Euro 2012 Predictions: Germany vs. Portugal and Every Group B Game
Following the beginning of the European championships yesterday with two entertaining games in Group A, we move onto Group B today, and some of the more recognizable names in European football begin their tournament.
In the first game later today, the Netherlands take on Denmark. The latter game sees the Germans play Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal.
This is destined to be one of the most entertaining groups in the competition, with plenty of attacking talent and flair to watch out for.
Netherlands vs. Denmark
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Our first game sees two teams who met at the last World Cup take the field in Kharkiv.
The Dutch come into the game as heavy favourites, having reached the World Cup final in 2010 and qualified comfortably for this tournament. They enter the Euros in top form.
Robin van Persie scored 37 goals in all competitions for Arsenal this season, and is likely to cause problems for the Danish defense.
With a supporting cast of Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben on the right wing, you expect the Dutch to create plenty of goalscoring opportunities, and I can't really see the Danes stopping them.
Denmark are stronger going forward than they are in defense, which means that they will create chances and may even kick a goal, but I can see them being susceptible to the counter-attack and failing to cope with Dutch pressure throughout.
I don't think the Dutch will embarrass Denmark, but they'll notch a comfortable win nevertheless.
NETHERLANDS 3-1 DENMARK
Germany vs. Portugal
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The Germans, tipped by many including myself to win the competition, begin tonight in one of the most appetizing fixtures in the group stage.
In their first game of the 2010 World Cup, Germany made their mark on the tournament with a 4-0 victory over Australia on their way to the semi-finals.
In typical German fashion, I can see Joachim Loew concisely preparing his team once again when they face the Portuguese, and expect them to be as ruthless as ever.
Mario Gomez will be supported by Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil and possibly Lukas Podolski, who should all cause the suspect Portuguese defense problems.
Such a range of different attacking options will be difficult to cope with, and I can see the Germans running away with this game.
Of course, the Portuguese have one of the best individuals in world football on their team, but Cristiano Ronaldo can't do everything. I get the feeling that with the exception of some opportunities he will create, the Germans won't really be tested defensively.
GERMANY 4-0 PORTUGAL
Denmark vs. Portugal
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Both teams will need a win to keep their chances of qualifying alive.
Portugal have the better individuals on their side, but Denmark have a more balanced and structured team, shown by the fact that Denmark topped their qualifying groups for both Euro 2012 and the 2010 World Cup, both groups of which contained the Portuguese.
The Portuguese will probably throw everything they can at their opponents, and will create better chances and take the lead.
While they will put the Danes under more pressure, they will be susceptible to the counter-attack. This will probably give Denmark their best chance of equalising, which I see them doing.
As Portugal creates more chances, I can see Denmark putting men behind the ball to try and hold onto the draw and frustrate Ronaldo and Co., which is where their chances begin to come.
A late Denmark goal will mean that they will live to fight another day, but it is another tournament of "what might've been" for Ronaldo's Portugal.
DENMARK 2-1 PORTUGAL
Netherlands vs. Germany
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In arguably the game of the group stages, the teams ranked numbers three and four in the world meet in Kharkiv.
Having already won their opening games comfortably, the teams will continue with the same attacking philosophy, making a great spectacle for neutrals.
Both teams' strengths lie in their attacking players, and you'd expect both to be able to exploit the issues with the opposition defenders.
Coming off Bayern Munich's remarkable season, in which he scored 39 goals in all competitions, I can see Mario Gomez continuing in the same vein for his country. His quality up front, maybe with a couple of goals, will edge Germany past their dangerous opponents.
NETHERLANDS 2-3 GERMANY
Germany vs. Denmark
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Germany are pretty much through before this game starts, but a defeat could allow either Denmark or the Netherlands to edge above them in the table.
The game is more important for Denmark, who need to better the result of the Netherlands (who are playing Portugal).
However, I can't imagine the Germans doing their opponents any favours, and I expect them to be as ruthless in attack as they were against the Dutch and Portuguese.
They probably won't rest any players, so expect to see Ozil, Gomez and Muller and Co. piling on the pressure.
An early goal should settle Germany. I see them going on to win the game comfortably and setting themselves up well for the knockout stages.
In a tough group, I predict Denmark will do well, but a monumental effort will be required for them to win and I can't see them pulling it off.
GERMANY 3-0 DENMARK
Portugal vs. Netherlands
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Kicking off at the same time as the Germany-Denmark game, Portugal face a near-impossible task: they have to overturn their poor goal-difference in a heavy victory over the Dutch.
With Denmark losing, a draw or even a small defeat would do for the Netherlands.
Unlike most of the games in this group, I can't see this one being much of a classic.
Portugal will pretty much be eliminated from the tournament beforehand, while the Dutch will be likely to play defensively because their tradition of playing attacking football backfired in the last game against Germany.
I can see both teams creating chances, but in the end a draw is a pretty good result for them—a consolation prize for Portugal and a place in the quarter finals for the Dutch.
Portugal 0-0 Netherlands
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