Euro 2008: One Humble American's Predictions—the Semifinals

Matt SavopoulosCorrespondent IJune 22, 2008

Well, that didn't go so well, now did it? After managing to pick five or the eight quarter finalists in my group stages predictions, I immediately went back to work and put up a goose egg in the quarter finals.

That's right, none of my picks worked out the way I saw. Germany kicked over Portugal's sandcastle, the Turks' miracle run continued, Russia shocked the footballing world, and today Spain got the monkey of penalties off their collective backs.

So where does that leave us? With a very interesting set of semi finals, that's where.

Germany, who looked sharp against Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. are playing very well at the moment, but Turkey is looking like the team of destiny. And Russia looks to continue their surprising run and avenge a loss in group play to the Spaniards, who for their part are trying to shake their reputations of international choke artists.

In Wednesday's match, I think Turkey will take the game against the Deustchlanders. Germany looked really crisp against Portugal, and I wouldn't be shocked at all if they won, but if we learned anything from Greece in 2004 it's that picking against an apparent team of destiny is playing with fire.

Turkey has had so many improbably comebacks this tournament already, been left for dead on so many occasions, and yet here they are—move over and make a spot for me on their bandwagon.

For the second game, I'm going to take the Spanish. Spain is simply too loaded offensively to be held scoreless again—the clean sheet the Italians posted against them was primarily due to poor finishing and a few lucky breaks—and I don't think Russia has the firepower to keep up.

They could load up the back and try and hit on the counterattack, but with the likes of Puyol and Sergio Ramos in the back for the Spaniards I think Russia would be lucky to break through.

Guus Hiddink's men will put up a valiant resistance, but all for naught in the end. So although it might still be folly to pick the Spanish, given their previous reputation, I'm damning the torpedoes and going for it.