Bale apparently wants out of Tottenham following Redknapp’s firing and Spurs unable to make the Champions League next season – http://www.metro.co.uk/sport/football/902089-gareth-bales-spurs-future-in-doubt-as-agent-admits-problem-over-euro-loss#ixzz1xmctmUeX.
Bale can’t go to Real Madrid where Di Maria just re-signed and Ronaldo is the left wing. Barca are going to sign Jordi Alba at left back so there is no other place in the squad for him. Bayern Munich have Robben and Ribery. The only other places could be Milan and Inter, but Inter doesn’t have Champions League football next season and Milan probably doesn’t have the funds. Chelsea probably doesn’t buy him after buying Eden Hazard. That would leave maybe Manchester City, PSG and maybe Arsenal. Doubt he wants to go to PSG and Arsenal probably doesn’t pay up with Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the books.
Juventus apparently wants Nani.
Why doesn’t United sell Nani and buy Gareth Bale? It would be a like for like winger signing except that Bale plays on the left – that would make Valencia the starter on the right wing and Ashley Young can play either wing or in the slot. It would the Welsh Wing Wizard part 2. Bale would get Champions League football and wind up where he should have gone in the first place. And Nani looks like he needs a fresh start and probably isn’t an automatic selection for United’s starting XI.
Sign him up Fergie.
This is the match up of round 2 and the second most anticipated match outside of Germany vs Spain. If Germany wins, they qualify for the next round. Lose and the Netherlands is out of the tournament. If Denmark wins, Holland will know that only a win will keep them in the tournament. So, playing second should help them determine how aggressively they will need to play in this match. It should be fascinating as Robben plays against the defense he practices against every day – Lahm, Badstuber, Boateng and goalie Neuer are all part of the Bayern Munich defense.
Why Netherlands will win
- Sneijder was in great form in the first match. He helped create a lot of chances for the Netherlands and they can expect that their finishing will be sharper today.
- Hummels was a rock in defense for Germany. However, the German defense did give up a number of chances – especially late on – to Portugal, and were lucky not to be scored against. If the German defense performs similarly today against the Dutch, they will be punished.
- Huntelaar was the top scorer in the Bundesliga this past season. Expect him to come off the bench early if van Persie isn’t firing. A ready made striking solution off the bench is a necessity and in the Hunter, the Netherlands has one of the best.
- They are very familiar with the Germans. Just like Germany is due a win against Spain, the Netherlands is due a win against Germany
- Mathijsen is expected to return to central defense to bolster a shaky central defense for the Netherlands.
Why Germany will win
- They know the Dutch players very well. Robben, van Bommel, de Jong, Huntelaar – all of them have played or are playing in the Bundesliga.
- Germany beat Portugal while playing a sub par game relative to their own standards. Quick ball movement and team speed, which are hallmarks of this German team, were absent. Low will fix that and I expect Podolski, Ozil and especially Schweinsteiger to have much better games.
- A win puts them into the next round. Germany will look for that here to stay on course for winning Euro 2012.
- The Netherlands will be a lot more attacking than Portugal. That should open up more space for Muller, Ozil and Podolski to operate. In a battle of two offenses, I would go with the Germans who have more offensive depth in midfield that the Dutch since van Bommel and de Jong are more defensive minded.
Pre-game prediction: Netherlands 1 Germany 2
Podolski and Muller score for Germany and van Persie scores one for Netherlands.
This is THE match everyone wants to see – and we get to watch it on Day 2! This is why we love this tournament. It’s equivalent to Duke vs North Carolina in round 1 of the NCAA Tournament and the loser is very likely not to advance to the quarters. Match 4 pits Cristiano Ronaldo against his Real Madrid teammate Ozil as the two best players in the tournament go head to head in the Group of Death.
