EURO 2012 Poland/Ukraine [OPEN SPOILERS]

Just a few days until EURO 2012 - I thought I’d start a thread to get some predictions and speculations out. Here’s the groups:

Group A
Poland
Russia
Czech Republic
Greece

I’m hoping it’ll be the Polish and the Czechs that make it out, but the Russians have been doing well (beat Italy 3-0 recently) even though their team is old. I still begrudge the Greeks their win in 2004, so I’m hoping they’ll fail. The Polish have the strongest team they’ve had in ages.

Group B
Netherlands
Germany
Portugal
Denmark

The toughest group to be in. Germany should be the strongest, but they did recently lose to Switzerland 5-3 the other day; a lot of their players have had a long season and many just lost the Champions League final, which may depress them. The Dutch were strong in the qualifiers, but have not been doing as well recently, losing to Bulgaria 2-1 and to Germany a few months ago 3-0. Van Marwijk has trouble finding the right defenders, and although the Dutch attackers are amongst the best in Europe, it’s difficult to find a system that will make them all work together. The Portuguese have become a bit of an *angstgegner *for the Dutch, but we should be able to beat them, they only barely made it through the qualifiers.

Group C
Spain
Italy
Ireland
Croatia

Italy’s in trouble, lots of consternation surrounding the team, with one of their players being arrested for involvement in a bribe taking scandal. I think they might get stranded in the group stage if the Croatians do well. The Spanish are obviously a major favorite but I feel their players are all very very tired, more so than other teams, playing so many games for Barcelona or Real.

Group D
Ukraine
Sweden
France
England

Tough to say. Ukraine would not have made it to the EUROs if they were not hosts, I think. Normally, it’d be England and France, but I think neither team has been doing really well. England was strong in the qualifiers, unlike France, but they’re hardly title favorites. The Swedish could beat the French or the English, I feel; Zlatan’s in great shape.

So my bets:

A: Poland and Russia
B: Germany and The Netherlands
C: Spain and Croatia
D: England and Sweden

I think those are fair picks, I just watched England tonight play a deathly dull game with Belgium. I just can’t get excited about them but perhaps the young blood will rise to the occasion like Germany in 2010. I just want them to entertain me for once in a while, even if they end up losing.

My choice for the win is Germany or Spain, I’d really love to see Torres back to his elegant best. If his slump was a mental issue than what better way to come to the tournament than off the back of a Champions League win and a solid future at Chelsea.

It’s going to be interesting. Germany was pretty disappointing against israel (I only saw the first 60 min), nothing better than the Dutch against Slovakia. The Dutch are destroying Northern Ireland as we speak btw (5-0), but these guys are so bad it sometimes seems they are wondering whether they are allowed to use there hands (hence the penalty for the third goal).

England seem to have found their system; do a Chelsea and have 39% possession at home to a team that hasn’t qualified and try to get something on the break. It has worked twice already, so who knows. France is on their way back and is going to win their group easily. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if they got to the final.

Some good games in the first week, Germany - Portugal, Spain-Italy and England-France. The big one is wednesday June 13th, Holland - Germany…it’s going to be raining blood.

ETA: 6-0 by superstar Ron Vlaar.

Seriously, never underestimate the Italians. They won a WC after Calciopoli left the whole Serie A in turmoil.

I’m thinking the Netherlands are going to make it this time. An on-form RVP can make all the difference.

Group A
Poland
Russia
Czech Republic
Greece

Group B
Netherlands
Germany
Portugal
Denmark

Group C
Spain
Italy
Ireland
Croatia

Group D
Ukraine
Sweden
France
England

Quarters:
1A vs 2B Russia vs Portugal
1B vs 2A Poland vs Germany
1C vs 2 D Spain vs England
1D vs 2 C France vs Italy

Semis:
Portugal vs Germany
England vs Italy

Final:
Portugal vs Italy
I’m going to be on the Portugal bandwagon until Cristiano Ronaldo retires. At some point, he’s going to have a tournament where he’s just on fire. I think Italy’s defense is still strong, big fan of Chiellini and Buffon. England will grind out 1-0 wins after a 0-0 opener against France. Larry White (Laurent Blanc) should have the French defense in ok shape, and I think they’ll grind out 1-0s, too. Spain is obviously hugely talented, but their squad (primarily the Barca and RM guys) have been playing so much, I just don’t think they’ll be fresh enough. I like Germany, but I just don’t trust their defense to win the tournament. Also, it’ll be interesting how Bayern’s 2nd places this season effect the squad. Maybe the Dortmund guys will carry them past that. My upset special is for Poland to advance from the group stage. I suppose Portugal finishing ahead of NED is a big upset, too.

