Saturday, 16 June 2012

The Road to the Quarters – Key Games in the First Round part 2

Today sees the start of the last round of matches in the first round of this years European Championships. So lets have a look at the runners and riders for a place in the last 8 in this competition (all games kick off 7:45pm BST)
Group A:

1 Russia +3 4
2 Czech Republic -2 3
3 Poland = 2
4 Greece -1 1
Czech Republic V Poland (Wroclaw)
Greece V Russia (Warsaw)

A win for Russia tonight will see them qualify as winners of Group A, eliminating Greece in the process. A Greece win would see them sneak into the quarter finals. If either the Czech Republic or Poland win, they will qualify at the expense of their opponent, regardless of what happens in the other match. A draw would see the Czechs through, unless Greece win (they have a better goal difference).
Group B:

1 Germany +2 6
2 Portugal = 3
3 Denmark = 3
4 Netherlands -2 0
Denmark V Germany (Lviv)
Portugal V Netherlands (Kharkiv)

Germany only need a draw tomorrow to win Group B and take on the runners up of Group A next Friday in Gdansk. Denmark need to make sure their result is better than Portugal’s result to qualify. A Denmark win, twenty years on since their last meeting in the European Championship’s would see them win the group and take that place in the Gdansk quarter final. Portugal need to win to take the second qualifying place, which would see them in a quarter final with the winners of Group A in Warsaw on Thursday if Denmark drop points to Germany. For the Netherlands to grab qualification from the jaws of elimination, they would need a two goal win against Portugal and hope that Germany beat Denmark.
Group C:

1 Spain +4 4
2 Croatia +2 4
3 Italy = 2
4 Republic of Ireland -6 0
Croatia V Spain (Gdansk)
Ireland V Italy (Poznan)

A point will see the World and defending European Champions Spain into the last 8. In truth, they will probably go for the win on Monday that would see them win Group C and see them avoid Germany until the final. Croatia also need a point to see them into the last 8. Italy need to beat Ireland and hope that there is a victor in Gdansk, or that there is a low scoring draw (which would knock out Croatia). A 2-2 draw in Gdansk would knock Italy out.
Group D:

1 France +2 4
2 England +1 4
3 Ukraine -1 3
4 Sweden -2 0
England V Ukraine (Donetsk)
Sweden V France (Kiev)

A win for France will see them win Group D and take on the runners up from Group C next Sunday in Kiev. A Draw would also put France through, but they wouldn’t be guaranteed to win the group. A draw would also be enough for England to qualify as group runners up, this would see them play the winners (seeded to be Spain) from Group C next Saturday in Donetsk. Ukraine need to beat England to secure qualification from the group.

After a rest day next Wednesday we reach the quarter finals, which means knock out football. There will be penalties!

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