You know that I’m supporting Germany this Euro 2008. While I’m kind of confident that Germany will win the trophy, I’ll tell you how exactly they would achieve it. Here is the tournament map on who progresses, and who gets eliminated, and who goes how far. It makes sense to go by each group.
Group A – Czech, Portugal, Switzerland & Turkey. I’m rushing to say Portugal would top the group but Czech republic pipping them won’t be an upset. Still, it’s hard to see Portugal not topping with Ronaldo, Quaresma, Deco, Carvalho etc. The hosts Switzerland’s best chances could only be against Turkey but then I get this feeling that they would hardly get a point or two in the group.
A1 – Portugal | A2 – Czech Republic.
Group B - Austria, Croatia, Germany & Poland. There is no question about who’d be topping the group. It’s gonna be Germany. Eduardo-less Croatia will stretch Germany as much as possible but Germans have too much quality and experience not to finish on top. Being a ‘tournament team’, they’d know the value of finishing on top. Poland may surprise Croatia, which is why I’m sure Germany will top the group.
B1 – Germany | B2 – Croatia.
Group C - France, Netherlands, Italy & Romania. This tournament’s group of death. My money is on Italy and Netherlands. I don’t generally go by friendlies form but France of late have been dishing out disjointed performances. To make things perfect, I’d love to see Romania beat France. Despite missing Cannavaro, Italy would do their business. Something tells me that the inconsistent Netherlands would top the group followed by Italy.
C1 – Netherlands | C2 – Italy.
Group D – Greece, Sweden, Spain & Russia. In a way, this group is also a group of death. While Spain ‘might’ sail through to the quarters, the other three teams in the group could all have realistic chances of making it. I think Hiddink-powered Russia will go through. Hiddink must be looking at 2 wins and a draw in the group and I think he could just achieve it.
D1 – Spain | D2 – Russia.
A1 vs B2 – Portugal vs Croatia – Could be a very hard fought match. Could even be the match of the tournament. Portugal will prevail.
B1 vs A2 – Germany vs Czech Republic – Germany to win comfortably. Game will go as scripted by the Germans.
C1 vs D2 – Netherlands vs Russia - Strangely I think Russia will overcome the Dutch challenge. Hiddink knows a thing or two about Netherlands team.
D1 vs C2 – Spain vs Italy – Could be a classic. A footballing lesson. Finally, Spain’s power will pip Italy’s resolve.
Germany vs Portugal – One more heartbreak for the Portuguese. Germany to go through. Towering header by Ballack.
Russia vs Spain - Tears for the Russians. Their dream run would be stopped brutally by the Spanish.
Germany vs Spain – Ballack would be European champion.
I don’t know what are the odds for the above to happen but it would be fun if it does. At the end of the group stages, may be I will re-assess the situation, if required that is. What do you guys think? Do you think Russia will make it to the semis? Do you think France won’t progress to quarters? Do you think Portugal will not win the trophy? Do you think Germany will be champions?