Since Groups C and D are going to destroy each other, it should lend to an easier tournament for the Group A and B favorites, Portugal and Germany. While Poland, Croatia, the Czech Republic and Turkey may pull a surprise or two, the Poles don’t have any of the stars you need to win this tournament (I know, I know, Greece are the defending champions), no Eduardo means Croatia will struggle to score, no Rosicky and Cech not quite at the level he was at last year reduces Czech possibilities and disarray in Turkish squad means that’s a tough one to pull off. So Portugal and Germany in the semis with Portugal through – if Deco and Ricardo have good tournaments. Goals for Portugal are going to have to come from the striker position and Quaresma or Simao (Ronaldo will get his) if they are to get to the final.
So who comes out of the other half – no clue, but my three favorites are Italy, Netherlands and Spain. Russia plays good ball and probably get through with Spain in Group D. Italy and Netherlands for me in Group C. If the defense plays well, the Dutch will be tough to beat. While my gut tells me it is going to be impossible to beat Italy if Buffon and Toni are on, I just have a feeling it’s Spain in the final. Torres and Cesc lead the way now that Raul is deservedly gone from the squad. Casillas has a blinder.
An all Iberian final. And who wins – Portugal if Ronaldo stays at Man U and Spain if he leaves for Real Madrid. Oh yes, it always goes back to club football my friends.
Stay tuned for my picks for the team of the tourney