Denmark vs Germany (1945 GMT)
After a crazy night in Group A, we are looking at Group B tonight, and pre-tournament favourites Germany are flying with two wins from two, but defeat against Denmark tonight, could still put them out of the Group stages.
However, many are backing Germany to pick up the point they need to top the Group, and set up a quarter-final clash against the Greeks, who stunned Russia last night.
Boateng is unavailable; he picked up 2 yellows in 2 games, so is suspended for this clash, meaning the Germans may just go three at the back, and pack the midfield.
This game is the tale of two strikers, everyone expected Mario Gomez to have a good tournament, and has 3 goals, while Nicklas Bendtner got two against Portugal in the 3-2 defeat, which could prove massive after they came back from 2-0 down, only to lose in the final minutes.
The Germans have been ruthless so far, and I can only see a German win here, sending a warning out to the rest of the competition.
There is an air of suspense surrounding this game though. The Danes came back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 in the last meeting between the two, and few Danes will forget the Euro ’92 final where they shocked everyone by beating the Germans 2-0, so don’t expect this to be a done deal.
The first goal could be crucial though, Denmark have lost 13 out of 14 games they have conceded first, and the Germans have won all 12 that they scored first.
I expect Denmark to keep it tight and wait for a chance to counter, but Germany will stick to their usual patient approach, knowing a draw would put them through as winners. They don’t need to risk a shock exit here.
Saying that, I am backing the Germans to make it a clean sweep of the Groups, although don’t expect lots of goals, the draw is massively overpriced at 3/1 also, so might be worth a flutter.
Under 2.5 goals @ 43/40
Draw HT Germany FT @ 10/3
Germany win and over 2.5 goals @ 7/4
Prediction: Denmark 0 Germany 2 (Schweinsteiger, Gomez)
Netherlands vs Portugal (1945 GMT)
Well well well. Everyone thought Russia going out was a shock, but the World Cup runners-up are sitting on 0 points from their opening two games, but luckily still have an ounce of life, they need to win this game by two clear goals, and hope that Germany beat Denmark, to progress.
The Dutch have Robin Van Persie and Jan-Klass Huntelaar upfront, so you would’ve expected them to chalk up at least another goal from the two games so far. Alas, they haven’t meaning it is all down to tonight, and Portugal will no doubt sit back and soak up pressure, knowing a draw should be enough for them, providing Germany do what is expected and not get beaten by Denmark.
Ronaldo has been poor again at a major tournament, and has registered 98 shots for his country, scoring just 5 times, a pretty paltry effort. However, he may well get more chances tonight, as the Dutch will have to pile men forward in search for goals.
If the other game is set to be quiet, then this is the one to watch, a 1-0 Dutch win is useless to everyone, and neutrals will be no doubt be wanting an early goal for the Oranje to open up the game.
I am backing Netherlands to turn up, and I think they may well sneak through, providing they can get that early goal.
Holland to qualify @ 6/1
Over 1.5 First Half Goals @ 7/4
Holland lead at HT @ 21/10
Holland Win & Over 2.5 goals @ 11/4
Prediction: Portugal 1 (Ronaldo) Holland 3 (Mathijsen, Robben, Huntelaar)
By Brad Smith
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