Tag Archives: Group of death

Netherlands vs Denmark: post-game comments

You can’t really call it an upset when the #10 team in the world beats somebody, but this was a surprise result.  The Dutch did outshoot the Danes, Robben did hit a post and Huntelaar was denied what should have been a penalty for a Danish handball late in the game, but the Dutch didn’t really play like potential champions.  Sneijder did his part (his outside of the right foot 40 yard pass to hit Huntelaar in stride in the penalty box was sheer class), but van Persie and Robben were off color and the coach should have brought van der Vaart and Huntelaar on earlier.  Nonetheless, it was a great win for Denmark and Kjaer, Poulsen and Agger did very well.

This result means that, assuming Germany performs as expected, the second team to go through in this group will be determined by how many points each of them can win off of Germany.  Head to head performances are the first tie breaker prior to checking on goal difference.  So, if we assume Germany beats Portugal next, Portugal beats Denmark in the second round and Netherlands beats Portugal in the last match – those are a lot of assumptions – all the teams will have a chance to go through if they can get at least 1 point off of Germany.  This group is thoroughly in flux and could be even more so if Portugal beats Germany shortly.

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Group of Death – Day 1 Predictions. France vs Romania and Netherlands vs Italy

With the injuries mounting on both sides – Arjen Robben, Robin Van Persie and Ryan Babel out for the Dutch and Cannavaro and possibly Panucci out for Italy – it’s going to be interesting to see if the Dutch can score and if the Italians can defend! I think it will be a bit of both but the Italians should normally score more than the Dutch if the two wingers (Babel and Robben) are out. However, since this is the first game in the group, I predict a scoring draw. Should be fun to see if Ruud van Nistelrooy and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar start up front for the Dutch and Toni and del Piero on the other side. I prefer the Italian midfield with Pirlo, De Rossi and Gattuso to Van der Vaart and Sneijder.

France will benefit from Vieira being out as it will get Ribery more of the ball. Benzema is going to clean up with Ribery and Henry (or Anelka or Gomis or Gouvou if Henry is injured) playing with him up front.  Looking forward to seeing Nasri out there at some point.  France wins.

With all the injuries, I may have to change my initial prediction on who comes out of the group. If Van Persie and Robben don’t come back by game 2, Italy and France could move on. Don’t count Romania out (Mutu is still the man at Fiorentina), but I just don’t think they will be able to surprise anyone in the group as every point counts. I’ll stick with the Dutch and French for now.

Monday, June 9, 2008
Time Home Away STAGE TV VENUE
12:00 ET Romania 1 v 2 France Group C Letzigrund Stadium
14:45 ET Netherlands 1 v 1 Italy Group C Stade de Suisse Wankdorf

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Filed under euro 2008, match comments, match predictions, SOCCER

Germany vs Poland – post match

Germany in the first half looked as if they were still at World Cup 2006 with even Loew looking like a brunette Klinsmann on the sidelines (okay so that’s pushing it but just a bit). The Poles matched them for a few minutes as well with Krzynowek, who has a howitzer in his left foot (ask Casillas if he remembers the blast he put by him when he played at Leverkusen), blasting over after a weak punch out by Lehmann. After that it was almost all Germany. The passing was quick. They interchanged and moved off the ball well and Klose was at his usual unselfish best and almost laid on an open net for Mario Gomez before doing so for Podolski. Two players conspiring to score against their birth country must be tough for the Poles. Gomez had a poor game and flubbed a couple of sitters but he will come good. Must have been nerves today. I liked that Podolski played in the hole – he was man of the match even if he hadn’t scored both goals. His aggressiveness and movement were great. This is going to give Podolski all the confidence he needs and, especially if Gomez comes on as I believe, Germany is going to be tough as they will score. The center of the defense looks suspect though as Metzelder doesn’t have match sharpness and Mertesacker is too slow for small and quick strikers.

Germany will win the group and I believe Poland will come through in second. Roger needs to start as he was the only one who seemed to have any luck going forward – Poland’s player of the match IMO.

Pre-game prediction: Germany 1 Poland 0

Result: Germany 2 Poland 0

Scorers: Podolski 2 (Germany)

Perfect on Sunday and 3 and 1 with my picks so far. Interestingly enough no game has seen both sides score in the same match. Big day coming up tomorrow – the Group of Death – and one in which I predict at least one of the matches will have both sides score. With the players falling by the wayside even before game time, they are taking this a bit too far. We’d prefer they die on the field instead of hurting themselves and sitting out the games 🙂 ….

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Filed under euro 2008, match comments, SOCCER