Euro 2012 Preview: 5 Players That Can Lead Their Countries to Euro 2012 Glory

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Euro 2012 Preview: 5 Players That Can Lead Their Countries to Euro 2012 Glory

It may not draw the international attention of the World Cup or have the glamour of the Champions League, but there's no doubting the excitement and spectacle that is UEFA's European Football Championship. 

Euro 2012 is set to kick off in Poland and Ukraine next Friday, June 8. 

The groups are set, and before the knockout rounds even begin, we are in for some high-profile group stage clashes between some of Europe's most storied countries and revered superstars. 

Here's how the groups look, with must-see matches and predictions:

 

Group A

On paper, Group A is the weakest of the four. It features Poland, Greece, Russia and Czech Republic. This group is also lacking in star power. 

Must-see match: Russia vs. Czech Republic, June 8, National Stadium, Warsaw

Prediction: Czech Republic and Russia to progress. 

 

Group B

There's one in every tournament. Group B can easily claim to be the "group of death," containing the likes of the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, and Portugal. There are more superstars on the teams in this group than can be counted on two hands.

It's not easy picking just two countries to advance from this group, but it's clear that it wouldn't be smart to put your money on Denmark. 

Must-see match: Germany vs. Portugal, June 9, Arena Lviv, Lviv

Prediction: Put Germany, Portugal, and Netherlands into a hat. Pick two.

 

Group C

Group C contains holders Spain, Italy, Ireland and Croatia. Though it appears that Spain and Italy are the clear favorites to advance, look for an upset or two and don't count out Croatia just yet. Ireland too will not go down without a fight. 

It goes without saying that a group containing Spain and Italy will contain plenty of stars to watch. 

Must-see match: Spain vs. Italy, June 10, PGE Arena, Gdańsk

Prediction: Spain and Italy advance with Croatia putting up a valiant effort.

 

Group D

Though Group B is the clear "group of death," Group D will be the most competitive at this year's tournament. It contains co-host Ukraine, Sweden, France and chronic international underachievers England. Host countries rarely become doormats, and England are notorious for choking at the international level. This brings a nice balance to what I believe will be the most exciting group to watch.

Group D also possesses plenty of star power on England, France and even Sweden.

Must-see match: France vs. England, June 11, Donbass Arena, Donetsk

Prediction: England choke as usual, France and Sweden advance. 

 

We are blessed as football fanatics with a plethora of superstars on display in Europe today. To see them pitted against one another with their respective countries will be fascinating, especially considering many of them play together for the same clubs. 

Here are five players that can lead their teams to Euro 2012 glory. 

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