Time for a Semi.
After the heartbreak of last Sunday night, I have finally dragged myself back to the computer to trudge out a few lines with the tears still streaming down my face, I should be used to it by now but it still hurts. Fair play to Italy, they deserved it, the 3 Lions didn’t, we were 2nd best and Roy obviously didn’t take note of my blueprint to stifle the Azzurri but I’m sure he was a bit busy (more on this next week).
Anyway, we can’t keep looking in the past, there still a few games to go and they should both be corkers. Look at the first semi tonight, The current holders of the European and World Cups against the greatest player in Europe. I didn’t fancy Portugal at the start but they have played majestically and took care of Holland and then the Czechs to stake a claim on the cup. Tonights tie promises to be a thriller and to me it comes down to this:
If spain go in front, they simply won’t let you have the ball after. If Portugal go in front, Spain will leave more space at the back as they go in search of goals leaving them prone to probably the best counter attacking unit in the competition, when you look at it, it could be Barcelona Vs Real Madrid but with different kits.
My heart says Spain but maybe it is Portugal’s and Ronaldo’s time. As i said at the start of the tournament, if he turns up and plays to best, he can win them the Silverware on his own. I reckon it will be 0-0 at half time and then a late goal by the Spanish but as some of my other predictions have gone, it wouldn’t surprise me if Portugal win by 2 goals, Spain look tired, I think it’s time Del Bosque shuffled his pack of aces and maybe give Pedro a go, maybe even Llorente if they need a goal in the Donbass arena tonight.
Tomorrow sees Germany v The Italians who played us of the park 3 days ago in Kiev although I think they should expect a bit more resistance tonight. Germany might actually give them something to worry about, something we only managed to do in a few shorts bursts before reverting back to 2 banks of 4 on the edge of the box. Germany squad runs so deep and can rotate at will, just look at the front line they used in the last game, Klose, Reus & Schurrle came in for Gomez, Podolski & Muller and arguably performed better, they created more chances than their previous 2 games put together and it wouldn’t surprise me if Klose starts and adds to his magnificent national record, his interplay with Ozil was first class. The Germans all know their jobs inside-out, can chop and change at will in the front 6 positions and still look a menacing opponent. For this reason and also the fact they have had an extra to days to regain fitness while Italy are still recovering from the 20 hours they endured on Sunday, I think they will wear down the Italians and get the goal to take them a step closer to Sundays final. It would have been easy for Low to see the massive influence Pirlo has on the Italian play. I could see it games ago but unfortunately, England didn’t and they paid for it. Die Mannschaft will not and I fully expect one of the Germanys pack of midfielders to stick to him glue, slow them down and then hit them with classic counters. A German win by 1 goal I reckon, hopefully by a Gomez goal cos my 28-1 on him at the start of the tournament and a Germany win will help pay of all my other predictions.
For me and most of the fans, most are all in agreement that the best 4 teams are contesting the the last 4 places and whoever gets through will fully deserve it, this has been a smashing tournament and hopefully we still have 4 excellent games to look forward too.