The 2012 UEFA European Football Championship began with a thrilling draw, between the co-hosts Poland and the 2004 champions Greece and it was followed by a thumping 4-1 victory for Russia over Czech Republic. However, the fourth match of Euro 2012 is going to be the first occasion where two teams tipped to be the favourites from Group B (colloquially termed as the 'Group of Death') will go face to face. Germany is a star studded team, with the likes of Özil, Schweinsteiger, Muller and Lahm, among several others. Portugal may not have such a team but they have their captain, Cristiano Ronaldo, who is probably the best attacking player in the game right now.
They definitely start as the favourites for the match with their strong defence, solid midfied, with Schweinsteiger and Khedira and a flamboyant attack, with Özil, Muller, Podolski and Gomez. Their creative style of play and good passing is definitely an asset against a meek Portuguese defence. Özil would definitely be the key-man in providing the through balles to Muller, Podolski and Gomez. A weak link of Germany is in either of their full back positions. Lahm may be able to cover up for either of the flanks but the question is, who will take up the other position? It is likely to be Boateng, but I'm not all that confident about his abilities in the full-back position.
Boateng-Badstuber- Mertesacker-Lahm ( C )
While many have heard of only one name in this team, Cristiano Ronaldo, his contribution alone won't be enough. Besides, his past performances for the national side hasn't been all that impressive, compared to his achievements at Real Madrid. He does have the support of the equally tricky attacking midfielder, Nani and a good midfield with a proper blend of both creativity in Meireles and Moutinho and defence in Veloso. Meireles may not have been at his best during his season at Chelsea but he does have the potential. However, the crucial aspect of the game, the defence, is not up to the mark in Portugal's case and the retirement of Ricardo Carvalho has only made things worse. It would be interesting to see Paulo Bento's tactics to put up with the formidable German attack.
Ronaldo( C )-Postiga-Nani
Both teams would definitely be looking to take an early advantage in the group of death and Portugal would also look forward to avenge their defeat in the quarter-final against the Germans in 2008. I do feel that Portugal have enough quality to upset the odds. I believe Ronaldo would rise to the occasion and help his team grab the vital win.
Likely score: Portugal 3-1 Germany
Have a nice day,