Ronaldo leads Portugal into the Semiís against the Champions on June 27 at Ukraineís Donbass Arena
As the Euro 2012 tournament closes in, the tension and excitement increases and the teams that remain intact are facing more challenges as the path to the top becomes narrower. The two teams that made it to the Semifinals, Spain and Portugal show signs of exhaustion but the determinations of each team remain and this will become apparent on the 27th.
Spain vs Portugal Predictions
The Spaniards are the latest team to make it through the remaining four of the Euros after ousting France on the 24th with 2-0 victory. It was Xabi Alonsoís time to shine as the midfielder from Real Madrid scored during the 19th minute from the start of the match and another from the penalty spot. Coach Vicente Del Bosque focused on the teamís offensive side by reverting to the old system of using six midfielders. Their outright show of attack was extremely successful putting France on the defensive throughout the game.
However efficient they may have seemed during the match against France, Spain is showing signs of fatigue and drainage which is common amongst teams during the concluding end of a long football tournament. Mostly the veterans of the team such Inestia, Fabregas and Silva displayed signs of lacking sharpness and were unable to bank on many clear-cut chances. As the Semifinal game against Portugal nears, the boys of the ďRed FuryĒ need to take advantage of the rest time as they have two days less of resting than the Portuguese.
Group runners-up, Portugal clinched a 1-0 victory over Group Aís top team, the Czech Republic that guaranteed Semifinal ticket on the 21st. Cristiano Ronaldo proved to be the savior as he scored the gameís solo goal on the 79th minute of the match. The Czechís actually had a positive start but the Portuguese gradually asserted their domineering presence and the game became a one-sided affair by the second half. Both the teams had a similar record during the Group stage even though it was Portugal that was the more favorable of the two. This coming match-up against Spain has an advantage for Portugal, they have two more days of rest and recovery than the Spaniards who just finished off France on the 24th.
In order for Ronaldo and team to survive the upcoming match-up, they have two things that they really need to work on especially against a team such as the Spaniards, itís both their defense and attack. It would be wise to say that adding an explosive nature to their attack would help the team. During the first half of the previous match against the Czechs, the Portuguese were constantly on the defensive and there were many close calls in the opposing teamís favor. Their assertive side developed slowly in the game and it wasted a lot of time. Also, their defense needs some upgrading that will protect them from Spainís aggressive style of attack.
Spain vs Portugal Predictions: Spain wins 2-0
The Spaniards seem to have many of the traits that a winning team should possess. They are truly dynamic in nature, showing the ability to adapt to the style of the opponent plus coach Del Bosque is a brilliant tactician. The Spaniards are more aggressive when compared to the other teams and their defensive records are decent. The Portuguese are usually slow to take possession and this upcoming match is going to be a race for domination. The team that takes the offensive first will most likely win.
Euro 2012 Quarterfinals Preview: Spain vs Portugal Predictions
Germany and Italy will both proceed to the Semifinals on the 28th of June at the National Stadium in Warsaw.
Both undefeated, the two teams have found their niche within the tournament in completely different ways, Germany with their offensive power and Italy with their brilliance in defense. Which tactic will lead to victory?
Germany vs Italy Predictions
The Germans survived the Group stage at number 1 in Group B. They have a perfect record with no draws and no defeats. Germany have waltzed through the tournament being the only team to gain the only maximum nine-point haul in the group stages and effortlessly smashed Greece to pieces in the quarterfinals. These offensive juggernauts are a force to be reckoned with and Mario Gomez is one of only four footballers to score a trio of goals since the start of the group stage. Italy does not have even one player who scored multiple goals.Also, MesutOzil is one of only four footballers to record three assists. Bastian Schweinsteiger also has a pair. If youíre aware of the track record, you already know that Italy doesnít have one player whoís recorded multiple assists.
However, the opposing teamís strength is on a totally different side than that of Germanyís, itís the defense. The Germans with their attack brilliance might need to boost up their offense even more against Italyís defensive wall or else, the game is going nowhere.
