EURO 2012: 6 Very Bold Predictions for Netherlands' Tournament
While Euro 2012 kicked off yesterday in Group A, it's time to take out the crystal ball and make some predictions about what we will see in Poland and Ukraine.
Netherlands have been a force to be reckoned with over the past few years.
The 2010 World Cup runners-up have all the talent a team could ask for and will look to get over that hump to win a major tournament.
However, can they figure out how to get their superstars to gel and find chemistry with each other?
Here are my forecasts for Holland's tournament.
Robin Van Persie Continues His Goal-Scoring...
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Robin van Persie had a huge season with Arsenal this past year, becoming the top scorer in the Premier League and leading his team to a third-place finish.
Expect RvP to carry this form into this month's tournament and be the Netherlands's top scorer.
...But Rafael Van Der Vaart and Wesley Sneijder Play Poorly
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Both Rafael van der Vaart and Wesley Sneijder are in serious danger of having poor tournaments this month.
Van der Vaart had a decent season at Tottenham this past year, but his play in some of the friendlies was plain awful.
Since his astounding 2010 season, Sneijder has been way below par for club and country. He could return to form at any point, but it's hard to expect it to happen on such a big stage.
They Defeat Denmark 2-0...
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Netherlands and Denmark are set to meet in the group stage for the second time in two major tournaments.
Expect more of the same this time around, as Holland will easily handle the Danes and get off to a flying start thanks to a Robin van Persie brace.
...Lose to Germany 4-1...
It's another loss for Netherlands in this storied international rivalry.
Here, Germany are just too strong and overpower the Dutch back line on four separate occasions.
The only glimmer of light in this match is an Arjen Robben strike that brings one back for Holland, but it ends up being a mere consolation.
...Draw Portugal 1-1...
In the 2006 World Cup, Netherlands and Portugal met in the Round of 16 and played one of the dirtiest matches in the history of football.
Four red cards and 16 yellows speaks volumes about the referee's inability to control the play, but also about the two nations' animosity toward each other.
Expect a similar battle between the two, resulting in a stalemate.
...And Are Eliminated on Goal Difference
That draw with Portugal is not enough for the Netherlands, who are out of the tournament far before they expected.
It's not a completely shocking exit for the Dutch, as this is the "Group of Death," but it will be a massive disappointment.
However, if they are able to get through their group, expect the Netherlands to make a run far into this tournament.
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