(Eeeeeeheeeeeee!! Did I do good Ronaldae!???!! Portugal's dream Bo Selecta! partnership)
5:00 pm - Denmark vs Portugal
Denmark came up with a fantastic result for us against Holland in their opener but did lead rather a charmed life at times with the Dutch failing to make the most of some very presentable chances where the Danish defence parted to let players through at times. Portugal have exactly the type of players in Nani & Ronaldo to expose Denmark's wing backs & we've a feeling this is going to be quite an impressive display from the Iberians.
We were keen on Germany to beat Portugal & they eventually prevailed but the Portuguese central midfield we were so concerned about actually managed to be very disciplined & as good as he is, Christian Eriksen will not be posing the same problems as Mesut Ozil, they'll feel confident in dealing with him. Benfica's emerging youngster Nelson Oliveira came on after 70 minutes for Helder Postiga & offered a step up with some exciting & inventive play but Postiga might just retain his starting spot here.
Denmark did well going forwards against the Dutch defence but Portugal have a pretty good back four, especially Pepe & Bruno Alves at centre back, when Fabio Coentrao bothers sticking at defending rather than flying forwards he isn't bad either! Coentrao should have the pace to deal with Rommedahl & the Dane's crossing wasn't too smart anyway in his first game. If Denmark can get at Portugal it will be with their goalscorer from game one, left winger Michael Krohn-Dehli up against Joao Pereira & Miguel Veloso will need to help out at times.
We've already noted that we like the look of Portugal's wide players who should have the beating of the slower Denmark full backs, Nani is a tempter at 10/1 to score first but Stan James are going a standout 11/2 for the great Ronaldo to score first. His scoring record for Real Madrid is freakily good & although he doesn't bag as many for the national side that looks a little on the big side, again betting on the favourite with Betfred at reduced odds but their double delight/hattrick heaven offer is a potential play as he could easily score more than once. We really do like Portugal & think they can win here without conceding, that offers up odds of 9/4 but maybe a better bet is Portugal on the handicap with -1 goal at odds of 100/30, that looks big for a team with a goalscorer like Ronaldo, who could run riot with a solid defence to back him up.
(It wasn't looking great for Mario Gomez...... then he got his goal. Watch out, Super Mario's powered up!)
7:45 pm - Germany vs Holland
The two sides meeting int the late game, Germany & Holland were two of the outright favourites before the tournament began, although after Denmark's 'shock' win the Dutch have now drifted right out & it's understandable - if they lose here their chances will be looking bleak.
We flagged up a weak defence & undersized defence for Holland before the Denmark match, they look like they'll have first choice centre back Joris Mathijsen back for this one which is a positive but he's only 6 feet tall & Mario Gomez could have a field day against him & Heitinga. Germany looked dangerous when getting the ball out wide right & that will be the key tactic here with the classy Thomas Muller taking on tournament youngster Jetro Willems, who will fill Holland's left back spot, time & time again. Muller's crossing wasn't as good as it should have been but he'll have been hard at work in training & we can see him wreaking havoc with Ozil keeping the defensive midfielders too busy to cover out wide.
Going forwards the Dutch of course look good & they created enough chances against Denmark to have won the game, unfortunately Robin van Persie was all over the place, he might retain his starting spot but it could be in arguably his better role as a number ten to Huntelaar as the point man. If you believe the pundits too much you'd think that the Germans defence is some kind of terribly weak link but in truth Mats Hummels & Holger Badstuber are two of Europe's finest young centre backs, both at the age of 23 & marshaling the defences of their big club teams. If Holland do go attacking they've the quality to cause problems for anyone but they'll have to sacrifice either De Jong or van Bommel & that will risk Mesut Ozil getting way too much of the ball. Germany have their own star holding midfielder in the tireless Sami Khedira & if he plays well that should free up their super attacking threats.
We flagged up in our Euro 2012 group previews our worries about Holland's defence & not much has changed for us. Holland have great attacking flair but when they go forwards they risk being countered against & the defenders aren't the quickest, if they sit back at all balls will get put into their box & they aren't the biggest. A draw wouldn't be the end of the road for the Dutch as they'd still likely have one game against Portugal where they would have to win to progress & that may stop van Marwijk from going too gung ho, if that's the case we reckon the German defence can hold strong. If Holland do go more attacking we feel Germany will exploit their defence & Mario Gomez will be feeling an awful lot more confident after scoring against Portugal, at odds of 6/1 to score first we'll stay with the big man. We've been out to get Holland from the start of the tournament, there are too many good attackers around at the moment for their second rate defence to allow them to progress like they did to the World Cup final & we'll go with Germany to win again here at odds of 6/4. Germany can keep marching on in style & they look like they are the type of side to revel in their favourites status with some really confident types at every position, so they should be - they have some outstanding talent on display.
Portugal to beat Denmark with -1 goal a 100/30 (BlueSquare & 888Sport)
Cristiano Ronaldo to score first at 11/2 (Stan James)
Germany to beat Holland at 6/4 (various)
Mario Gomez to score first at 6/1 (various)