With just four days to go until Euro 2012, it’s time for who I think will be moving on into the semifinals. Four days ago, I picked my four group winners and four runner ups, with reasons that can be found here. For a quick recaps, here is who I have moving on and which seeds that they will be getting.
Group A: 1 – Russia, 2 – Greece
Group B: 1 – Germany, 2 – Portugal
Group C: 1 – Spain, 2 – Ireland
Group D: 1 – France, 2 – England
With that out of the way, we can know take a look at the potential matchups in the semifinals that I envision.
Quarterfinal #1 – Russia vs Portugal
I think Portugal is going to make a splash here, and Cristiano Ronaldo will play like he has for Real Madrid this season. He will set up his fellow countrymen with good opportunities, and Portugal will take advantage of a call or two that go their way to win the game. Russia, on the other hand, will be a little timid on the big stage, and a costly mistake early will give the Portuguese the advantage they need.
Quarterfinal #2 – Germany vs Greece
Die Mannschaft might be the best team in Euro 2012, especially after injuries to a few key Spanish players that had helped them oust Germany in the World Cup 2010 semifinals. This time around, the Germans are looking to secure a title, knowing full well they have what it takes. Greece is just another opponent in the way, and I think the Germans will have a strong performance and show why they are of the best in the world.
Quarterfinal #3 – Spain vs England
The English fans are going to be thrilled to make it to the knockout round, but a loss to France should put them in the runner up position. That means an unfortunate matchup with Spain, of which is a superior team to England. Spain should once again show why they are on the best, and will send England home to a disappointed country.
Quarterfinal #4 – France vs Ireland
The Irish will have made a heck of a run to make it to the knockout stage, but I do not see their luck continuing. A young, rejuvenated, and hungry French team will send Ireland home to a thrilled, yet downtrodden fan base hoping to make their run last just a little longer.