tournament.  The chances of the champion of Euro 2012 being in this group is very, very high.

About brettroenigk

I'm a Political Science and International Relations major and passionate fan of soccer.
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