UEFA confirms that the Euro 2012 tournament continues on June 9 with matches from Group B. Group B matches kick off with Netherlands facing Denmark in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Almost three hours later, Germany will meet Portugal at the Arena Lviv, in Lviv, Ukraine. Hence, Group B is regarded as the "group of death" by fans and media.
Match: Netherlands vs Denmark
Where: Metalist Stadium, Kharkiv, Ukraine
When: Saturday, June 9 at 12 p.m. ET
Live Stream: ESPN3.com
TV channel: US: ESPN CANADA: TSN2
Group B Players on the Group of Death
The National quotes Netherlands' Wesley Sneijder,
First of all we have a tough group and it will be very difficult to pass the group. But we are very confident because we have a good team, we did a good preparation so we are ready for it, and we’ll see what happens.”
Which Team Will Make it out of the "Group of Death"?
We know we are in the group of death with Germany, Netherlands and the team who knocked us out [to the playoff] in the qualification phase, which was Denmark."
Netherlands Attacking Options a Threat
Netherlands has attacking options in the form of European Golden Shoe runner-ups Robin van Persie, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Luuk de Jong.
The forwards will be receiving assists, crosses and striking options from highly rated midfielders Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben, Rafael van der Vaart and the Barcelona youngster Ibrahim Afelley.
Denmark May Surprise Everyone
Due to Ronaldo's star power, Portugal often gains favoritism as many fail to realize that Denmark is above Portugal in FIFA's World Ranking. Denmark are currently No. 9 in the world.
Denmark boasts up-and-coming English Premier League stars such as Manchester United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard, Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner and Liverpool centre-back Daniel Agger. They are all sure to make a mark when on the pitch this Saturday.
Another player to look out for is Christian Eriksen. The 20-year-old is currently an Arsenal target, as he has scored eight goals and made 21 assists in all competitions for Ajax this past season. The young Dane has already drawn comparisons to Wesley Sneijder and Denmark legend Michael Laudrup. His pace and creative abilities will bring a fresh style to the underdogs of Group B.
ESPN Star Sports quotes Daniel Agger:
Eriksen has the potential to become world-class. He's perhaps a bit too shy, and it wouldn't hurt him to be a bit more dominant and aggressive. There are no boundaries to what he can achieve if he does that,"
Three of the Top Goalkeepers of the World Are In Group B
Portugal's Rui Patrício is only 24 years old and has appeared 135 times for his club Sporting CP. He comes in at a median height of 6'2". He has won the Portuguese Cup, Supercup and League Cup for his club numerous times. Now he has positioned himself as Portugal's No.1 shot-stopper.
Netherland's Maarten Stekelenburg is the 29-year-old No. 1 goalkeeper for club Roma. During the 2010 World Cup, the man was unstoppable for his nation until Spain's Iniesta scored the winning goal in the final. The towering 6'5.5" Dutch No. 1 will only add to Netherland's menacing squad for the Euros.
Germany's Manuel Nuer is the 26-year-old footballer Real Madrid's Florentino Perez considers to be the best goalkeeper in the world. The highly rated goalkeeper currently plays for Bayern Munich and has held the No. 1 spot in the German national team for the past three years.
PS: Lets not forget that the Danish Anders Lindergaard has the chops to give the above three company in the world goalkeeper rankings in the future.
Prediction: Netherlands 2-1 Denmark
Considering the group of talent that will set foot on the pitch this Saturday, we will see Robin van Persie score the opening goal, then see Bendtner or Eriksen equalize and finally see Robben or Sneijder score the winning goal.