European Championship 2012: Underdogs Who Will Pull Shocking Upsets

Wes ODonnell@wesodonnellFeatured ColumnistJune 12, 2012

KIEV, UKRAINE - JUNE 11:  Andriy Shevchenko of Ukraine celebrates scoring their second goal during the UEFA EURO 2012 group D match between Ukraine and Sweden at The Olympic Stadium on June 11, 2012 in Kiev, Ukraine.  (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)
Martin Rose/Getty Images

Denmark and Ukraine have already treated us to huge upsets at Euro 2012.

The Danes' 1-0 win over Netherlands came out of absolutely nowhere and Ukraine's inspired brace from 35-year-old captain Andriy Shevchenko is arguably the top story of the early stages of the tournament.

Now we're into the second round of games and the gloves, so to speak, have come off. Some teams are already playing for their tournament lives and soon enough half this field is going to be heading home.

With all that in mind, here's a look at which underdog nations are poised to pull big upsets in the remaining group matches.


Portugal over Netherlands - June 17 - Group B

We start with the one matchup that is the least shocking. The Dutch put themselves in a huge hole with their 0-1 loss to Denmark and their world could crumble with a loss to Germany tomorrow.

Win or lose against the powerful Germans, the Netherlands have to defeat Portugal. A draw with Germany keeps them alive, obviously so does a win, but a loss means they'd be on the verge of losing out in Euro 2012.

Portugal is extremely dangerous and could be in contention as well depending on their outcome against Denmark.

The Portuguese, like the Dutch, created a ton of opportunities. It wouldn't be shocking at all to see them connect on some against Netherlands.


Ukraine over France - June 15 - Group D

Is it possible for Shev to keep the magic alive? Against the French anything is possible. Les Bleus are a talented group, but they've struggled to live up to expectations before and the Ukrainian fans treated their team to a legitimate home-field advantage against Sweden.

We've seen magic runs in Euro before and we know how much of a difference it makes for some squads to play in front home-friendly crowds. 

A Ukraine win over France would shock the footballing world.


Sweden over England -- June 15 -- Group D

KIEV, UKRAINE - JUNE 11:  Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Sweden celebrates scoring their first goal during the UEFA EURO 2012 group D match between Ukraine and Sweden at The Olympic Stadium on June 11, 2012 in Kiev, Ukraine.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

England was extremely fortunate to find the back of the net against a superior French team. They have talent, but they're still without Wayne Rooney and they're counting on an inexperienced trio to mount offense on counterattacks.

Sweden, meanwhile, is running with a proven and seasoned goal scorer in Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Three Lions showed weaknesses in their back line and the Swedes could be more fortunate than France after watching the English for a game.

Expectations for England vary depending on who you talk to, but the Sweden can spring this upset.