Filed under: Euro 2012, European Football, International Football, UEFA | Tags: Andrea Pirlo, Czech Republic, Danny Valencia, England, Euro 2012, Euro 2012 odds, Euro 2012 predictions, Euro 2012 quarterfinals, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Mario Balotelli, Portugal, Ronaldo, Spain, Theo Walcott, Wayne Rooney
The knockout stages are here. Euro 2012 has not let us down with exciting finishes and surprise teams advancing (Greece) and falling apart (Netherlands). Somehow, England managed to win its group, while France put itself in a huge hole by settings itself up with Spain in the quarterfinals. Germany has been the most impressive team so far and look primed to win the tournament. The quarterfinals have some great matchups meaning that the knockout stages will provide fans with plenty of twists and turns along the way to crowning a champion of Europe. Who are the odds on favorites to win and who do we think will win? Read on to find out!
Odds to Win
Czech Republic 40/1
Generally, you will have a difficult time going poor betting on Germany or Spain, but I would shy away from Spain here as their road to a repeat is very difficult and they could lose at any point. I am tempted to take a flyer on France with those odds. Their odds are so low not because they are the 3rd worst team remaining, but because they face Spain in the quarters. At this point, France, Spain and Germany are the only three teams I can see winning, with Portugal as a long-shot whose odds just don’t pay off.
Predictions for the Quarterfinals
Czech Republic v Portugal
Portugal has to win here. They are the superior team at every position but keeper and must convert chances early in order to put the game away. If Ronaldo is able to score goals as he did late in the group stage, Portugal will advance with ease, but if his confidence is lowered with early missed opportunites, the Czech’s confidence will rise and Portugal could be in trouble. Portugal 2-1
Germany v Greece
Germany will win this match easily. But then again, this is the exact situation that the Greeks so often surprise people. That said, the Greek defense has not been as good as its reputation suggests and Germany will pull it apart early and often. Germany 3-0
Spain v France
When Spain are at their best there is no team on Earth that can beat them. The question remains as to whether Spain will be able to play at such a high level. Spain have out thought themselves at times this Euro, angering the football gods with a zero-striker approach. Tiki taka football is as deadly as it is beautiful, but France’s defensive line must be kept honest with the threat of a striker breaking through with a quick finish. If Spain reverts to its 4-6-0 formation, France will stay in this game and could come away with a win if its outside back can push forward to support sustained attacks. I do not know what formation the Spainiards will come out with, but they will not find success until a striker is on the field. Spain 2-1 ET
England v Italy
Here we have the tele-novella playoff. No two teams have been involved in more drama than these two. I like Andrea Pirlo’s ability to change a game at any point, but I detest Mario Ballotelli’s ability to do the same in the negative. Theo Walcott, Wayne Rooney, and Danny Valencia are a potent trio, but England’s defense is just as impotent as those attackers are capable. Both teams have great keepers, but I give the edge to England’s Joe Hart due to his youth and red-hot form he held all year in the Premiership. I see Italy winning this game with Prilo pulling the strings to create great chances for his team. This game could easily go to extra time and maybe even penalties. Italy 3-2
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