Predictions for Euro 2012: The winners, the flops, the dark horses and the top scorer

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The time is upon us once again. Another major international tournament beckons, as does an England triumph (well maybe). On the eve of Euro 2012 let us put our Nostradamus glasses on and predict the twists and turns of the next month or so.

Winner – Spain. An obvious but inherently risky bet. Sure La Roja have the most talented squad, sure they have dominated football for five years, sure their monopoly of possession makes them nigh on impossible to beat, sure they have the experience and mentality, but history is against them. No team has ever won three consecutive international tournaments and there is a suspicion the Spanish are jaded after years of non-stop football.

The desire to win was questioned in the Barca squad and it’s a similar issue here. If you factor in injuries to the warrior Puyol (the most influential player in the country) and Villa (the principal goal threat for years) then you get the feeling the champions arrive in somewhat underwhelming circumstances. However with plenty of options in all areas of the pitch the Spanish armada remain the team to beat.

Finalists – Germany. A repeat of four years is on the cards. Germany may be many people’s tips to win it but the devastating failure of Bayern to clinch the C.L in their backyard could be an issue. As is the fact they have been knocked out by Spain in the last ttwo ournaments and in both cases outclassed. Will they have the mental capacity to belief things will be different this year after a decade of near misses?

Dark Horses – England. I hear your derisory snorts but why not? Ok there are a billion reasons why England will not win the tournament but with expectations at an all time low and the story of Chelsea as inspiration the Three Lions can make an impact this year. The Euros have produced fairytale winners in the past (Denmark 92, Greece 04) so who is to say in this most mind boggling of seasons England cannot be the last man standing? Do not forget they beat the mighty Spain with a second string team a few months ago and in Roy Hodgson they have a manager who will make them difficult to break down.

Flop of the tournament – Portugal/Ronaldo. A tough group awaits the 2004 finalists and it would be a huge surprise if they qualify at the expense of either Germany or Holland. CR7 has had another magnificent season but once again will have to shoulder the burden of a mediocre national team. He has proven he is no big game flop but is yet to prove he is truly a big game player in the mould of a Xavi or Drogba. It would be great for the tournament if he excelled but you feel the other nations will have done their homework and will stifle him safe in the knowledge his teammates will not pick up the slack.

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  • Anonymous G says:

    Don’t agree with top scorer… As good as Van Persie has been, Huntelaar has not only equalled, but bettered him with 48 goals. He also has more international goals in fewer appearances. If that was anything to go by, firstly I’d play Huntelaar in their lone striker position, and secondly he’s, at least statistically, a better goalscorer. I think France would be the dark horses… England didn’t show a reason to justify why they should be considered to win Euro 2012 against Norway. A showing like that against the elites, and even France in the group stage, will see them out of the Euros earlier than expected. Sneijder for player of the tournament, or perhaps Ribery (who’s simply on fire)?

    • Anonymous G says:

      Plus the absence of Lampard and Barry, as well as Wilshere leaves England with a depleted midfield, whislt they’re missing their ‘star man’ Rooney too.

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