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European Championship!

Discussion in 'Colosseum' started by joacqin, May 27, 2008.

  1. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Someone has to start and seeing as our resident football ultra's team didn't qualify (I am talking about you Barmy) it needs to be someone from a country which is actually good enough to play in the championship. What are your thoughts and musings on this tournament that is just an itty bitty bit less interesting than the World Cup?

    My own, I do not know when it comes to Sweden I would be very happy if we get past the group stage. The most interesting during the group stage will definately be "the group of death" it is a term that tends to be used in every big championship but never has the name been more apt. Three real contenders in one group and a fourth team that would be a shoe in for advancement in any other group. France, Italy, Holland and Romania, which of the big three will fail miserably and which team will underestimate Romania which is a really really good team?
     
  2. Register Gems: 29/31
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    Group A:
    Czech Republic
    Portugal
    Switzerland
    Turkey

    Group B:
    Austria
    Croatia
    Germany
    Poland

    Group C:
    France
    Italy
    Netherlands
    Romania

    Group D:
    Greece
    Russia
    Spain
    Sweden


    And here's my predictions(points in parenthesis).

    Group A:
    Czech Republic(7)
    Portugal(7)
    Turkey(1)
    Switzerland(1)

    Comment:
    Turkey and Switzerland doesn't have a chance. Both Portugal and the Czechs are in the form of their lives' and can both be considered cup contenders.

    Group B:
    Germany(6)
    Poland(6)
    Croatia(6)
    Austria(0)

    Comment: Three good teams in poor form and one poor team in good form. While Poland and Croatia fight for the other qualification spot Germany almost **** things up but manage to retain the lead. They won't go as far as 2006 though; they need Klinsmann.

    Group C:
    Italy(7)
    Netherlands(6)
    France(3)
    Romania(1)

    Comment: Italy faced all three of these teams in the European Championship 2000 and was the best team back them; winning against Romania with 2-0, Netherlands on penalties in a highly entertaining goalless draw, but loosing against France after some very dumb referee decisions at the end. This group can end up in any way but I think that Italy will win against France and Netherlands, a lot of bad blood there especially against France, but screw up totally against Romania and get a dull 0-0. Expect a repeat of Italy-Denmark 2004. France will play **** as always and win with a late 1-0 or 2-1 goal against Romania, if even that.

    Group D:
    Russia (9)
    Spain (6)
    Greece (3)
    Sweden (0)

    Comment: Probably the hardest group to estimate as they're all very form-based teams. Russia is in a great form and have Guus Hiddink at the helm which is why I put them at the top. Spain has a decent form and has a tactic that is extremely lethal against the Swedish one and will win with at least 2-0. Greece is in the shape of their lives, 2004 nonwithstanding, but faces three very hard opponents and will win with 2-1 against Sweden or something like that.

    However, if Sweden's Ibrahimovic, Henrik Larsson, Tobias Linderoth, and Fredrik Ljungberg play well then Sweden might very well end up at the top of the group; forcing Spain out of the playoffs.
     
  3. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    Why are England not there? Absolutely horrendous. It's embarrassing that we didn't qualify.

    I needed something to make it interesting for me, so I've placed the following bets: Italy to win. Torres to get top scorer and a Germany/Italy final.

    Out of the favourites...

    Spain - Nah, chokers.
    Holland - Nah, chokers.
    Italy - Very strong, they've got the best chance IMO.
    Germany - Very good chance. The Germans always win football games without playing too well. Always a threat.
    France - Can't see it myself.

    Here's how I reckon the tournament will go looking at it quickly....

    Group A:
    Czech Republic
    Portugal
    Switzerland
    Turkey

    - Czechs and Portugal to qualify. Portugal top.

    Group B:
    Austria
    Croatia
    Germany
    Poland

    - Croatia and Germany to qualify. Germany top.

    Group C:
    France
    Italy
    Netherlands
    Romania

    - Italy and France to qualify. Italy top.

    Group D:
    Greece
    Russia
    Spain
    Sweden

    - Spain and Sweden to qualify. Sweden top.

    Quarters:

    QF1 - Portugal vs Croatia - Croatia to win.

    QF2 - Germany vs Czechs - Germany to win.

    QF3 - Italy vs Spain - Italy to win.

    QF4 - Sweden vs France - France to win.

    Semi's:

    SF1 - Germany vs France - Germany to win.

    SF2 - Italy vs Croatia - Italy to win.

