By Rouba Jaafar
LAU Tribune staff
This summer hides surprises for football lovers as the Euro Cup, to be held in Poland and Ukraine, starts on June 8.
Fans wait eagerly for this season and predictions fly everywhere about who will win and who will not.
Although Poland is hosting the game this year, its national team is ranked 65th in the world according to the FIFA’s ranking. It doesn’t have much chance to be among the winning teams in group A.
Greece is another group A team with a minimal chance to win. The Bleacher Football Report described the qualification of Greece to the Euro Cup as a Cinderella story. “If you’re looking for a Cinderella story, then Greece is certainly your team,” the report explained.
Russia and the Czech Republic have higher chances of winning in group A; Russia stunned the Netherlands in the quarter finals back in 2008 and the Czech team has so far displayed great skills.
Group B is dubbed the “group of death” as it gathers the “A” teams in this competition: Germany, Portugal, the Netherlands and Denmark.
The German team is expected to do well in this competition. Portugal will definitely be counting on Christiano Ronaldo after his multiple achievements this year with Real Madrid. But the Netherlands also has its eye on the trophy –namely with a boost from Robin Van Persie, Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben.
The Danish team lacks real chances of winning in the “group of death.”
The Spanish and Italians are the golden teams in group C, ahead of the Republic of Ireland and Croatia.
The Spanish team will fight to give its nation the third straight international title (but Germany will seek revenge after two defeats against Spain in the Euro Cup finals in 2008 and in the World Cup semi-finals in 2010).
Group D includes England, France, the Ukraine and Sweden. The big two are expected to give new results this year with England’s new manager Roy Hudgson and France’s duo Samir Nasri and Franck Ribery. They will definitely be tough teams to beat.
Although Zlatan Ibrahimovic, one of the greatest forward players, is Sweden’s star this year, the team still doesn’t hold a chance to make it in this group. The Ukrainian team doesn’t either.
But despite all attempts to analyze and predict, football always brings us the unexpected –remember what happened in the Champions League this year? All expectations were that Barcelona and Real Madrid would make it to the final game but the two teams lost in the semi-s.
Football is like that. You can’t always predict but you can definitely hope, pray and wish.