Tag Archive | "Euro 2012 groups"

UEFA Euro 2012 Playoff: Bosnia-Herzegovina vs. Portugal Predictions 11/11

Euro 2012 qualifying continues on Friday afternoon at Olympic Stadium in a match that one figures Bosnia-Herzegovina has to win if it has any chance of winning the home and home match with Portugal to get into Euro 2012. Friday’s kick is slated for 2:00 p.m. (ET).
It’s going to be an interesting match for Bosnia for sure. It was able to take 20 points in its 10 qualifying matches against a relatively easy group, but the problem that it ran into was that it couldn’t find a way to take three points on French soil on the final day of qualifying. France was able to salvage the 1-1 draw that it needed to win its way into the competition thanks to a Samir Nasri penalty late on.

With Portugal ranked fifth in Europe by UEFA and Bosnia ranked No. 32, there is definitely a clear difference between these two teams. However, we are definitely not one to count out the Bosnians, especially in this home fixture, where it went 4-0-1 with a +7 goal differential in the group stage.

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Manchester City strike Edin Dzeko is leading the way for Bosnia & Herzegovina, and he and captain Emir Spahic have dreams of getting this team into the European competition for the first time.

This season, it was a true disappointment for Portugal, which has yet to really make a major move as one of the best sides in the world in spite of its country ranking. Even with such tremendous talent on the pitch, the team has never made it out of the Round of 16 in the World Cup, and it was only a runner up in Euro 2004 on its home soil. The Portuguese have made the semifinals in this tournament three times, but have yet to win it.

Just getting to this point was a tad lucky. In a group in which it became very easy to take points from Iceland and Cyprus, it was a shock to see Portugal fail to beat out Denmark and Norway for the automatic spot in Group H. Instead, it was the Danes that took that spot thanks to a 2-1 win in the final day of qualifying against the Portuguese. They ended up finishing three points adrift of Denmark but on level terms with Norway, only to go through thanks to a +9 goal differential.

The idea that this team is struggling so much with Cristiano Ronaldo and Nuno Gomes at the front is scary in itself. There are just some major problems at the back though, as the team allowed 12 goals in just eight qualifying matches, which is remarkably bad considering how easy that it should have been to take care of the two cellar dwellers in the group.

These two teams have only played each other twice in their history, that coming in the World Cup 2010 Qualification Playoff. In both instances, Bosnia dropped 1-0, though it did hit the woodwork in both matches a grand total of three times.

It’s not surprising that Portugal is the slight favorite at -150 on a pick ’em line to take the lead in this fixture. As we said earlier though, this is a match that Bosnia absolutely has to win, because we just don’t see it happening on Portuguese soil without it having a lead to work with.

Posted in Europe, Featured

UEFA Euro 2012 Qualifying: Czech Republic vs. Spain Predictions

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The Spain soccer team continues its qualification for Euro 2012 this week on the road at the Letna Stadion in Zlin for what could be a fantastic fixture against the Czech Republic.

This is big of a fixture as the Czechs have had in quite some time. They’re going against the Euro 2012 title holders and the World Cup winners, and they know that they likely need wins in each of their final two fixtures to have a chance of backing into Euro 2012 as the Wild Card qualifier for the event.

One thing that we know for sure is that Petr Cech is going to be the man in the pipes for the Czechs. This is one of the best net minders in the entire world, and he is the pride and joy of this team. He has had his troubles in the past, namely in Euro 2008 when he allowed a slew of goals in a crucial loss to Turkey, but he is still all that this team has to rely upon.

Cech has uncharacteristically allowed seven goals in his two fixtures this year played for the Czech Republic in Euro 2012 qualifying, and he has yet to log a win. He missed the team’s last match, a controversial 2-2 draw against Scotland on the road that ended with a 90th minute penalty kick to level the scores and save any hopes for qualification for the Czechs.

Meanwhile, Spain is coasting right now, having come up with 18 points in its first six matches in Group I. There was never really that much of a doubt about how this team was going to do in qualification, and arguably the most talented side in the world has not let us down. Spain has 21 goals against just five conceded, and it is coming off of a 6-0 whitewashing of Lichtenstein last month.

Alvaro Negredo scored twice in that fixture, as did David Villa to ensure that the Spaniards would be moving on to the Euro 2012 Finals.

Normally speaking, you would think that Spain would be fielding a bit of a youth side for this match, knowing that qualification is already ensured. However, both Pique and Puyol are going to be in the lineup, which really ensures that this is going to be a very, very fully stocked side that is going to be invading Zlin. The only surprise in the starting 11 that we are expecting to see is Jordi Alba, the Valencia defenseman.

With a relatively full side, the oddsmakers really had no choice but to line the Spaniards as half goal favorites on the soccer betting lines. As long as the intent is there to take all three points, we see no reason, especially after a 2-1 triumph on Spanish soil earlier in qualification, why the visitors won’t be able to shut down the Zlin crowd and take three points.

Posted in Europe, Featured

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