The 2006 World Cup winners are on the track to regain their status as one of the most feared football units in the world. The Italians have a rich history in world football but when it comes to winning the Henri Delauney trophy, the record becomes cloudy only winning the prestigious Euro cup back in 1968 when luck played a big part in their victory over the USSR on Italian soil. Nevertheless, the Azzurris prove to be a force that is not to be taken lightly as they proceed through the Euros with an untainted record and only to be topped off by Spain with two points in the Group C standings.
Germany, however, will certainly give the Italians a run for their money. The Italians have a near flawless defense record and pride themselves with this attribute. They havenít surrendered more than a single goal in regulation since the group stage began. But defense may not be enough to win against a team like the Germans whose power of attack is brilliant. They need to strengthen their offensive side and take control of the game before the Germans do. Italy has scored just four total goals, and thatís resulted in two draws as well as forced their shootout against England.
Germany vs Italy Predictions: Germany wins 1-0
Okay letís pay a little bit of consideration to Italyís defensive structure. But if you canít score, you canít winÖunless you force a shootout. Italy has a brilliant football team but it would truly be shocking if they outscore Germany.
Euro 2012 Semifinals Preview: Germany vs Italy Predictions
Euro 2012 Finals : Spain vs Italy
The Euro Cup 2012 has come to an end with the last 2 teams standing. Spainís Boss Vicente del Bosque is expected to have a fully-fit squad for the Euro 2012 final showdown with Italy.
The 61-year-old`s biggest selection dilemma is likely to be over whether to field a recognised striker after Alvaro Negredo`s anonymous performance in the semi-final win over Portugal.
With Fernando Torres seemingly out of favour, and with Fernando Llorente yet to make an appearance at the tournament, Cesc Fabregas could be restored to a `false nine` role up front alongside Andres Iniesta and David Silva.
Italy defender Ignazio Abate, who missed the semi-final win over Germany with a muscle injury, is likely to return to fitness in time for the final, while fellow full-back Christian Maggio is also available after serving a one-match ban.
Coach Cesare Prandelli may persist with the same formation that served him well against the Germans rather than revert to the unorthodox 3-5-2 line-up used in the opening match against Spain.
AC Milan-bound Riccardo Montolivo is likely to keep his place in the team ahead of Thiago Motta after an assured performance in the semi-final.
Spain are bidding to become the first team in history to win three successive major tournaments (Euro 2008, World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012) and the first to retain the Henri Delaunay trophy.
La Roja are contesting their fourth European Championship final (1964, 1984, 2008 and 2012). They have lost just one (1984).
Vicente del Bosque`s side are 19 competitive games without defeat and have won their last nine knockout matches at major tournaments without conceding a goal.
However, the Iberian outfit have not registered a competitive win over Italy in nearly a century (with their penalty shoot-out success in the quarter-final of Euro 2008 classed as a draw). Their record in 11 previous meetings is W1, D5, L5, with the sole victory coming in the sides` first ever encounter at the 1920 Olympic games.
The Italians are competing in their third European Championship final (1968, 2000, 2012). They have won just one (1968).
The Azzurri are facing Spain for the 31st time, with their record in prior encounters reading W10, D12, L8. The sides` most recent meeting was in their opening match in this tournament, which finished as a 1-1 draw.
Italy have won just two of their last eight matches in regulation time, but are yet to lose a competitive fixture under Cesare Prandelli.
This very well could be the most consistent match Italy's Balotelli has played for a five-game stretch. Despite his two great goals in the semifinal against Germany, particularly his second goal, he coupled a moment of brilliance with a moment of stupidity by taking his jersey off and receiving a yellow card. If a hot-tempered Balotelli picks up an early booking, he could just as easily be a detriment to his team with an untimely sending off in the championship game. Thus, these erratic moments need to be kept to a minimum. In a single-elimination game, anything can (and will) happen. For the most part, Germans midfielders Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira were frustrated by the Italian midfielders in the last semifinal. However, the Spanish boast the best arsenal of midfielders in the world and, seeing that Fernando Torresí role in the title game remains up in the air, Xavi Hernandez or Cesc Fabregas might be called upon for but one flash ofwonder. Spain wins 1-0 to capture an unprecedented third consecutive major championship.
Pick : Pick Spain to win.
Spain vs Italy Predictions