So welcome to Part 2 of the group stage predictions. Groups D to F have some interesting match ups and an upset or two.
Group D contains three nations who made it to the knockout stages of Euro 2012; Croatia, Czech Republic and defending champions Spain. Completing the group are Turkey. The Spanish national team will look to make it three Euro Championship wins in a row and bring some pride back to the nation following the disappointing World Cup in Brazil. Croatia will look to get some payback for the 1-0 defeat against Spain that saw them miss out on the knockout stages and the Czechs will face the Turks once more.
My predictions for this group go like this. Spain will top the group ahead of Croatia on goal difference. The Czech Republic will pick up just three points but this could be enough to see them make the knock out stages as one of the best third place teams. Turkey will find themselves propping up the group with 0 points.
Group E looks certain to be a tasty one. Euro 2012 finalists Italy find themselves taking on Sweden, Republic of Ireland and the rising Belgium. A good start is necessary for all sides, especially the Irish who had a disappointing Euro 2012. The Italians will hope to make another Euro final, albeit a winning one. Belgium will look to crown themselves European Champions as they look to put their rankings rise into a winning effort. The Swedes will look to Zlatan Ibrahimovic to lead them to Euro success. The 34 year linked with a move to Man Utd, will hope to help the side make the knockout stages.
The outlook for this group will see one with few wins. Italy will top the group with only the Irish managing to deny the Italians a 100% record. Ireland’s three draws will be enough to sneak second whilst a disappointing Belgium will hand Sweden and Ibrahimovic a bottom finish albeit on goal difference.
Group D and the final group is one of mystery. Made up of Portugal, who make their sixth consecutive finals (2004 as hosts),Hungary making their first appearance since 1972, Austria and debutants Iceland. To many it should look like Portugal should nail in this group but when you have group with three unknown quantities, anything can happen and thats how it.
Hungary will win the group having only dropped a point against Portugal, who will take second after being denied victory against Iceland in a 2-2 draw. Iceland will mark their debut tournament with third place and a knockout stage. As for Austria it is another performance that shows why the nation continues to struggle.
So that’s my Euro group stage predictions done, I will sit back nervously and see how things go.