…the results are in, and I am 500-yen richer, beating Kawa-T by getting a fantastical all but one team right for the final 8. Of my predictions only France was incorrect- with the team of the tournament so far, the Dutch, gaining qualification at the top of the Group of Death at their expense.
Que the final eight predictions…
1. Germany vs Portugal- an extremely hard one to call. Portugal are the form team but the Germans, like the Italians, can never be written off. Nonetheless, I’m gonna go for Portugal.
2. Croatia vs Turkey- Croatia have been strong so far, while the Turks justified their place in the last 8 through an amazing 3-2 comeback against the Czechs. It might not be clear cut, but I think the Croats have enough to win this one.
3. Netherlands vs Russia- a team full of belief, and bolstered by the return of their star player, Andrey Arshavin, take on the team of the tournament so far. Arshavin propelled Russia to the 2-0 victory over Sweden, but the Dutch have shown consistent class and I expect their run to continue.
4. Spain vs Italy- another hard one to call. Just like Portugal, Spain have the form going into the clash, but just like the Germans, Italy can never be written off. Arguably Spain have a greater burden of expectation on them than Portugal, and they certainly have a consistently-underperforming past that reminds many of England’s ability to always choke on the big stage. I think Italy will sneak it.