Group B teams: Netherlands – Denmark – Germany – Portugal
|Taken from Stock Fresh|
|Taken from The Colombian Herald|
The Netherlands have a very strong attacking team, what with the likes of van der Vaart, Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben and Dirk Kuyt. However, their defence can be broken down if the opposing team play ‘proper football’ and not hoof the ball. They came top of the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying group E with 27 points, beating San Marino 11-0 in the process.
Their main ‘keeper is Maarten Stekelenburg of AS Roma. He is a very consistent goalie, but he faces fierce competition from Michel Vorm (Swansea) and Tim Krul (Newcastle) who both have had fantastic seasons in the Barclays Premier League.
In defence, they have Everton custodian John Heitinga, who people know, is a solid defender. Alongside him in The Flying Dutchman’s defence is PSV Eindhoven pair Wilfred Bouma and Jetro Willems.
In midfield, they have tough tackling World Cup runner-up Nigel De Jong, who plays his football at Manchester City. He will aim to break up play and dictate the pace of the game along with A.C Milan holding midfielder Mark van Bommel.
Wesley Sneijder has found it tough this season as Inter Milan fell way below expectations, which resulted in them finishing in 9th place in Serie A. He will want to transform his season around and build on the disappointment of losing the 2010 World Cup final in South Africa, by winning the Euros, which I think they could, as their squad is promising.
Van der Vaart could prove pivotal in Holland’s success. Barcelona youngster Ibrahim Afellay will want be eager to show what he can do, his quick pace will cause havoc with defenders, and their forwards such as van Persie, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Luuk De Jong and Arjen Robben will be looking to get on the end of the fierce crosses.
Robin van Persie will be looking to add to his already record breaking season with Arsenal, and Arjen Robben will be hoping to put the Champions League disappointment behind him and set Europe alight.
My prediction: Semi Finalists
Goalkeepers: Maarten Stekelenburg (AS Roma), Michel Vorm (Swansea), Tim Krul (Newcastle).
Defenders: Khalid Boulahrouz (Stuttgart), John Heitinga (Everton), Joris Mathijsen (Malaga), Ron Vlaar (Feyenoord), Wilfred Bouma (PSV Eindhoven), Gregory van der Wiel (Ajax), Jetro Willems (PSV Eindhoven).
Midfielders: Ibrahim Afellay (Barcelona), Mark van Bommel (AC Milan), Nigel de Jong (Manchester City), Stijn Schaars (Sporting Lisbon), Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan), Kevin Strootman (PSV Eindhoven), Rafael van der Vaart (Tottenham).
Forwards: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Schalke), Luuk de Jong (FC Twente), Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool), Luciano Narsingh (Heerenveen), Robin van Persie (Arsenal), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich).
|Taken from Bleacher Report|
Denmark have quite a strong and resolute squad, but could really struggle in this group. Thomas Sorensen is normally between the sticks for the Danes, but suffered a back injury in their Euro 2012 warm up game against Brazil, which they subsequently lost by 3 goals to 1.
Since then, Manchester United shot stopper Andres Lindergaard and Leicester ‘keeper Kasper Schmeichel have become a part of the squad. Both are very good goalkeepers in my opinion, and they will do well in this summer’s tournament.
In defence, they have Liverpool man Daniel Agger, who I rate very highly, his all round play is superb, and he needs to be on form to halt the likes of Ronaldo and van Persie in their tracks. Full back Lars Jacobsen showed fans what he can do when he had a short spell at West Ham United, he will want to impress his critics.
In their midfield, they have Michael Silberbauer of Young Boys, who showed his class in their game against Tottenham in their Europa league game a couple of seasons ago. Silberbauer and William Kvist need to take control of the game and break up play as much as they can, to give Denmark as much breathing time as they need, and to disrupt the flow of play.
Wide man Christian Eriksen will want to support Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner in attack. If he doesn’t make bursting runs forward, they will really struggle.
My prediction: Last in the group.
Goalkeepers: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City), Stephan Andersen (Evian), Anders Lindegaard (Manchester United).