I don’t really see the Portugal thing. They struggled to qualify, other than Ronaldo their team is not too impressive, and the reasons you have for predicting the Germans and the Spanish team not doing well apply to Ronaldo too, so it’s not too clear that he would be ‘on fire’ for this tournament. He’s a bit of a dick, too, and I think this has undermined the extent to which Portugal function as a team. They’re obviously a strong team but on balance I don’t think they’re favorites to make it out of their group, let alone go for the title.

Portugal just lost their last friendly 3-1 against Turkey and Ronaldo proved to be a dick once again by refusing a 10 year old girl an autograph, because she wore a Barcelona jersey. May they end up at the bottom of the group (or die in a fiery crash, I’m fine with both).

I guess its showing the tournament is getting closer :p.

I hear he missed a penalty kick as well. To be fair, there’s not much shame in losing to Turkey. Not as much, at any rate, as there is in losing to Bulgaria :smack: Still, it does not look like this’ll be Ronaldo’s year.

As another thought, I was thinking it could be nice to set up a SDMB EURO 2012 Bracket on some website, if there’s sufficient interest. Any thoughts?

Lol at England taking out Spain. I’m looking for German revenge against Spain in the final…

Wouldn’t be that surprising. England have won four of their last six, including the November friendly against Spain.

Yes, this is the kind of thing I’ve been reading about on the bbc as well. Being outplayed and nicking a goal in a friendly, meaning anything. I guess the Dutch are better than both, because they beat England in a crappy friendly a few months later. The way England have been set up in their friendlies (and sure, I have’t seen all friendlies), it’s starting to become the team I want to lose most. Parking the bus against Belgium at home, really is sinking deep. England having a good run would almost be as bad as Chelsea stealing the Champions League.

It would be a major, major upset for England to beat Spain. I think most sides going into EURO 2012 can boast more or less such a record, as they generally play teams that aren’t going. 4/6 for England is hardly impressive, especially when you consider that those four wins included narrowly beating Norway and Belgium, neither of which are power houses of 21st century football. Beating Sweden and Spain’s obviously a bit more impressive, but they’re only friendlies, and it’s offset by England drawing with Montenegro which I think is a poor effort.

Not for single game it wouldn’t, but it would be a surprise for England to win the whole tournament. (and boring…and I’m an England supporter)

I didn’t know Real had a lot of players in the current national team. According to the RFEF, not even one…

This thread not good enough for ya? http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=653894

:slight_smile:

That said, it’s probably a good idea to have an explicit SPOILERS in the title of whichever thread is going to spoil match results since a good many of us will be DVR-limited.

Merged two threads on the same thing.

Yeah, I messed up as I didn’t scroll down far enough to find this thread. That said, Idle’s attempt to move the thread didn’t work, so yeah, I’d like for the OP to clarify if this is going to be a spoiler-free thread or not.

If NOT, I’d certainly open mine again as I’ve enjoyed commentating the matches live over the years with many of the very people that have already posted to this thread. Works as a release valve whether the score is for or against your team. Well that, and jumping 5’ in the air…

Yeah I had not thought about the spoiler thing, but I definitely will be following the matches live, and will participate in live commentary if I am on-line, which I may or may not be, so I think people should spoil all they want. Can a moderator change the title to reflect this decision?

shrug Boring football is winning football. Remember Germany in the 80s and 90s and Italy?

Or not - the fact that Barcelona have been doing so well, that Spain won the last Eurocup and that the last World Cup final was between The Netherlands and Spain would suggest that while boring football can be winning football, it’s also very often losing football.