Euro 2008 Group B Match Predictions
So yesterday saw Portugal and the Czech Republic take massive strides to joining the last and their potential opponents all open their accounts today. We’ve two David and Goliath clashes here in terms of history and ability and we could see two very one sided games. First up, it’s the co-hosts Austria, who begin with a tough task to hold Croatia at bay.Whilst I appreciate they’ll have a strong home support, it simply will not make up for the massive gap in talent, ability and skill in comparison with the Croats. Austrian fans were pleading with the Austrian FA in March to pull them out of the tournament to save embarrassment and this side is a long way short of the great Austrian sides of the 70′s and 80′s. Croatia deservedly finished above England to qualify and have some wonderful talent running through their team. With Kranjcar and Modric pulling the strings, I can see this being 3-0 to Croatia even without Eduardo. They’ve also got the best home kit in Europe and will be eagerly looking forward to locking horns with the Germans again.Now the second game, well, what can you say. If you’ve not heard about the arguments that have been leading up to this, you’d think England had qualified, such is the ferocity of feeling in both countries media. A Polish tabloid paper has created a massive storm with a back page splash picturing coach Leo Beenhakker holding the severed heads of Ballack and Low. Suffice to say this has not gone down well in Germany and the notorious German tabloid Bild has declared “football war” on Poland to much shaking of heads by most Germans and Poles alike. This was not a game that needed stoking up anymore and the Poles will be desperate to do well against Germany. Poland have never beaten Germany and the last time they avoided defeat was in a 0-0 draw back at the 1978 World Cup and this is incredibly is the first time Poland have ever appeared in the European Championship Finals.Unfortunately, Germany look stronger than 2006. All the young players that earned their stripes during the World Cup are a couple of years older and Michael Ballack has been in supreme form since Christmas. Mario Gomez has also burst in to the starting 11 and should partner Klose upfront in place of Podolski. Podolski and Klose are of course both Polish and actually speak Polish when playing to confuse German speaking opponents both for club and country. This was a close game in 2006, with Germany stealing a late win. There will be no doubting Poland’s eagerness and tenacity but I fancy the Germans to win 3-0 too. I hope the Poles can cause a shock, there’s a lot of support for them here in England unsurprisingly but once again, it looks like Ballack to run the show tonight.