7 Things We've Learned from This Past Week's Euro 2012 International Warm-Ups
Euro 2012 participants have been involved in friendlies this past week and have given us some food for thought.
Italy and the Czech Republic are the only teams that have not been involved in any type of warm-up game.
Here are seven things we've learned from the few Euro 2012 international warm-ups we've seen.
A Tale of Two French Teams
It may be a bit harsh, but Laurent Blanc may be right when he said, as reported by Goal.com,
Our aim is to win a match, we are under construction.
At least, that was the case when looking at France's performance against Iceland.
While they came back to win the game 3-2, there has to be some concern that the team was so dominant—67 percent possession and 33 shots overall—yet could only muster a narrow win.
Spain Still Top Dogs
Germany and the Netherlands are other top favorites. But the Spanish have beaten both these teams to win their last two titles, and they have a great mixture of youth and experience.
They have shown they can handle the "favorites" tag thanks to their play in the 2010 World Cup and should be able to do so again to make a very strong run.
Fernando Torres May Return to Form During Euro 2012
Torres scored the opening goal in Spain's win over South Korea, and that may be a very good sign for both club and country.
He had some good moments with Juan Mata during the season with Chelsea. And with players like Xavi, Iniesta, David Silva and company providing even more opportunities, Torres may return to his old self.
Jury Is out on Portugal
Depending on which Portugal team shows up, the tournament could go really well or really badly for the Portuguese.
With Cristiano Ronaldo leading the way and other talented players like Joao Moutinho in the squad, Portugal should provide tough opposition for the more favoured teams. That is, if everyone plays their part.
The team's surprising 0-0 draw with Macedonia in its only warm-up game so far does raise questions, but they still have a friendly against Turkey to set themselves up well for the tournament.
Poland Could Make the Knockout Rounds
Against Latvia the team fielded a mostly second-string side and got away with the win, but they were more solid against Slovakia.
They are possibly in the most open group in the tournament and have every chance of getting ahead of two of the remaining group members made up of Greece, the Czech Republic and Russia.
Ukraine's Preparations Are Going Well
Despite not having to participate in qualification matches for the tournament, Ukraine's preparations are going well.
They have not lost since October and have a record of five wins and one draw during that time. Germany was the one draw.
Pre-Tournament Injury Could Trouble Favourites
The Netherlands will have to be careful with Wesley Sneijder after his injury scare in their win over Slovakia.
Sneijder wasn't exactly at his best for Inter this season, but despite that he will be an integral part of the team's chances when the tournament begins.
He could end up being perfectly fine, but with just over a week remaining, the Dutch should not take any chances.