Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Final Quarter-final previews.

This is a little bit weird writing this post. The last two quarterfinals are the first time I have not got round to writing a preview for any of the knock-out games. For completeness I would like to do so, even though these games have been well and truly gone (obviously this requires me to remember how my mind was working before these matches, and imagine they do not exist yet - believe you me I am happy to return to this stage in my life than be where I am now! lol). Bear with me, or ignore the post, do as you please!

England - Portugal

A repeat of Euro 2004. Could it be the third time in three consecutive tournaments that the volcano (Scolari) defeats the iceman (Sven) at the quarter-final stage? Or will that voodoo be broken? Can Portugal cope without their (arguably) most influential player in Deco? Can England end 40 years of hurt? Or will it be Sven's last game in charge? One has to hope for England's sake it doesn't get to penalties - otherwise no doubt they will do their usual choking trick.

No doubt England will raise their game against Portugal. Thus far they have been playing poorly and getting results but England always tend to play better against higher quality opposition. This should mean for an entertaining match. Whether it will be enough to secure England a last four berth will remain to be seen.

France - Brazil

Will France continue to be Brazil's bogey team or will Brazil finally gel as a team for a whole 90 minutes rather than rely on moments of individual brilliance? Will Ronaldinho silence his critics? Will Zidane bow out with a whimper? Can Brazil defend their crown? What sort of confidence will France's victory over Spain give them?

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