Home > Football > Euro 2012 Preview – Group B

Euro 2012 Preview – Group B

Tough times ahead for Ronaldo and Portugal… (Photo: AP Images)

Part II of my Euro 2012 preview is here. If you thought Group A was hard to predict, try this one. Details of our Fantasy league also inside.

GROUP B – THE GROUP OF DEATH

Wow. Talk about talent. An unfavourable draw for all of these sides, who would all be walk-up winners in Group A. They all have a claim to move past the group stage, especially considering they are ranked 3rd, 4th, 9th and 10th in the world as of June 6. Anyway, I’ll have a crack at seeing who will make the cut…

 

HOLLAND

After falling to Spain in the World Cup final two years ago (where’d that time go?), the Dutch have continued their impressive form. ‘Oranje’ had a sneaky 6-0 win over Northern Ireland in their last outing, and it’s no wonder with the depth they have, particularly in attack. van Persie or Huntelaar? I don’t think you can play both. SneijderRobben, van der Vaart, Affelay, Kuyt… how do you fit them all in? It’s certainly a nice headache to have. There might be some weaknesses defensively (like a lot of teams) but they can blow sides off the park with the big guns up front.

Fantasy Tip: There are way too many players to mention here, but one thing is for certain – you will want to fill your two Dutch spots in your team. You can sadly only have two players from each nation, and you’re going to want to cash in here, especially in the midfield and forward positions.

Bottom Line: They will go through to the next stage, probably in second spot in this group. But it would be no surprise if they topped it.

 

GERMANY

The German WAGS are on their way to Euro 2012 – captain Philipp Lahm with wife Claudia last October.

This young squad continues to develop, and I think they’ve found the right mix of youth and experience to really challenge here. Let’s list some names… ÖzilSchweinsteiger and Khedira should all feature, while Götze and Reus are the next wave of stars coming through. Oh and how about Müller, Podolski, Klose and Gomez? Defence, outside of Lahm, is the only point of concern. I’m still not sold on Mertesacker. Interestingly, they have been permitted to drink, smoke, tweet and invite their WAGS and children to the tournament. Bad move or stroke of genius? It remains to be seen.

Fantasy Tip: Much like above, there are too many to choose from, but certainly load up on the Germans!

Bottom Line: This is their time to shine. My Euro 2012 champions.

 

PORTUGAL

In Ronaldo, Portugal have arguably one of the top two players on the planet. Throw Nani into the mix, and there’s going to be some terrific service for whoever they decide to stick with as a centre forward. In any other group, I’d say they’re a chance to go through. But here, I’m not so sure. In fact, I think there’s every chance they might even finish last. It really does come down to one man, and that is their captain. If he can get them firing, who knows what will happen.

Fantasy Tip: While he doesn’t come cheap, get Ronaldo. He’ll be involved in some fashion in most goals they score. I’d say he’s a must-have.

Bottom Line: They can progress, but I can’t see them getting past the Netherlands or Germany.

 

DENMARK

Quite unfortunate for the side ranked 9th in the world that they have to come up against at least two sides who are among the tournament favourites. They have some handy players, especially in 20 year old Christian Eriksen, who is set for a big tournament. They had an unconvincing 2-0 victory over Australia in their last start, and were at times exposed by the Socceroos, particularly through the middle of the park. As much as you want the little guy to do well, it will be too much for them to progress here.

Fantasy Tip: A number of cheapies you might want to keep an eye on here – Poulsen among them. I’d be staying well clear of any of their defenders.

Bottom Line: They’ll probably finish last, but third isn’t out of the question. Chances of progressing are unlikely, but stranger things have happened.

 

Adrian’s Predicted Final Standings

1. Germany

2. Holland

3. Portugal

4. Denmark

 

Join our Fantasy League

If you want to go up against us in the official Euro 2012 fantasy game, here’s our league code: 56747-77231.

 

Those are my thoughts on Group B. But I’d be far more interested to hear what you think is going to happen. Leave a comment below, or hit me up on Twitter – @adrmcm or our Facebook page – facebook.com/whosplayingwho.

If you missed them, here are the other previews:

Group A

Group C

Group D

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