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Euro 2012 Schedule: Predicting Teams Who Will Advance to Knockout Stages

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK - OCTOBER 11:  Christiano Ronaldo of Portugal in action during the EURO 2012 group H qualifier match between Denmark and Portugal at Parken Stadium on October 11, 2011 in Copenhagen, Denmark.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Paul Gilham/Getty Images
Justin WeltonAnalyst IIJune 17, 2012

There are three more groups to be decided at Euro 2012 after Saturday's slate of games. Drama will be at the highest level over the next few days.

Here are the teams I believe will advance to the knockout stages.

 

Germany

Germany has been the class of the tournament thus far. It has only conceded one goal through two games and its form has been up to par.

KHARKOV, UKRAINE - JUNE 13: Mario Gomez of Germany in action  during the UEFA EURO 2012 group B match between Netherlands and Germany at Metalist Stadium on June 13, 2012 in Kharkov, Ukraine.  (Photo by Joern Pollex/Getty Images)
Joern Pollex/Getty Images

Mario Gomez has taken his form from the Bundesliga and implemented into his play from a national team standpoint.

Every touch, every shot and every thought that crosses his mind has been positive. His form is on-point right now and he's one of many reasons why Germany will win Group B.

 

Portugal

Cristiano Ronaldo needs to step up.

L'VIV, UKRAINE - JUNE 13:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal looks on during the UEFA EURO 2012 group B match between Denmark and Portugal at Arena Lviv on June 13, 2012 in L'viv, Ukraine.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

He always appears to believe that he's better than anybody else on the pitch. Most of the time he is the best, but it's time for him to perform that way.

He missed two opportunities against Denmark and it put a dent into his legacy from a national standpoint. He's due for a quality game and a goal or two against Netherlands.

Portugal's offense has been shaky but dangerous through two games. After failing to score against Germany, it put three up on Denmark.

If Portugal can receive another quality performance offensively and something from Ronaldo, it will make it to the knockout stages.

 

Spain

Spain still needs to do work in order to get to the knockout stages. With Croatia standing in its way, the team control their own destiny.

GDANSK, POLAND - JUNE 14:  David Silva of Spain celebrates scoring his goal during the UEFA EURO 2012 group C match between Spain and Ireland at The Municipal Stadium on June 14, 2012 in Gdansk, Poland.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Michael Steele/Getty Images

Republic of Ireland was exactly the team Spain needed to play following its tie to Italy. It allowed them to regain their form and confidence offensively. Not conceding helps too.

Ireland will have the better team with the better talent when it plays Croatia. It will do what it needs to do in order to make it to the knockout stages. 

 

Italy

Italy needs a victory and some help from Spain to get to the knockout stages.

POZNAN, POLAND - JUNE 14:  Cristian Maggio of Italy looks on during the UEFA EURO 2012 group C match between Italy and Croatia at The Municipal Stadium on June 14, 2012 in Poznan, Poland.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

It will get it.

Playing against Republic of Ireland will allow Italy to score a few more goals to add to its total. Republic of Ireland has only scored one goal while conceding seven this tournament.

This game is up for grabs if Italy is ready to take it. It will.

 

France 

France has tied England and defeated Ukraine in its first two games. Now it's Sweden, a team who has yet to earn a point.

DONETSK, UKRAINE - JUNE 15:  Franck Ribery of France looks on during the UEFA EURO 2012 group D match between Ukraine and France at Donbass Arena on June 15, 2012 in Donetsk, Ukraine.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Advantage France. 

France will earn at least a point to make to the knockout stages. 

 

England

If England defeats or ties Ukraine, it will be going to the knockout stages. It will achieve its goal.

KIEV, UKRAINE - JUNE 15: (L-R) Steven Gerrard, Joe Hart, Glen Johnson Andy Carroll of England line up during the UEFA EURO 2012 group D match between Sweden and England at The Olympic Stadium on June 15, 2012 in Kiev, Ukraine.  (Photo by Christopher Lee/G
Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Following a first game tie, England defeated Sweden 3-2 on Friday. 

Ukraine, England's next opponent, has looked like a dangerous side, creating several scoring chances. Ukraine is moving the ball well, finding teammates and communicating on defense.

It won't be an easy task, but England will do what it has to do in order to advance.

 

Final predictions

Group B

1. Germany

2. Portugal

3. Denmark 

4. Netherlands

 

Group C

1. Spain

2. Italy

3. Croatia

4. Republic of Ireland

 

Group D

1. France

2. England

3. Ukraine

4. Sweden 

 

Check out bbc.co.uk for the complete Euro 2012 schedule

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