Euro 2008: Halfway Through the Madness

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Euro 2008:  Halfway Through the Madness

Euro 2008 has already been chalked full of shockers.

Memorable and forgettable performances depending on where you allegiances lye, and stars who normally play a subtle roll in club play emerging to fulfill the greatest duty their country has to offer.

No more ties and only eight teams remain.

With the game between Germany and Portugal in the books, I think its safe to say that Germany is back after they dismantled Portugal within the first 45 minutes of the contest at St Jakob Park.

Germany seems to be clicking on all cylinders with goals from three of their top goal scorers.

Cristiano Ronaldo couldn't seem to get past the German defenders for any real threat to score.

Germany will play the winner of the Croatia vs. Turkey game, which takes place this Friday afternoon.

Croatia vs. Turkey

Should be a pretty good match.

Who would have thought?

Turkey kept their Euro dreams alive by staging one of the most miraculous come backs in sports history by scoring three goals in the final fifteen minutes of their match with the Czech Republic to win 3-2.

Croatia on the other hand bullied their way into the quarterfinals by costing through Group B undefeated.

Unless, Turkey has another three-goal miracle in them, Croatia should take this one in a low scoring game.

Netherlands vs. Russia

Russia was able to squeeze past Greece who did little to impress anyone through their brief stint in Euro 2008; beat an aging Swedish club pretty handily with their chances to advance on the line, but was decapitated by Spain 4-1 in their tournament opener.

Holland on the other hand dismantled every team in the "Group of Death" winning every game by at least two goals.

I think that with Van Nistelrooy and Van Persie lurking around the box it’s safe to say some would bet just about all my money and probably the clothes off their back that the Deutsch have a cakewalk with the Russians.

Spain vs. Italy

A match the many assumed we would see in the finals will have the eyes of the world upon it on Sunday night.

As the favorites of many, Spain and World Cup Champion Italians take the pitch.

There's one thing for sure: those guys have some great hair!

The last time I saw that many hair ties on one field it was halftime of the Super Bowl.

Italy's defense has been suspect at best throughout the tournament. Gianluigi Buffon seemed to have used every clean sheet he had in the World Cup in 2006.

The game will come down to Fernando Torres and Luca Toni's ability to stay onside and get behind the back four of their opponent's.

Whoever does that wins, plain and simple.

Defense will be at a minimum in this one.

The easiest road to title game probably belongs to Germany.

They have already gotten to the semifinals and will face the winner of Turkey vs. Croatia.

With an extra day of rest on their side, if Germany is on its game they shouldn't have problem getting by either one of those teams.

The toughest road belongs to the team that was the most impressive in getting to the quarterfinal, the Netherlands.

They beat two of the Top seven teams in the world, but they should skate by Russia on Saturday.

After that will come either Spain or  Italy.

With a 3-0 win over Italy still fresh in their memory, the Deutsch be able to get past the Italians, but Spain might not be as easy.

Predictions

Quarterfinals

Germany vs. Portugal (Thursday 3-2)

German offense finally woke up, too little, too late for Portugal.

Croatia vs. Turkey (Friday) ESPN

Turkey runs out of fire works.

Netherlands vs. Russia (Saturday) ABC

"The Van's" handle Russia easy.

Spain vs. Italy (Sunday) ESPN

Buffon disappears... again.

Semifinals:

Germany vs. Croatia

Gomez found life against Portugal sliding one past Ricardo; the first one is always the hardest.  Not to mention Michael Ballack is playing out of his mind.

Germany in a push over.

Spain vs. Netherlands

Fernando Torres will have trouble with Van der Sar, and Holland just seems to have too many weapons.  Van Nistelrooy, Van Persie, Robben, Babel, Van Bronckhorst... the guys with the Wooden shoes.

Finals:

Germany vs. Netherlands

A battle between teams that share a border is always a good one.

Two great goalies, two great front lines and midfielders, I'm stuck.

Tie game 1-1 in the 90th minute when the German defense slips up and lets Van Nistelrooy through, the brightness of the orange jersey memorizes or just plain blinds Jens Lehmann and the Netherlands win Euro 2008.

Player of the Tournament: Robin Van Persie, Netherlands.

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