Tournament starts tomorrow. Here’s some things you may or may not want or need to know about what’s going to happen. For in-depth, incisive or useful commentary, it might be best to look elsewhere, for random, biased, loosely researched, and potentially inaccurate commentary, keep reading.
Portugal: Oh look, it’s the Cristian Ronaldo show. Though there’s a few others (Nani, Quaresma) who could prove offensive threats while everyone (including Crissy Ron-Ron himself) is admiring pretty boys stepovers. Lots of attacking options and a strong defensive corps, they’ll finish on top of the group.
Czech Republic: Thank God that diving whining shitbag Nedved isn’t playing. I fucking hate that guy. The midfield they have is pretty hot, and their striker Koller is pretty tall. Though apparently strike partner Baros is out of form. They’ll progress anyway.
Switzerland: I’m rooting for them to spring a surprise, but apparently they lack depth, and the coach’s wife is in a coma. Not ideal conditions. Midfield dynamo Tranquillo Barnetta is apparently healthy, and striker Alex Frei has some skillz, but it may not be enough. Unless the crazy go-nuts Swiss superfans spur them to punch above their weight.
Turkey: I don’t know that much about them, but they’ve got some domestic players who could bring the X-factor. Will make the games interesting, but they won’t progress.
Germany: These guys are actually the punters choice, but I don’t think they’ll win it all. however, they’ll definitely take this group. I’m banking on Mario Gomez to have a breakout tournament. Lahm gives them attacking options from the back, but I still can’t see why everybody loves Ballack so much. Prove me something.
Croatia: Not a big fan of their jerseys, but they should progress.
Poland: Had a strong qualifying campaign, but, like Croatia, I can’t pronounce any of their players names.
Austria: Good thing they qualified automatically.
(This group should be a bit of a walk for Germany and Croatia, but the off-field action of fans, though hopefully peaceful, could be the story here). And actually, Poland could challenge for second spot. They hate Germany; hopefully the action will all be on the pitch.
Italy: Has Daniele de Rossi and Aquilani in midfield. (Start Aquilani!) Loss of Cannavaro is a bummer, but the World Champs have depth and creativity. As long as coach Donadoni doesn’t fuck it up. That guy is a fucking liability. Still, this team is still good.
France: Tonnes of depth, and Franck Ribery and the ‘Benz could make a strong case for the young bloods. The Italy-France match could be explosively awesome.
Netherlands: So many options, so much talent, so unlikely to really impress as a collective.
Romania: Mutu and Chivu. Could pull a dark-horse surprise. But will fall to the Group of Death.
Spain: Perennial underachievers, but I have big hopes for them this year. Ramos, Villa, el Nino, and Fabregas: their youth are peaking at the right time. Could go deep.
Greece: Boring. But apparently hard to beat (See EURO 2004). Same coach, same stifling style that could see them make it at least out of the group stage.
Sweden: Could progress, but apparently they lack a world-class goalie. Zlatan should score a couple though. And Freddie Ljungberg should give them some moral support and experience.
Russia: Not this year. But did have a strong qualifying. This group will not be a cakewalk.