With Euro 2012 kicking off tomorrow, Season's Over takes a look at some of the team and players that will ultimately decide who will hoist the trophy later this summer.
If his substitution in the Champions League final taught us anything it’s that he needs to be on the pitch. His adaptability in the midfield and forward positions is vital for German success. Ozil cannot be the only creator on the pitch for Germany.
Russia: Andrei Arshavin
The tricky Russian needs to impress during the Euros to convince the Zenit coach to sign him away from Arsenal this summer. He has the talent to do it, without him Russia will struggle.
The Arsenal #1 had an excellent campaign for his club and will have to repeat that form in order to help Poland advance. Look for Szczesny to add to his highlight reel with some stunning saves.
Netherlands: Robin van Persie
The PFA player of the year must keep the form that secured champions league football for Arsenal in order for the Dutch to escape the group of death. Without him, Portugal may overtake them for the second spot.
Spain: Fernando Llorente
Assuming he gets the nod to start over Torres, which he should, the potent forward will have to recreate the success that David Villa had four years ago in order for Spain to win it all again.
Ireland: Robbie Keane
If Ireland is going to advance over the favored Italians it will be because of Keane. The striker has been the Irish talisman for many years and his experience will help them prevail.
France: Centre-back Pairing
France’s 4-2-3-1 formation allows their creative midfield to interchange and flow with attacking outside backs and the lone stiker (Benzema/Giroud). They need to sure up the back line to eliminate sloppy goals that have plagued them in the past. Personally I would give Koscielny the nod over Mexes and pair him with Rami.
Roy Hodgson, if he’s smart, will give the start to the young star. In their last game before the Euros against Belgium he showed his true potential. He’s fast, has an excellent dribbling ability and is very direct with the ball. He attacks outside backs constantly. And if he starts, super sub Walcott can then exploit the outside backs late in the match.