Monday, March 19, 2012

Who will win Euro 2012?

The European Championship in Ukraine and Poland is approaching so I feel it's time to take a more in-depth look as to which nation stands the best chance of winning this competition.

I don't think that you'd have to look beyond the usual heavyweights to find the winner of this tournament, either. The usual suspects are Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, and England and I'd be amazed if it wasn't one of them.

England are traditional let-downs in big tournaments due to either a lack of determination, a lack of cohesion, or perhaps even just a lack of confidence. Either way, England never do well in big tournaments nowadays and given the severe lack of quality in the English ranks, I don't see it being them that wins this tournament and the Euro 2012 betting reflects this.

Portugal promise a lot but generally fail to deliver due to a lack of quality strikers. Their midfield is absolutely superb and Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the top players in the world but this side misses a poacher and they'll miss that the most in the tighter games and thus I don't see this European Championship ending as theirs.

Italy boast some huge names but little else nowadays as they're in something of a transitional period. Barring the likes of Pepe and Balotelli, Italy are very slow and predictable. This means that they find it harder to score against sides and thus an early exit from this tournament would not surprise me.

Netherlands are in a bit of a transitional period too, realistically speaking. They've still got world-class midfielders in Robben, van der Vaart, and Sneijder. However, if we take them out of the equation then their midfield is good to average and the onus would be entirely upon Robin van Persie to carry them. Netherlands are good enough in attack to cause problems but weak enough in defence to lose the big games.

France under Laurent Blanc are not to be underestimated as he's instilled strong belief in the French squad and he's given them a lot of discipline. They now play football like Bordeaux when he was in charge there and they're very efficient as a result. They're not the best side in this tournament but they could go far with Blanc at the helm. People who bet on football need to bear this in mind.

I can't look past Spain winning the tournament though. They have far too many quality players in every position for me to consider any other side. The only sides that Spain tends to struggle with are South American nations and they won't be encountering any of those here. Germany pose Spain's biggest threat with some excellent midfielders but they lack the defensive composure and the finesse to better the likes of Spain. I'll be surprised if Spain don't win the Euro 2012 because it really is theirs to throw away, given their golden generation of players.

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