    Final:

    Germany vs Italy - ITALY CHAMPIONS, Germany runners up

    France to beat Sweden in 3rd place playoff.
     
  4. Montresor

    Montresor Mostly Harmless Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder

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    The tournament program can be seen here.

    My predictions:

    Group A:
    Portugal (7)
    Czech Republic (7)
    Switzerland (3)
    Turkey (0)

    My guesses are (almost) the same as Register's. However the group is open - Turkey has the capacity to surprise, and the Swiss play at home.

    Group B:
    Germany (9)
    Croatia (6)
    Poland (1)
    Austria (1)

    Germany qualifies before Croatia. Poland will disappoint, and Austria just isn't strong enough even at home.

    Group C:
    France (5)
    Italy (5)
    Netherlands (5)
    Romania (0)

    A very open group, but I don't believe in Romania. I give the other three teams five points each and guess France wins the group before Italy - these two teams are "professional" enough to win the group at the expense of The Netherlands.

    Group D:
    Spain (9)
    Sweden (6)
    Greece (3)
    Russia (0)

    Again a very interesting group. I'm guessing Spain and Sweden; Greece isn't as strong as these two teams and Russia has often disappointed in the great championships. But this could also be said for Spain, so don't rule out Greece or Russia just yet.

    Quarters:

    Portugal - Croatia

    Germany - Czech Republic

    France - Sweden

    Italy - Spain

    Semis:

    Germany - Portugal

    France - Italy

    3rd place:

    Italy - Portugal

    FINAL:

    GERMANY - France
     
  5. Register Gems: 29/31
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    Actually, I think it's one of the best things to happen to English national football in a long time. English national football needs to change, badly. Both the play and the attitude and I think and hope that this was the deciding move.
     
  6. martaug Gems: 23/31
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    ok wait, how did england not make it? aren't they like guarenteed a spot?
     
  7. Montresor

    Montresor Mostly Harmless Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder

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    Only the host teams (Switzerland and Austria) were guaranteed a spot. Even the reigning champions (Greece) had to qualify.
     
  8. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    Strangely enough, I'm not far from agreeing with you. Missing out on the Euros IS embarrassing for England, but it could be the best thing to happen to us in a while. We needed a kick up the jacksy. Croatia are a good team, were we screwed up was dropping points against crappy nations.

    Personally, I think we're at the same level as teams like Spain, Holland, Argentina, France. There's no reason why those teams should be better than us. If we played a game against a teams, we wouldn't get embarassed or anything. We'd be perfectly capable of holding our own and the result would be 50/50.

    I just don't get it, when you look at our team (well, the team I would play) it's very good.

    ---------------- James -----------------

    Richards ------ Rio ----- Terry ----- Cole

    Beckham -- Hargreaves -- Gerrard -- Young

    --------- Rooney ------------------------

    -------------- Defoe / Owen / Agbonlahor

    Then you've got players like Joe Cole, Owen (still a good poacher I reckon) Wes Brown, Bentley, Lampard etc. you can bring on.

    Now, all bias and prejudice aside, that's a good side. What I don't want to hear is that England have crap players. We don't have crap players. We were the most represented nation in the Champions League final. Not bad, really. We have a good team, which is kind of little bit weak up front, but in my opinion there are very few, if any, teams with better defenders. That squad should be a big power in football.

    Where we struggle is bringing those players together so that they perform like they do for their clubs. Hopefully Capello can get them working. What Fabio will bring us is organisation, hopefully. We're not going to destroy teams, but we'll be a hard team to beat - just like you'd expect an Italian to make us. Personally, I liked our performance in last nights 2-0 win over the USA. We looked strong and had good ball retention. Where we've struggled in the last few years is constantly giving the ball away easily. Although the game itself was boring, we looked like we were progressing and the manager is imposing is own style on the team, slowly but surely.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2008
  9. martaug Gems: 23/31
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    hey if you are not beating the usa at soccer(football) you are doing something wrong:)
     
  10. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    The US are not a bad team. They've beaten Sweden, Poland someone else recently. They ain't bad. They're never going to compete with the elite, but they're OK. They had a shocker last night though saying that! They were dire!
     
  11. Merlanni

    Merlanni ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    The dutch just draw against Denmark. I am glad to be a hockeyplayer. We make fun of them.
     
  12. martaug Gems: 23/31
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    i remember when the usa was the laughingstock of football, you mean they have actually gotten better.
     
