June 5, 2012 by joshilan14
Footnote: This is the preview for Group B. The previews for all the other groups will be uploaded in the upcoming days.
Lowdown: The Oranje have a reputation for being runners up, but the European Championships has seen their one major tournament victory, with a 2-0 win over the USSR in the 1988 edition. They will be looking to copy that success and they have both the squad and the manager to do so. They can be exploited at the back however, with eighteen year old Jetro Willems starting at left-back and centre-back Joris Mathijsen underperforming for Malaga this season. Their attacking talent should carry them far in the tournament though.
Manager: Bert Van Maarwijk
Player to watch: Wesley Sneijder
Lowdown: Morten Olsen could not have wished for a worse group as his team were paired with European heavyweights Germany, Holland and Portugal. They did finish above the latter team in qualification, but any chance of a repeat of their historic European Championships victory in 1992 seems unlikely. However there are a number of talented youngsters in the squad, most notably Ajax’s Christian Eriksen and future FC Twente defender Andres Bjelland.
Manager: Morten Olsen
Player to watch: Christian Eriksen
Prediction: Group stages
Lowdown: Germany has won many plaudits, not just for their attacking brand of football, but for their trust and emphasis placed on the younger generation. The squad has the youngest average age out of all the teams going to Euro 2012; and add this to more experienced members like Phillip Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger and you have one of the tournament favourites. They were undefeated in qualification, but recent friendly results haven’t gone their way, with only two wins in their last five matches.
Manager: Joachim Loew
Player to watch: Mario Gomez
Lowdown: If it wasn’t for a change in manager, Portugal would not have reached Euro 2012. After only getting a solitary point from two qualifiers, the heavily-criticised Carlos Queiroz was sacked and former Sporting Lisbon manager Paulo Bento replaced him. He has put his stamp on the team immediately, with him getting the results on-the-pitch, while he has stamped his authority as well by dropping defenders Ricardo Carvalho and Jose Bosingwa after they breached discipline. Their tough group means that getting to the quarter-finals will be seen as an achievement.
Manager: Paulo Bento
Player to watch: Cristiano Ronaldo
Prediction: Group stages