Czech v Portugal
The first knockout game of this European Championship will be one with the biggest star in the tournament, against a team that has a strong goalie, but no real superstar.
For the Czech Republic, not many people expected them to be in this spot. They were easily beaten 4-1 by Russia, in their Group A opener. Unphased by the discouraging start, the Czech’s went on to win the next two games. They first beat the Greeks 2-1, and followed it up with a 1-0 win over Poland. In those final two games, they only allowed a single goal. This comes as no surprise, as the goalkeeper for the Czech Republic is none other than the world-class Petr Cech. The offense is somewhat underwhelming for the Czechs, which could be the reason why they lose against Portugal. They only scored 4 goals in 3 games, and don’t have a world-class striker, or anyone particularly outstanding, as Petr Jiracek and Vaclav Pilar are respectable, but by no means a Ronaldo or Mario Gomez.
Meanwhile for Portugal, they’re all about offense. And why wouldn’t they be, when they have one of the two best players in the world in Ronaldo. Along with Ronaldo, Portgual also has Manchester United’s Nani, as well as a slew of other strong players. After being shutout by the Germans in the first game, Portgual found thier offensive stride, scoring 3 goals against the Danes, and Ronaldo scoring 2 versus the Dutch. The defense is a concern for Portugal, as they never kept a shutout in any of the games they played, but shouldn’t be a problem for them against the Czechs underwhelming offense.
Ultimately, the offensive weapons for Portugal should be too much for Czech Republic to stop, and Portugal will more than likely find themselves in the semifinals.
Germany v Greece
The matchup between Germany and Greece is one that hardly anyone expected several days ago. It was probable that Germany would beat Denmark and win thier group with a convincing 9 points and three wins. But Greece pulled off a surprise to get to these quarterfinals. They beat Russia, and with the Czechs beating Poland, they managed to finish second in the group.
Germany is the favorite in this match, and for understandable reasons. You look at the roster for Germany, and you see talent everywhere. The premier striker is Mario Gomez, who has already scored three goals in the tournament. In the midfield there’s Real Madrid’s Mesut Ozil and Arsenal’s Lucas Podolski, and in net is Manuel Neuer. Germany has more talent in on thier bench then many nations have on thier best eleven. With that in mind, it’s no surprise they won all three games in their Group B competition.
Meanwhile Greece wins, but not with the big names. While Germany has players on world-famous clubs like Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Arsenal, the Greeks have the majority of thier team pulled from the Greek League. But despite the fact Greece doesn’t have world superstars, they still play successful. This lack of a superstar is evidenced by the goals scored in the group stage, as the three goals scored came from three different players.
While Greece does have a chance to sneak away with a win, Germany has tons more talent, and should easily win this match, sending them to the semi-finals.