08 June 2012

The Euros Are Here

I thought I would start this first post of my new football blog with my prediction for the outright winner of the Euro 2012 Championship.

There are probably four main contenders; Spain, Germany, Netherlands, and France.  So, in time honoured fashion, in reverse order, here's my prediction.


As we will hear a hundred times between now and their first match - against the mighty? England - France have not lost a match in their last 21.  They are, like England, massive under-achievers in international competitions though, but have a host of good, if under-rated, players.  I guess the likes of Karim Benzema of Real Madrid will be a possible Golden Boot winner if France qualify from the group.

They are also solid at the back, and Yann M'Vila of Rennes, who will probably be in the Premiership next season, is possibly one of the top 10 holding midfielders in the world.  Let's hope he gets a game, as he comes into the competition carrying a slight injury.


Holland have won every qualifying game except against Sweden on their way to the Euros.  They scored 37 goals in the qualifiers, which is a remarkable achievement, but includes 16 against San Marino.

They have two good goalscoring machines in Robin Van Persie and Klaas Jan Huntelaar, and have a couple of good centre-backs but they are one of the more mercurial teams of the tournament, so it will be interesting to see their first match on Saturday against their neighbors, Denmark.


Who doesn't like watching Spain?  They come as World and Euro champions, looking to be the first team to win back-to-back Euro Championships and the first team to win three major championships on the bounce.  So there is a high level of expectation resting on the shoulders of the current holders.  They are also without their talismanic striker David Villa

Their tiki-taka style has been widely studied and I think that the savvy teams have worked out how to play against them now.  Being solid and organised will count for a lot against the free-playing Iberians. Who can forget how Chelsea bested Barcelona and Bayern Munich by soaking up the pressure and counter-attacking.

Spain play a predictable game lacking in width, and their squad is fairly unchanged from the team who were taken to the wire by Germany two years ago.


The Germans are my tip for the Euros this time round.  They have won all of their qualifiers and have scored for fun.  The young squad is largely unchanged from 2010 and are improving all the time.  They have remarkable strength in depth.  Like Spain, the coach hasn't had to decide who to bring to Poland-Ukraine, he has had to decide who to to bring.

The tam is energetic and mobile and the players know each other well

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