Why Portugal will win
- Ronaldo and Nani are the best pair of wingers in the world and can switch wings at any time
- Germany is unsettled at right back where Bender may replace Boateng who could be benched for disciplinary reasons. It’s a tall order for either of them to try and corral Ronaldo, especially if Schweinsteiger isn’t fully fit to help on the double team. An overlapping Fabio Coentrao puts additional pressure on the right side of Germany’s defense.
- Pepe and Bruno Alves are solid in the center of the Portugese defense and can neutralize the threat of Klose and Podolski.
- The Bayern Munich players still have a hangover from the Champions League Final defeat a few weeks ago.
Why Germany will win
- Khedira, Schweinsteiger and Kroos will corral Ronaldo, Nani and Postiga (or whoever starts at striker for Portugal) while Lahm will shut down the right wing. They will double team Ronaldo and Nani on the wings and Portugal’s weakness at striker will be handled by Germany. Neuer is one of the best keepers in the world and will pull off enough saves to to cover over the deficiencies in Germany’s central defense.
- Germany attacks with speed, experience and creativity through Podolski, Klose and Ozil. It will be too much for Portugal to handle.
- Germany has beaten Portugal the last two times they have met them in World Cup 2006 and Euro 2008 and their coach, Joachim Low, has been with them throughout this period. They know how to play tournament football and will be prepared with the right tactics.
Pre-match prediction: Germany 2 Portugal 1
Klose and Podolski score for Germany and Ronaldo pulls one back for Portugal. Ozil sets up both Germany goals.
Why Germany should win:
- They are great at set pieces. Ballack has scored the only free kick in the tournament and Podolski and Schweinsteiger are also good strikers of the ball. They are strong in the air and have scored two goals off set pieces against a supposedly strong Portugese defense where Pepe and Carvalho are good in the air.
- This is the knockout stage and the Germans traditionally get stronger as the tournament starts getting to the business end of it.
- Ballack has now scored two straight winners. Look out. Klose is off the mark too.
- Schweinsteiger had a hand in all three goals against Portugal. While Turkey is not Portugal, he has now had a hand in six goals against a strong Portugal side in the last two matches. His drive was missing in their games against Croatia and Austria. Now you can count on Podolski and Bastian to provide energy from the wings.
- Loew is back on the sideline.
- Turkey is decimated (they would be happy with a decimation – this is a thirdamation) by injuries and suspensions. It’s a bit much to have your entire starting attacking trio be out for the match – Nihat, Tuncay and Turan – along with your starting central defense and goalkeeper. It might not be a good thing to be captain of Turkey – first Emre and now Nihat are out with injuries.
- By now they know that you REALLY, REALLY, REALLY need to concentrate against Turkey from minute 87 till the final whistle… and then keep playing for another 30 seconds to make sure the ref actually blew the whistle.
Why Turkey should win:
- Why ask why? Just look at the last three games. If you can beat the host nation on a lake in the last second, then have one of the best goalies in the world drop a ball for you to equalize and then score again (all in the last three minutes) and then score in injury time of overtime after conceding with a minute to go – all on fumes and with three days rest in between in each game – what barrier does Germany pose. It’s not like Der Kaiser is suited up on the other side.
- Super sub, thy name is Semih. He has played a total of 148 minutes and put in two last minute goals. Let’s see how he does from the start.
- Hamit Altintop (his name supposedly translates to golden ball – Beckham the singular). He had a great game once he was restored to the center of the park instead of playing at right back. He knows the German game – he regularly tangles with Schweinsteiger, Lahm, Jansen, Klose and Podolski in practice at Bayern Munich. He has nothing to lose and one of his blasts is due.
- I think the stadium will look like a Turkey home game.
- Turkey should win, because the underdog seems to be winning most of the time at this tournament.
CH12 believes that Germany will win. Turkey has just too many injuries and the adrenalin will wear off when they find themselves two down and without the firepower to bring themselves back into it. Also, they will not be able to deal with the German height on set pieces. Whoever scores first in this game will win.
Pre-game prediction: Germany 3 Turkey 1
I would like to see Turkey win, though. Maybe they will come back from being two down with three sets of penalty kicks to go…