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Euro 2008: Group D Breakdown and Final Picks

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The final group gets play underway Tuesday with the following fixtures:

  • Spain v. Russia (11:30 EST)
  • Greece v. Sweden (2:30 EST)

The remaining games in the group will be held on June 13th and 17th.

First In: Spain has the talent. They’ll make it through to the quarter finals, but one has to question the decision to leave their leading scorer, Raul, off the roster.

First Out: Sweden. A loss and a close win this year to the US Men’s team does not bode highly. Also, one gets a little worried when their coach brings back journeyman Henrik Larrson, who has not played much of late, to aid star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic‘s scoring drought.

The battle here for advancement is between Russia and Greece. Both teams do not primarily play in other club leagues. Russia has the most players that play on club teams in their nation, compared to teams in the tournament. This appears to fit the pedigree of the Greeks from 2004, who were 150:1 long shots to win. They do not play the number of games that the major clubs do, and are familiar with each other from the national stage. I’ll go with Russia to pull the Greece, eliminating the cup holders and advancing to the quarterfinals.

Lastly, here’s a summary of my group and Euro final picks:

Group Winners: Portugal, Germany, Italy and Spain

Second-Place: Turkey, Croatia, Romania (let’s make it interesting) and Russia

Quarter-Finals: Portugal over Croatia, Germany over Turkey, Spain over Romania, and Italy over Russia

Semi-Finals: Germany over Portugal, and Italy over Spain

Finals: Germany v. Italy

Champions: Germany gets a crack at playing the WC holders, winning their fourth

We’ll see how horribly I do with these picks. Can I get half? Check back for updates periodically throughout.


Written by walonline

June 7, 2008 at 12:18 pm

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