The drawing for the Euro 2012 competition has finally passed us and has left us with some great matches to look forward to. We plan to have an article discussing all the mouthwatering match-ups we are going to see in the up-coming tournament and what better place to start than Group B. Group B is an awful group to be drawn in but a wonderful group for the spectators of this tournament. For those who do not know, Group B will feature the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and Portugal. This group features three teams that are inside the top 10 for FIFA rankings (Netherlands, Germany, Portugal) and one sitting just on the outside of the top ten (Denmark at 11th). If that is not enough to get excited about, then I do not know what else you could ask for, maybe all teams in the top four in one group (never happening). The group itself is great but now lets look at some key match-ups that we will see and how they can affect the group.
The first one that intrigues me is Portugal vs. Netherlands. The Netherlands are coming into this tournament after finishing second in the World Cup. Even though they did come in second, they earned plenty of criticism for their display in the final which some people felt were very negative tactics and even dirty. Now they must come to this tournament and look to gain some respect back with a lot of the key players still being part of the side. Portugal had a rough qualifying campaign and had to go into a playoff against Bosnia to secure their place in the tournament. However, they do have, in my opinion, the best player in the world on their team and in any given game he could come up with a moment of brilliance to win it for his team. This game will most likely be very offensive minded with two teams that love to attack and it should be very fun to watch. I still do give the edge to the Netherlands though in a close game.
The other match I am most interested in is the Germany vs Netherlands game. I feel that this is the game will show who comes in first and who comes in second in the group. We already talked about the talent that the Netherlands have but Germany also impressed in the last World Cup with a group of players many did not expect much out of. Now they have the experience of the World Cup and they could possibly be even better in this tournament, and could be one of the most entertaining teams as they were in the World Cup. I still feel like this will be a close game and it should be beings that its the number two team verse the number three team. However, I am giving the edge to the team ranked lower. I feel Germany will win this and go deep in this tournament once again. Germany did not lose a game in qualifying and had a massive positive goal differential. Right now they hold the hot hand.
Even though I did not give much love to Denmark, I think they will have an alright showing and finish the group in third. They have a strong side and have already proven they can beat Portugal. The two best teams in this group and two of the best in the world will make it out of this group. The Germans will finish first and most likely set up an easier run than second place Netherlands will have. This group has some of the best talent in the tournament and should produce some of the most exciting games. Netherlands vs Germany could be the final of any major tournament and we are lucky enough to get this game in the group stages. Once the tournament begins, sit back and enjoy, it will be a fun ride.
Written By: Eric Stoyanov, Contributing Writer, soccerprose.com
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