I think it’s pretty safe to say that the German side is the favorite to take the 2008 UEFA Euro title. But, they’re playing a scrappy Turkish side who keeps finding ways to win. Turkey, however, is decimated by injuries and suspensions…it doesn’t look good for the Turks.
I’ll start off by saying that I am predicting a 3-0 win for the Germans. It would be closer if the Turks weren’t so depleted. Although, I still think Germany would win, even with Turkey at full strength.
With Volkan Demirel, Tuncay Şanlı, Arda Turan, and Emre Aşιk suspended, and while striker Nihat Kahveci and Emre Güngör left the tournament injured after the quarterfinal win over Croatia, it’s hard to imagine that this Turkish delight will continue.
Kahveci and Demirel are the biggest losses for the Turkish side who will be struggling to find suitable substitution players because of all of those M.I.A. Missing your star striker never bodes well for any team…especially during international play…especially against the Germans, who’ve won Euro three times. I just can’t see Turkey overcoming that aspect.
The road to the semi-finals was a bit stressful for Germany. They were in a group that they were expected to dominate and then found themselves on the wrong side of a 2-1 decision against Croatia in group play. A single loss is usually not the kiss of death in group play, so most people expected Germany to rebound, which they did marvelously, finishing second in their group to make for an exciting quarterfinal match against Cristiano Ronaldo and the Portuguese.
They beat Portugal (my pick to win the thing…shows how much I know, right?) 3-2, in a match which they dominated a lot more than the score indicates. Portugal showed poor defensive tactics from set positions, which ultimately led to their demise.
The fearsome threesome of Michael Ballack, Miroslav Klose, and Lukas Podolski will be tough for the Turkish side to deal with. Bastian Schweinsteiger (who I personally can’t stand) has also proven to be a formidable force from the midfield. Schweinsteiger is a hard-nosed, no non-sense player who is fantastic from set positions, and defensively sound as well.
In the end, the height of the Germans in the interior and their extraordinary rapport from set plays will prove to be too much for the injury-laden Turks.
Quick side note: I’m thinking of doing a live blog during the finals…if enough interest is present, I think it could be a fun way to get some interactive soccer talk going at WNST.net. Stay tuned and have a good one.