What To Expect From Day 6 At The Euros.

  • Denmark will look to continue their giant killing run against Portugal. They defeated the highly fancied Dutch, but you wouldn’t say that out-played them. The Dane were let off the hook by some poor finishing from Van Persie and co who registered 28 shots at goal (only 5 on target). It was very much a team effort that enabled them to hold out against the Dutch and repeat performance will be needed against Portugal. The Portuguese have to get a result in this game and might try to attack from the outset. The Danes will sit back and hope to exploit the space left by Portugal as they look to score early. They have a classy player-maker in Eriksen who is capable of splitting the defense with a single pass. Look to him to have a big game.
  • Portugal as always will look to their captain and super star Cristiano Ronaldo to lead them to victory. Everyone is still waiting to see the Ronaldo that performs for so well Real Madrid to do the same thing at the Euros. You could argue that he has a better supporting cast at Madrid then he does for Portugal but that doesn’t lower the exception leveled at him. But it could be Nani that turns out to be the key man. With all attention on Ronaldo it could allow Nani the space to make a mark on the game. On his day he can be brilliant he just hasn’t added consistency to his game. They preformed well against Germany and started to play better in the second-half the goal they conceded came off a deflected cross. They will be confident of getting a result.
  • Holland, as they’re famous for, look to be a team divided by egos. Sneijder has said the team need to put individual issues aside and work together if they are to get a result against the Danes. They were let down by poor finishing as Van Persie has again failed to bring his fantastic domestic form with him to the international stage. He may lose his role as the main striker and move out to the wing to accommodate Klass-Jan Huunterlaar. Like in the first match the question is whether to play two holding midfielders or not. They know a draw may not be good enough and have to for the win. Expect a more attacking line up with De Jong dropped for  either Rafel Van Der Vaart or Kevin Stroodman.
  • German’s problem in the last two international tournaments has been the second group game. In Euro 08 they lost to Croatia 2-1 and World Cup 2010 they lost 1-0 to Serbia. Maybe they were guilty of underestimating those sides but will not make that mistake against their Dutch rivals. There is a lot of football history between these two sides and it’s great for the neutral that this match happens in the second round. Holland have to win while Germany will want to win to secure their spot in the next stage allowing them to rest players in the last match. Even though Gomez scored against Portugal he still came in for criticism for his overall performance through-out the match. Joachim Low will be tinkering with the idea of starting Miroslav Klose instead. Otherwise expect them to line just as in the previous match, they will look to put Holland to the sword.
  • Amazingly after the loss to Denmark there were calls from parts of the Dutch media for coach Bert van Marwijk to lose his job. While he may be expected to change his line up to play a more attacking game, he could just as easily stick to his tactics of two holding midfielders as a sort of retort to the media reaction back home. The Dutch are well-known for their egos and that may not be limited to their players.
  • Lukas Podolski had a pretty average game against Portugal and may find his starting spot under threat if he has a similar  performance today. He missed the target on a few occasions and try to rectify those mistakes against the Dutch.
  • Portugal and Denmark played each other in the qualifying stage for the Euros. Portugal won the fist game in Porto 3-1 and the Danes won the return game 2-1 in Copenhagen. Both will feel they know each other fairly well so expect a cagey start to the game.

Ronaldo scoring against Denmark in the qualifying stage. Can he do it again today?

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