Soccer

Euro 2012 Eight For Eight

The 2012 Euro Cup is just eight days from starting, tension is rising and players are gearing up for what promises to be quite a great tournament. Much has been and much will be written over the next few weeks, but many people are going to be glued to their seats watching in earnest as one of the best tournaments in the world take place.

That being said, let’s get right to the point. With just eight days left, who is going to be moving on to the round of eight and who will be going home?

Group A - Poland, Greece, Russia, Czech Republic

In what quite possibly might be the easiest of the groups to decide, I see both Russia and Greece moving on. No offense to Poland or Czech Republic, but Greece and Russia are more complete teams offensively and defensively. There might be an upset or two, but I expect the top two teams to be moving on.

Group B - Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Denmark

The so called “Group of Death” is definitely the hardest to decide. All of these teams are complete, offensively and defensively, and either one good or bad call could decide these games. Those who move on will take advantage of the opportunities presented to them. That being said, I fully expect Germany to come out with their usual finesse and power to show they are the best team in Europe. The second qualifier of this group is more difficult to determine, but I think Portugal will move on because Cristiano Ronaldo will play better than his less than stellar performance at the World Cup.

Group C  - Spain, Italy, Ireland, Croatia

There is no doubt that the best team in this group is the Spanish side. They control the game offensively and defensively, while controlling the ball for large stretches at a time. I think, once again, the Italians will come out with a disappointing result, especially after watching them lose to an up and coming USA squad, but they could have one the best newcomers on the big state. Between Croatia and Ireland, there is going to be some difficulty choosing. Ireland should have made the World Cup if it were not for a no call on a handball, but nonetheless, they will play with some to prove. I think they will have an invigorated effort, and the luck of the Irish will be on their side in moving on.

Group D - Ukraine, Sweden, France, England

Group D is one that could have the most interesting story lines. The French and English sides disappointed at the World Cup, and will be looking to have a better performance at Euro 2012. I think both of these squads will play and prove that they are among the world’s elite. If you have been reading RantSports.com lately, you will know that at least one writer expectes France to take home the title.

With just eight days to go, let the excitement begin. We will know, at least for the next two years, which country is the best European football squad.

Paul Troupe is the lead writer for the Nebraska Cornhuskers and San Antonio Spurs, while covering major sports for RantSports. You can follow him on Twitter @gamin4HIM