Euro 2008 Preview

Because I’m taking a mini-vacation starting tomorrow, I need to go ahead and get my Euro 2008 preview online.

I know a lot of folks who read this blog are rolling their eyes, but this is an event worth checking out.

For those who don’t know, Euro 2008 is the European championship. It’s played, World Cup-style, with four groups of four teams. Eventually, you end up with a champion.

Players to watch

1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) – The Manchester United midfielder is a runaway favorite to be FIFA’s Player of the Year. He’s flashy on the ball, a tireless worker and can score on headers, darting runs into the box and lethal free kicks. Alone worth the price of admission.

2. Franck Ribery (France) – The Bayern Munch winger is all hustle. He wears out defenses with his pace and energy. He’s also the penalty taker, so look for him to bag one or two from the spot.

3. Peter Cech (Czech Republic) – The Chelsea man is the best goal keeper in the world. Period. His presense alone makes his national side dnagerous.

4. Miroslav Klose (Germany) – Just one of three dangerous German strike options waiting to receive quality service from a solid midfield led by Michael Ballack.

5. Marco Materazzi (Italy) – “The Matrix” is a blood and guts defender, but is also very likely to pick up a red card. I guess some referees haven’t forgiven him for this.

He caused the incident, marring a World Cup final, by insulting Zidanne’s sister.

6. Fernando Torres (Spain) – “El Nino” has had more luck scoring for Liverpool than his country recently, but this is the sort of event that could favor his great speed.

Group stage

Group A
1. Portugal (Way too much talent for this group)
2. Czech Republic (It won’t be pretty, but Cech in the pipes will make the difference)
3. Switzerland (Co-hosts fall just short of moving on)
4. Turkey (Not a bad side, just lacking a bit of punch)

Group B
1. Germany (A favorite to win it all)
2. Croatia (A strong run here shows the win at Wembley that bounced England was no fluke)
3. Poland (I love the U.S., but losing to the Americans 3-0 in the run-up doesn’t inspire much confidence)
4. Austria (Only here because they’re co-hosting)

Group C
1. France (This is a brutal group, but I give the French the edge over an older, more-injured Italian side)
2. Italy (Still dangerous, but will the pieces fit together?)
3. Netherlands (A good side in a great group)
4. Romania (No chance of getting out of here)

Group D
1. Spain (Never seem to put it together in the big matches, but should be fine here)
2. Greece (You can’t count out the defending champions)
3. Sweden (Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be a player to watch. He’s one of the best strikers in the world when he’s on form)
4. Russia (I don’t see the Russians making much hay in this group)

Knockouts

Portugal over Croatia, Germany over Czech Republic, France over Greence and Spain over Italy.

Then Portugal clips Germany and France beats Spain, leaving Portugal and France in the final.

I’d love to see anyone else win, but I have to peg France. They’re not my favorite side, but they’re awfully good.

Advertisements

Tags:

3 Responses to “Euro 2008 Preview”

  1. Greg Says:

    If France make it out of the Group of Death they have a great chance, but they tend to start slowly in tournaments and that group is a killer. Don’t count out Romania either.

    Sad to say, but Germany look like die meister to me.

  2. The Offside Trap » Blog Archive » News from the archives Says:

    […] Euro 2008 Preview […]

  3. News from the archives « The Sports Page Says:

    […] Euro 2008 Preview […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: