Let’s beat the odds: 49% chance of final between Spain and Germany
WARSAW, Poland ● As the semi finals loom at Euro 2012, no one can argue the four best teams are left standing in Poland-Ukraine.
There were no real surprises at the quarter-final stage. With two left from each of Groups B and C, here is your semifinal preview.
According to Euroclubindex there is now a 49% chance of a Spain v Germany final at Euro 2012.
Other possibilities are estimated as ESP v ITA 23%, POR v GER 19% and POR v ITA 9%.
Let’s see if they will get it right.
Spain vs. Portugal: Today at Donetsk, Ukraine
Once again according to Euroclubindex there is no chance in the world that Portugal is going to beat the reigning champions. The website has calculated that there is only a 28% chance for Portugal to make it to the final. That means 78% of the odds are in favour of Spain.
Nevertheless, these two countries are more than just your normal soccer rivalry. Direct neighbours, they share hundreds of years of history. Portugal’s border aligns with two things — Spain and the Atlantic Ocean. In 1762, Spain unsuccessfully invaded their smaller neighbour during the Seven Years War.
Fast forward to today and they share healthy relations. In fact, a joint bid from Portugal-Spain to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup fell short, only behind Russia.
But in a game that will include eight Real Madrid teammates splitting club alliances for their countries, it should be nothing short of a mouth-watering battle for the entire world to witness.
The last time these two played at a major tournament was in World Cup 2010 at the Round of 16 knockout stage. Spain dumped Portugal 1-0 on their way to their only World Cup title.
Spain was favoured in Africa and here again as well. But this time is different. Portugal has been getting better as the tournament goes on. It is Cristiano Ronaldo’s time. He is in top form and they have a band wagon of believers. If ever Portugal were to live up to their hype and expectations, this would be a good time.
The Spanish, on the other hand, have passed every test laid out in front of them for the last six years. Every challenge, every question of doubt, they have answered. Vicente del Bosque has adjusted well without a designated target man up front. His questionable formations have all worked so far.
Prediction — Spain 2 Portugal 1
Germany vs. Italy: Thurs in Warsaw, Poland
No European countries have a greater football history of success than these two. They stand two-three in World Cup titles only behind Brazil. Germany’s three Euro championships are more than anyone else. Italy has one.
Italy won their last World Cup on German soil, while Germany won their last on Italian soil.
A calculation will see though that this time, Germany has a likelier chance to steam to the finals then Italy. The odds are 67 against 33 percent.
However, when these two meet, enthralling matches follow. Italy’s 2-0 win over the Germans was labeled the best match of World Cup 2006. Way back in Mexico 1970, they provided the world with a 4-3 semifinal thriller. In a wide open extra time, five goals were scored in one of the greatest World Cup games.
Fast forward to today, and German boss Joachim Low prides himself on playing attacking football. Nobody scores goals in bunches as the Germans do. Who would you rather have in your goal? Italy’s Gianluigi Buffon is clutch. He plays with a strong passion for his country. Germany’s backstop Manuel Neuer is one of the best in the world.
Midfielders Andrea Pirlo of Italy and Mesut Ozil of Germany have been excellent. Both have orchestrated their respective offensive attacks with precision, and both are early contenders for player of the tournament.
Let’s hope for another epic chapter to be written by these two world soccer powers. Germany is on a mission. They take care of business.
Prediction — Germany 3 Italy 1