Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Euro 2008: Group B Preview


Austria, like co-hosts Switzerland, have a squad comprised largely of domestic-based players, which means nobody has ever heard of them and they're no good. Call that a generalization if you must. One player who could make a difference is Werder Bremen's Martin Harnik, but he won't. Stick to alpine skiing, Austria. Stop wasting my goddamn time.

Prediction: Painful losses.


The Croats will be a force to contend with, as usual. They will also be sentimental favorites of many, due to their humiliating elimination of England. With players representing Europe's top leagues, and talent in every position, Croatia should reach the latter stages of the tournament. They are probably not quite deep enough to win it all, but you can't blame them for trying.

Prediction: Some good moments, some bad. What's important is that they have fun.


This little-known footballing nation won lots of fans with their plucky performances at the 2006 World Cup. Can they repeat that success? Only if their multimillionaire players with bags of experience can figure out a way to negotiate this "tournament" format. They are also slightly good at penalties, not that major international tournaments are ever decided that way. Stars to watch include Michael Ballack of Chelsea/Inter and Miroslav Klose of Germany/Austria.

Prediction: If I know Germany, and I think I do, they'll win it.


What to make of the Poles? They had good results in qualification, then got twatted 3-0 at home by the USA. Celtic's Artur Boruc is in goal, so nobody outside the players' mothers and wives will be cheering for the Poles. That's because Boruc is a dick, obviously. They have some other decent players but I'm not going to lie, I can't figure out how to do all those accent marks, so I'm not listing any of them.

Prediction: 3 draws and the first Skoda home.

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