Friday, June 8, 2012

Prediction for Euro 2012

With just one day to go & the entire nation talking football (or at least as per the Neo Sports ad), here is me in Paul-the-octopus mode with the predictions for all teams in Euro 2012.

Simply put,
Team I support - Spain.
Team that should win the tournament - Germany
Team that will win the tournament - England
< Now waiting while you gather yourselves after the laugh and all that rolling on the floor >

Top scorer - Benzema (4 Goals)
Finals MVP - Joe Hart
Tournament MVP - Ozil

Predicting that England win will take some justification isn’t it? Here it goes...


Well, where do I start? Here is a squad which draws 6 of its players from a side placed 8th in its own league, Liverpool! Its best player is suspended for the first two games. And this whole Rio Ferdinand issue has taken spotlight away from the fact that this squad is just not good enough to compete, let alone win.

But when has consistent failure ever dampened the spirit/expectations of a British sports fan? BBC Sports' Phil McNulty's blog title read "England win wasn't pretty ... but neither were the Greeks" ( Obviously implying England is going to win the tournament via 1-0 results in the knockout phase! 

But when Chelsea could do it, why not England? Isn't John Terry destined to lift the European prize before his trial? Who needs quality if you have luck? So there goes my crazy prediction for this European Championship - England for the win!!

Where they should finish: 4th in their group. 
Where they will finish: Winners

(Funny Fact: Liverpool has the same number of players in the tournament as Barcelona! Only Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Dynamo Kiev have more representation)


Quietly, Germany is assembling one of the best squads in the world. There is experience in Schweinsteiger, Lahm and Gomez. Talented youngsters in Gotze & Reus. And a world class player to provide that magic - Mesut Ozil.

This year was supposed to be Germany's year. Bayern Munich should have won the Champions League – They blew it. Germany lost the 2008 Finals to Spain and the 2010 Semi Finals also to Spain. A top quality, injury free squad that is hungry for revenge should go in to the tournament as favorites in my opinion. This might well be Germany’s year. But I think fate has something crewel for them again – in the Finals.

Where they should finish: Winners
Where they will finish: Losing Finalists


Spain is bookmaker's favorite. And who would like to bet against the defending European and World champions?

Injuries to David Villa and Carlos Puyol however are both severe setbacks, as these are two areas where Spain does not have quality cover. Fatigue is the other reason why Spain will suffer. And as Phil Ball writes here, Spanish media and most people in Spain think this will not be their year.

So, who will their conquerors be? Have to say France or Germany…

France vs. Spain in the quarters is a possibility. Spain before 2008 had a history of losing in the quarter finals. So I am predicting it is going to end there for Spain. Either way, it should be great fun to see how they react and I really hope that they can defend their title they so brilliantly won in 2008.

Where they should finish: Runners-Up
Where they will finish: Losing Quarter Finalists (To France)


They have the squad to compete well and in Benzema a finisher in top form. But still not enough ammunition to get past Germany in the Semi Finals I think.

Where they should finish: Semi Finalists
Where they will finish: Semi Finalists


Basically the draw is such that any two teams progressing from the Group of death should make it to the semis. Good team with some very good players, but their star player whom they are totally dependent on for the goals has a reputation of going AWOL on the really important day. 

Semi Finals (if they get there) will be as far as this squad can go.

Where they should finish: Knocked out from the group of death
Where they will finish: Losing Semi Finalists


Last time the match-fixing scandals raised its ugly head in 2006, Cannavaro led Italy to a famous triumph in the World Cup the same year. I was wondering if this squad could do a repeat. In one word - No. Their defense is not magical any more. Make no mistake, they still have some very good players but their lack of width in the midfield could hurt them in the quarter finals match against England/France. 

Where they should finish: Quarter Finalists
Where they will finish: Quarter Finalists

Greece, Poland

Greece might be headed for an economic catastrophe, but I think their football team will somehow qualify from Group A. Home support might just take Poland through. But Germany and Holland/Portugal in the quarter finals might be a bit too far for any of the teams going through from this group.

Where they should finish: Knocked out in group stages
Where they will finish: Quarter-finalists


For one of the pre-tournament favorites along with Germany and Spain, they are pretty unlucky to be in the group of death.

Sneijder has not been the same player this season. Robben might still be hurting after that poor performance in the UCL finals. Somehow, I am not sure whether this squad is united for the cause. And the Portugal squad is definitely good enough if Holland is not at its very best. 

Where they should finish: Semi Finalist
Where they will finish: Knocked out from the group of death

Denmark, Ireland, Croatia, Sweden, Ukraine, Russia, Czech

Russia should consider themselves very unlucky to be in this list, but I am picking Greece to pull off a minor upset and qualify from Group A. Home support could also see Poland through over Czech in the same group. The rest I guess will be surprised/ thrilled to reach round 2.

Where they will finish: Knocked out in Group Stage.

Phew .. Enjoy the tournament folks!


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  2. i think i will slip into depression if ur prediction of england winning comes true! it was bad enough watching bayern munich give roman abrahamovic an early christmas gift.

    btw, u r underestimating holland. they shd do well even though they r in the group of death.

  3. Haha.. Even I am hoping my prediction does not come true. In all probability it won't, but I think luck will play a huge factor this tournament. And something tells me that England will be that lucky side.

    Holland are the third favourites after Spain and Germany, so no way underestimating them. But there are already some murmurs with Huntelaar not happy, etc.. So I am picking Portugal to cause an upset.

  4. I would go with following set of lineups:
    QF1 Russia v/s Netherlands
    QF2 Germany v/s Poland
    QF3 Spain v/s England
    QF4 France v/s Croatia

    SF1 Netherlands v/s Spain
    SF2 Germany v/s France

    Final Spain v/s Germany

    Winner - Spain

    Finals MVP - David Silva

    Top Scorer - Fernando Torres

    Torunament MVP - Mesut Ozil

  5. Fernando Torres is an inspired pick :) Really hope you are correct with Spain and Torres!

  6. data - ur predictions are too "regular" if u know what i mean. some spice needed!

    going by russia's performance in the first match, they cd pull an upset with a bit of luck

    and i think it is time for holland to shine finally. expecting them and england to do well..