  13. Déise

    Déise Both happy and miserable, without the happy part!

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    They certainly aren't a laughing stock anymore, though they're far from world beaters. If they were drawn in a weak group they'd definitely be in the mix for qualification for the Euros. Note: I mean the qualifiers for the competition, not the groups above for the finalists. They'd be one of the weaker teams if they did make it. Given Americans love of success I'm not sure if they'd regard that as much praise but football is an extremely competitive sport played by almost every country. They have moved up the rankings quickly in a short space of time.

    As much as I'd love to see Ireland in the Euros I can't complain that they didn't qualify. The current team is very short on quality. It's a shame England didn't make it, it's always much better to have at least one team you know and are familiar with. They would have been another country looking to win it with the players that they have. The current team lacks cohesion and balance though. The only player with any real pace is the left back and that immediately makes things a lot easier for the opposition as it cuts out a lot of attacking options. England also lack fluency to their play, with far too many players attempting fifty yard hollywood balls rather than simple five yarders to retain possession. I liked Barmy's team above. Young and Agbonlahor/Defoe would add a lot if pace to the team. I do think Beckham is past it though. I'd go for Joe Cole instead, or shunt Gerrard over for Carrick if he keeps trying ridiculous passes.

    My predictions for those teams who did make it:

    Group A:
    Czech Republic
    Portugal
    Switzerland
    Turkey

    - Czech republic were in our qualifying group and I can't see them winning it. Still dangerous but not the team of a few years ago. Portugal to top the group. Some excellent players but I'm not convinced the full eleven to win it. Swiss/Turks no hopers.

    Group B:
    Austria
    Croatia
    Germany
    Poland

    - Germany should come top easily and will be looking to win it. Croatia next best. Poland/Austria not great.

    Group C:
    France
    Italy
    Netherlands
    Romania

    Romania obvious no hopers. Dutch have some great players but I don't think the entire team is up to scratch. France are obvious contenders but I think they're slightly in transition. Italy are my tip to win Euro 2008, just ahead of Spain and Germany. Think they'll come second in the group though, they're notoriously slow starters in these things.

    Group D:
    Greece
    Russia
    Spain
    Sweden

    Spain to come top. They have the best squad in the competition but Spain never seem to form a cohesive group. The centre of the defence is a bit suspect as well. Any of the other three could join them in the next round. Greece seem to be in good form lately and Russian football is definitely on the rise. Sweden are decent as well, although Larssonn and Ljungberg are really pushing on. I'm looking forward to getting a good look at Ibrahimovic. I'll plump for Russia on a pure hunch.
     
  14. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    Sure, especially if the team needs to change generations. France missed the '94 cup altogether, only to come back with a vengeance in '98 and '00.
     
  15. Déise

    Déise Both happy and miserable, without the happy part!

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    I think Clairefontaine had a lot to do with France's recent improvements. England recently scrapped their proposed football academy as Wembley has put them short of cash. Some clubs do do good work (Middlesborough, Man City) but it's becoming extremely difficult for youngsters to break through at many of the clubs now.
     
  16. Merlanni

    Merlanni ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    I hope for the 6+5 rule, That way clubs are forced to put money in youth programs.
     
  17. Apeman Gems: 25/31
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    Well I'm not going to give any predictions. I do know that I will get in the car tomorrow morning and head on towards Bern. We have tickets for the Italy-Netherlands match and I won't have to say who I am rooting for even if the chances are in favour of the azuri.

    In any case I will be having a blast on the orange square in Bern.:cool:
     
  18. Merlanni

    Merlanni ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    For the price of a new pc? Or the lucky way. Anyway, nice and not jealous. Footbal is not on then top list of sports for me, hockey is.

    As for then games, the first one is as expected: poor.
    The second one made up for it. But I have one big question for the uefa:

    Why the heck did those two extreme fouls got away whitout any card. Both were intentional and red. Here we go again.
     
  19. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I picked draws for every game in the first round in my office sweepstake. I figure I must get some points for that. I'd better read this thread more closely in order to get the tips from all you experts. Are there no British teams in it all? I have no idea what picks to make and especially have no idea who to pick as First Goal Scorer in each game.
     
  20. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    No British teams and as for first goal scorer, that is incredibly difficult. Picking the one with the silliest name is as good a criteria as any. ;) Who would have thought that Pepe would be the first scorer for Portugal?
     
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