Jun 14, 2012, 10:32 PM EDT
Group C “Power” Rankings
Sorting through the group dynamic, for whatever that’s worth.
1. Spain - Fernando Torres as a force multiplier? Perhaps, though I don’t really know what a force multiplier is (and military analogies scare me out of my moccasins). Not only was Torres the focal point Spain’s attack needed, but if he continues to produce, they may be the tournament’s favorites.
2. Italy - Their first half against Croatia hinted the team could contend for the title. The second half showed you can change the coach, you can change the players, but you can’t change Italy’s satisfaction with a 1-0 lead.
3. Croatia - If somebody ranked them number two, ahead of Italy, I wouldn’t waste a second of my life worrying about it. The teams played each other to a stand-still. It wouldn’t be shocking to see both teams finish on five points.
4. Ireland - But the fans are top of the supporters power rankings.
Crystal Ball: What Needs to Happen Next Round
Group C resumes play Monday, with both matches kicking off simultaneously
Spain vs. Croatia
If Fernando Torres merely shows up, Croatia’s central defense is in trouble. If he plays like he did on Thursday, Vedran Corluka and Gordon Schildenfeld are toast. They’re the worst central defense pairing in the tournament, they don’t play behind a Dutch-esque two-man shield, and Spain almost exclusively attacks down the middle. This should be sufficiently ugly.
At the other end, it will be interesting to see how Vicente Del Bosque deals with Slaven Bilic’s two-forward set up. Against Ireland, his fullbacks were released knowing the Republic uses only one forward. Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique could be left alone. Against Croatia, expect defensive midfielder Sergio Busquets to help keep the man advantage against Nikica Jelavic and Mario Mandzukic.
Italy vs. Ireland
As bad as Ireland looked today, they match up well against Italy. The Italians are at their best when opponents come after them. That’s not going to happen against Ireland. In addition, Italy doesn’t possess a passing game like Spain’s, and they lack the type of target men Croatia used to score on Sunday.
Another approach: Try to generate as many chances as possible. Eventually, one will find net. At least, that’s what happened for France against England. Daniele de Rossi being able to help in the attacking phase (with Ireland only using one forward) can’t hurt.
For Ireland, the two big questions concern motivation and adaptation. Will Ireland be at their best when all they’re playing for is pride? And will Trapattoni finally change things up, having been outscored one-to-seven through two matches.
PST’s Euro 2012 “More Powerful” Rankings
Taking a long term look, toward teams’ title hopes
1. Germany (-) – With one day’s perspective, we might have given Germany too much credit for their win over the Netherlands. It’s entire possible the Dutch are quite bad.
2. Spain (-) – Yesterday we said Germany are clear favorites. Not so clear anymore.
3. Italy (-) – I have them at three, the strength they’ve shown at their best drawing my eye. Others might rank them as low as seven.
4. Russia (-) – Their high points are arguably as strong as Italy’s, just against weaker competition.
5. France (-) – Les Bleus get to make their case tomorrow against Ukraine.
6. Croatia (+1) – Their defense is just too poor to rank higher.
7. Portugal (-1)
8. England (-)
… and PST’s Player of the Tournament Wunderlist
1. Alan Dzagoev, Russia
2. Andriy Shevchenko, Ukraine
3. Andres Iniesta, Spain
4. Andrea Pirlo, Italy
5. Mario Gómez, Germany
6. Daniele de Rossi, Italy
7. Andrei Arshavin, Russia
8. Mesut Ozil, Germany
9. Fabio Coentrão, Portugal
10. Xavi Hernandez, Spain
ProSoccerTalk is doing its best to keep you up to date on what’s going on in Poland and Ukraine. Check out the site’s Euro 2012 page and look at the site’s previews, predictions, and coverage of all the events defining UEFA’s championship.
May 18, 2013, 9:50 PM EDT
Cascadia Cup matches are also interesting, and Saturday’s 2-2 draw at BC Place was full of talking points:
May 18, 2013, 8:24 PM EDT
it was a big crowd pleaser on two fronts when the Whitecaps’ forward stroked an unstoppable free kick against Portland:
May 18, 2013, 8:05 PM EDT
The young Timbers’ attacker is having an outstanding season for the Jeld-Wen Field bunch:
May 18, 2013, 7:38 PM EDT
Higuain created the game’s only goal and was masterful in possession at BMO Field:
May 18, 2013, 6:44 PM EDT
An appearance next week in Paris Saint-Germain’s final match 2012-13 season doesn’t seem to be in the plans for the retiring superstar:
May 18, 2013, 5:32 PM EDT
Video: Reports out of England say today was the former England captain’s final match, rather than next week as expected:
May 18, 2013, 3:15 PM EDT
Depth at United will allow David Moyes to hut big game this offseason.
May 18, 2013, 2:40 PM EDT
David Beckham’s not dropping off your radar anytime soon.
May 18, 2013, 2:01 PM EDT
Before Monaco takes on Europe, they have to convince French soccer.
May 18, 2013, 1:17 PM EDT
Manchester City’s former boss reaches out to his supportive fan base – his first public comments since his Monday dismissal.
May 18, 2013, 12:28 PM EDT
Mercifully, the season’s come to an end for the 17 clubs who tried to keep pace with Bayern Munich.
May 18, 2013, 11:40 AM EDT
Manchester United’s outgoing boss was amazed but not surprised at his rival’s dismissal.
May 18, 2013, 10:22 AM EDT
Relegation’s decided. So’s the title and two of the league’s Europa League spots. All that’s left? The battle for top four.
May 18, 2013, 9:16 AM EDT
Russian oligarchs, third-party ownership, tax havens, and €60 million moves. This one has everything.
May 18, 2013, 8:11 AM EDT
One of the Premier League’s one-club men says goodbye at Anfield.
May 17, 2013, 7:32 PM EDT
Wait a doggone minute! Didn’t Philadelphia and Chicago just play?
May 17, 2013, 6:45 PM EDT
Brest and FC Lorient will be the opposition for retiring midfielder’s final two pro matches:
May 17, 2013, 5:35 PM EDT
Something we should fold into the ongoing Landon Donovan-U.S. national team debate:
May 17, 2013, 5:10 PM EDT
David Beckham has an option to purchase an MLS expansion franchise, and that has zero to do with Chivas USA:
May 17, 2013, 4:52 PM EDT
We know that Major League Soccer’s All-Star match is headed to Sporting Park in Kansas City this year – but we remain in the dark about the opposition:
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- England’s top four: Games that matter in the English Premier League’s last round 0
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