The Welsh Gull

Torquay United, the Football League and other stuff

My Euro 2012 predictions

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My logical predictions

Group A
Poland 1-1 Greece
Russia 2-0 Czech Rep
Greece 1-0 Czech Rep
Poland 0-2 Russia
Greece 1-1 Russia
Czech Rep 1-2 Poland

1. Russia – 7 (+4)
2. Greece – 5 (+1)
3. Poland – 4 (-1)
4. Czech Republic – 0 (-4)

Group B
Netherlands 2-0 Denmark
Germany 2-1 Portugal
Denmark 0-0 Portugal
Netherlands 1-1 Germany
Portugal 0-1 Netherlands
Denmark 0-4 Germany

1. Germany – 7 (+5)
2. Netherlands – 7 (+3)
3. Portugal – 1 (-2)
4. Denmark – 1 (-6)

Group C
Spain 2-1 Italy
Ireland 1-1 Croatia
Italy 1-1 Croatia
Spain 1-1 Ireland
Croatia 0-2 Spain
Italy 2-1 Ireland

1. Spain – 7 (+3)
2. Italy – 4 (0)
3. Ireland – 2 (-1)
4. Croatia – 2 (-2)

Group D
France 2-0 England
Ukraine 1-2 Sweden
Ukraine 0-3 France
Sweden 1-1 England
Sweden 0-2 France
England 1-1 Ukraine

1. France – 9 (+7)
2. Sweden – 4 (-1)
3. England – 2 (-2)
4. Ukraine – 1 (-4)

Quarter-Finals
Russia 1-2 Netherlands
Germany 3-0 Greece
Spain 1-0 Sweden
France 2-1 Italy

Semi-Finals
Netherlands 1-0 Spain
Germany 2-1 France

Final
Netherlands 1-2 Germany (just as in 74)

Player of the Tournament: Mesut Ozil
Top Scorer: Mario Gomez

But that’s not necessarily what I think will happen. Football tournaments rarely stick to what is logical – see Euro 92, Euro 2004, AfCON 2011, Champions League 2012. So…

My Gary Neville* predictions

Group A
1. Russia
2. Greece
3. Poland
4. Czech Republic

Group B
1. Germany
2. Netherlands
3. Portugal
4. Denmark

Group C
1. Italy
2. Ireland
3. Spain
4. Croatia

Group D
1. France
2. England
3. Sweden
4. Ukraine

Quarter-Finals
Netherlands beat Russia
Germany beat Greece
England beat Italy (either that or they’ll beat Spain)
Ireland beat France (on penalties)

Semi-Finals
England beat Netherlands
Germany beat Ireland

Final
England beat Germany

* – because it’s written in the stars, man

This is actually what I think will happen. Or something like this. I’ve just got a feeling that this tournament won’t go as expected. It is poised for a major surprise or surprises. There are a few teams here that are on the verge of either winning or crashing out in the groups – England, France, Spain (France 2002 repeat?), Russia, Italy. The Germans and the Dutch have a habit of getting knocked out early on too. And then you’ve got total wildcards like Greece and Ireland who are in very good form, and Portugal who have the best player in the tournament and might yet come from nowhere. Anything could happen.

Major tournaments rarely go as expected. The little random factors that can swing knockout football always turn up – poor refeering decisions that change the course of a match (red cars, penalties, disallowed goals), bad weather, freak injuries, and other small events. And penalty shootouts mean the difference between elimination and progression despite having little to do with footballing ability.

While logic suggests Germany should steamroller this one, as they have the most talented squad and play well together, I don’t think it’ll be the case, because something always crops up when you least expect it. It’s knockout football – each match is unique, surprising things happen, and it isn’t unusual for the winning team to not be the best team. If that wasn’t the case, Chelsea wouldn’t be European club champions.

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Written by James Bennett

June 7, 2012 at 22:40

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