In one of the most looked forward to group matches of Euro 2012, Germany face off against eternal under-achievers Portugal, on Saturday, June 9, 2012. Not for nothing is Group B known as the ‘group of death’, with the Netherlands and Denmark (the Euro 92 champs) the other teams in the fray. Every team is capable of beating every other, on its day, and the Germans will be wary of the Portuguese attack spearheaded by Ronaldo.
With a young and adventurous team, Germany no longer rely on the clinical efficiency of teams past. But these youngsters play an entertaining brand of football as they showed the world during FIFA 2010. But for all their talent, Germany have little to show by way of silverware, in recent years, and Joachim Low’s wards would want to rectify that omission at Euro 2012.
Their one weak area is in their back line and Portugal have an attack that’s capable of exploiting that weakness. that said, the Germans brand of possession and pace led them to a clean sweep of their 10 games in the Euro qualifiers, with 34 goals scored in the process. The likes of Ozil, Khedira and Mueller who were relatively unknown before FIFA 2010 have become star performers and aided by a little solidity in defence this team could go all the way.
Just like Germany, Portugal are sharp in attack and frail in defence. While scoring 27 goals en route to Euro qualification, Paulo Bento’s wards shipped 14, thereby underscoring that weakness. Bento who took over the side from Carlos Queiroz has done a decent job and under him the team has begun to perform consistently but there is some work still left to be done.
Though their qualification to the next round from a group that contains Germany and Holland is in doubt, Portugal have the men to beat any team in the world. Apart from the redoubtable Cristiano Ronaldo, fresh from his exploits in the La Liga, where he led real Madrid to the crown, they have the likes of Nani, Meireles and Pepe.
Ronaldo, with his vision, trickery and finishing ability, is clearly key to Portugal’s fortunes in the competition, and could teach the German back line a few expensive lessons, come Saturday.
For Germany, Mueller, the brilliant Bayern Munich midfielder, who scored a goal in the Champions Final against Chelsea, and who won the Golden Boot and Best Young Player awards at FIFA world Cup 2010 is the man to watch.
Germany’s probable eleven: Neuer, Lahm, Hummels, Badstuber, Boateng, Schweinsteiger, Khedira, Mueller, Ozil, Podolski, Gomez.
Portugal’s probable eleven: Patricio, Pereira, Alves, Pepe, Coentrao, Veloso, Meireles, Moutinho, Nani, Postiga, Ronaldo.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.