Euro 2012 Semifinals Preview
The Euro 2012 Semifinals will take place on Wednesday and Thursday (both games at 2:45 PM ET) and both promise to be the most competitive matchups since the group stage.
There was some drama last weekend, mostly on the England vs. Italy game because of the penalty kicks, but Portugal, Spain and Germany combined to outscore their opponents 7-2. Of those three, the only game decided by one goal was Portugal, who outshot the Czech Republic 20-2. Italy on the other hand had 20 shots on goal to England's four, which means that these are clearly the four best teams of this tournament.
The Euro 2012 "Final Four" have similar styles that will make for dramatic games. Portugal and Spain for example, are two quick passing-driving teams that aren't afraid to threaten defenses and often. The Portuguese like to attack from the wings with Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani and make you try and contain their most talented players.
As for the Germans and Italians, these two tems like to grind out victories, although Germany has just been pulverizing opponents, including a 4-2 victory over Greece this weekend. The Germans were the only team to sweep their entire group and claim the highest scoring total with nine goals in four games so far.
Germany has been so good scoring goals in this tournament that they did not even play their top scorer of the tournament, Mario Gomez, until they were up 3-1 against Greece. Now they will try to score against one of the best goalkeepers in the world, Gianluigi Buffon, who has only given up one goal all tournament. The Italian defense has helped Buffon as well; they managed to hold England to just four shots on goal and three corner kicks for 120 minutes. Italy will attempt to control possession for extended periods and hope that Mario Balotelli plays inspired.
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