1. Portugal – I think there is too much talent for them not to win this group. Cristiano Ronaldo is at the top of his game (isn’t that right Real Madrid?), Deco heads a strong midfield, and they should have this one locked up.
2. Switzerland – They’re the co-hosts, I think they’ll do anything to please their fans, and with the forward play of Frei and Streller, I think they will pull off a surprise.
3. Czech Republic – This is the type of team that will underachieve when expected to win, as evidenced in the 2006 World Cup. Another repeat here, and yes, it’s their inconsistent offense that will kill them.
4. Turkey – If they make it I’ll eat my hat.
1. Germany – I need an explanation?
2. Croatia – The race for 2nd will be very close, and I think Croatia’s backline will make the difference. They weren’t even supposed to be here, but England’s incompetence ensured they would advance. Niko Kranjcar is a very under-appreciated midfielder, and he is one of my key players for this side.
3. Poland – I don’t know why, maybe it’s the first appearance in the European championships, maybe it’s the fact that they’re playing in a very tough group that I think they’ll probably fall short of 2nd.
4. Austria – Are they even ranked? I think they’ll put up a very good effort like Switzerland, but they do not have the talent just yet to get the breakthrough.
1. France – Henry, Malouda, Thuram, this is a very dangerous French side that’s in the Group of Death, and with their solid attacking play, I believe that even if they lose to Italy, they’ll still beat Romania and the Netherlands and win the group.
2. Netherlands – Robin Van Persie and Dirk Kuyt are world class strikers, Edwin Van Der Sar at the age of 38 is still a solid goalkeeper, I see them nudging out Italy for the 2nd spot.
3. Italy – Losing Fabio Cannavaro really hurt them. The defense is just not the same without them, and this is after all, a very unpredictable tournament, out goes Italy.
4. Romania – The weakest of the strong teams, but I don’t expect them to be humiliated.
1. Spain – If you have Fernando Torres, Xavi, Cesc Fabregas, and David Villa and not win, you have problem. This could be the side that scores the most goals in the tournament.
2. Greece – Why not? They are the defending champions, they want to prove it was not a fluke. I believe them and they will be in the quarterfinals.
3. Sweden – Unfortunately, in a tournament full of young stars like Ronaldo and Torres, the Swedes are old and cannot keep up with the likes of Spain or Greece.
4. Russia – Lucky if they win one game.
Portugal 2 Croatia 0
Germany 3 Switzerland 1
France 1 Greece 0
Spain 1 Netherlands 1 (Spain win 5-3 on penalties)
Portugal 2 Germany 1 (AET)
Spain 1 France 0
Portugal 2 (Ronaldo 34, 65) Spain 1 (Villa 57)
Golden Boot: Cristiano Ronaldo (5 goals)
Have a great time everyone and enjoy the tournament.