Defenders: Simon Kjaer (Roma), Daniel Agger (Liverpool), Simon Poulsen (AZ Alkmaar), Lars Jacobsen (Copenhagen), Andreas Bjelland (Nordsjaelland), Jores Okore (Nordsjaelland), Daniel Wass (Evian).
Midfielders: Christian Poulsen (Evian), William Kvist (Stuttgart), Christian Eriksen (Ajax), Lasse Schone (NEC), Michael Silberbauer (Young Boys), Jakob Poulsen (Midtjylland), Thomas Kahlenberg (Evian), Niki Zimling (Club Brugge).
Forwards: Michael Krohn-Dehli (Brondby), Dennis Rommedahl (Brondby), Nicklas Bendtner (Sunderland), Nicklas Pedersen (Groningen), Tobias Mikkelsen (Nordsjaelland).
|Taken from Fan Pop|
Germany are a very, very strong side indeed, and they will go far in the Euros in Poland & Ukraine. In goal, they have Bayern Munchen number 1 Manuel Neuer, he showed his class against Chelsea in their UEFA Champions League final loss, and I believe he has the credentials to be the best ‘keeper in the world.
3 other Bayern players make up the defence, these being Holger Badstuber, Jerome Boateng and Phillip Lahm, this means they all understand each other’s game, and this can only consolidate their defence. They also have Benedict Howedes of Schalke, he is an amazing centre back, and will score a fair few goals for the Germans from set pieces.
In midfield, they have Real Madrid super kid Mesut Ozil, who will be eager to add to his impressive performances at the 2010 World Cup, which earned him a contract for the La Liga champions. Bastian Schweinsteiger will be looking to impress, also.
Mario Gomez is looking likely to lead the attack, after his goal scoring season for Bayern, scoring 13 goals in the Champions League. Newly signed Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski will want to impress his new boss.
My prediction: Finalists
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Tim Wiese (Werder Bremen), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover).
Defenders: Holger Badstuber (Bayern Munich), Jérôme Boateng (Bayern Munich), Benedikt Höwedes (Schalke), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal).
Midfielders: Lars Bender (Bayer Leverkusen), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Thomas Müller (Bayern Munich), Mesut Özil (Real Madrid), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Marco Reus (Borussia Mönchengladbach), André Schürrle (Bayer Leverkusen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Mario Götze (Borussia Dortmund), İlkay Gündoğan (Borussia Dortmund).
Forwards: Miroslav Klose (Lazio), Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich), Lukas Podolski (Köln).
|Taken from Canada.com|
Portugal are again strong contenders in this group, and Cristiano Ronaldo will be hoping to transfer his club form to the international stage. In goal is Eduardo who is at times a risky ‘keeper, but then again most are!
In front of him in defence is Fabio Coentrao, who has had an impressive season at Real Madrid. Pepe has also been solid this season, and will want to do well.
In midfield they will have Raul Meireles of Chelsea, who has disappointed me, and he will want to overcome his own disappointment of missing out on the Champions League final through suspension.
Nani and Ronaldo will be immense in this competition and will play some entertaining football.
My prediction: 3rd in group
Goalkeepers: Eduardo (SL Benfica), Rui Patrício (Sporting Clube de Portugal), Beto (CFR 1907 Cluj).
Defenders: João Pereira (Sporting Clube de Portugal), Fábio Coentrão (Real Madrid CF), Bruno Alves (FC Zenit St Petersburg), Rolando (FC Porto), Ricardo Costa (Valencia CF), Pepe (Real Madrid CF), Miguel Lopes (SC Braga).
Midfielders: Raúl Meireles (Chelsea FC), Miguel Veloso (Genoa CFC), João Moutinho (FC Porto), Rúben Micael (Real Zaragoza), Carlos Martins (Granada CF), Custódio (SC Braga).
Forwards: Nani (Manchester United FC), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid CF), Hugo Almeida (Beşiktaş JK), Ricardo Quaresma (Beşiktaş JK), Silvestre Varela (FC Porto), Hélder Postiga (Real Zaragoza), Nélson Oliveira (SL Benfica)
Written by Adam May
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