8th June 2012
After finishing as runners up at the Euro 2008, Germany hope to go one step further this time, and a victory in their opening game against Portugal would definitely be a step in the right direction. The Selecao, on the other hand, desperately need to raise their game following some dismal showings in warm-up games and the game against one of the title contenders clearly comes at a bad time for Paulo Bento’s side.
The recent uptrend of die Mannschaft coincided with the arrival of coach Joachim Low, who first helped Jurgen Klinsmann lead the national team to the 3rd place at the 2006 World Cup, before taking this team to the Euro 2008 final and another 3rd-place finish at the 2010 World Cup. Everyone can see that Germany have come a long way over the last six years and if there ever was a time for them to end the 16-year-old trophy drought it is now. Die Mannschaft not only boast some of the world’s best footballers, but they also have a great team spirit, with every single player fully dedicated to the team’s cause. Bayern’s Champions League failure was seen as a major blow seeing the 23-man squad features no less than seven players playing their trade at Alianz Arena, but I don’t think that will have a huge impact on team’s performances in Poland and Ukraine. With Bastian Schweinsteiger back to the side after recovering from a calf injury, and all other players fired up for the opening game, Germany look a good bet to beat struggling Portugal.
Similar to Germany, Portugal squad is brimming with world-class footballers, but Selecao’s recent results have been way below their standard and there is only one reason for that. The national team heavily rely on the individual quality of players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani and Joao Moutinho, while there is an obvious lack of cohesion in the squad. This is the only way to explain team’s wretched results over the last few years and the fact they qualified for the last two major tournaments by virtue of play-offs. After beating Bosnia to qualify for the Euro 2012, Selecao have been utterly disappointing in the warm-up games, having shared spoils with Poland and FYR Macedonia, before losing to experimental Turkey side at home in their final test for the Germany game. Taking everything into consideration, I just cannot see how Portugal are going to match a brilliant Germany side, even if Nani is set to return from a foot injury.
Germany may not have been too impressive in recent friendly games, but die Mannschaft tend to deliver at major tournaments and they clearly have more than enough quality to win this game. Portugal are all over the place at the moment and go into this game low on spirits, so home win looks a banker to me.
Verdict: Home win Germany (1)
Best Odds: 1/1
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