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Tag:Euro Cup Competition
Posted on: October 4, 2011 12:09 am
Edited on: October 4, 2011 10:32 am
 

Euro Cup Qualifiers/Last Round

Under Construction:

Well, here we are sports fans with the final Euro Cup qualifiers coming up. Of course, there will be playoffs in November to ascertain who indeed advances to next year's tournament. These games are much more numerous than your typical weekend of Premier League games plus there are usually two playing days for each country. Of course, we will be looking to see if our Red Devils of Belgium can still squeeze in.

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Matches per Soccerway: http://www.soccerway.com/internatio
nal/europe/european-championships/2
012-poland-ukraine/qualifying-round
/
We will look at the more crucial matches and others we just might be interested in.

 GROUP A:
    Friday: Turkey Germany, Belgium Kazakhstan
    Tuesday: Germany. Belgium, Turkey Aizerbaijan

Germany 24 points (Clinched 1st)
Turkey 14 points
Belgium 12 points

 A close call for Belgium. Seeing how Turkish fans have treated visitors in the past, I think Germany could have a hard time in Instanbul. Oh well, the Turks do often play a very exciting brand of soccer and surely deserve to advance if their point total is better. Belgium faltered by drawing Aizerjaijan last time out. You almost might wonder if a country like Aizerbaijan might roll over for another Muslim country like Turkey. It does not look promising for Belgium. The best Belgium should hope for is somehow defeating the Kazakhs and then Germany to get 6 points and hope somehow the Germans defeat the Turks making the most Turkey can get as 3 points.

 GROUP B:
   Friday: Slovakia Russia, Armenia Macedonia, Andorra Ireland Republic
   Tuesday: Ireland Armenia, Russia Andorra, Macedonia Slovakia

Russia 17 points
Ireland 15 points
Armenia 14 points
Slovakia 14 points

I think we see 4 teams in contention and in all likelihood, if these teams can win their games, they will advance, easier said than done. Of course, Andorra is basically a pushover. I have no quarrels with any of these teams though it would be nice to see Ireland make the big tournament. Armenia are playing well but Ireland hosts them in the last games. Ireland must watch out for Andorra, they are not always the pushovers they appear to be and Ireland has notably had problems with smaller nations. Even a big soccer country like Italy had problems with Faroe Islands, another minnow country last time out.

Per Ireland, here is a good interview with Robbie Keane, now playing with the LA Galaxy where he has scored twice in only a few appearances. Ireland Republic, Eire, let's not forget basically got a raw deal to go to last year's World Cup and France who went were rather poor, I like the Bleus but I don't like any team that plays a game unfairly. So, I'm hoping the boys in green can make this Euro Tourney, it won't be easy but maybe since Ireland is playing Russia in one of the remaining games, Ireland can get the automatic bid and not go through those playoffs.

  GROUP C:
    Friday: Serbia Italy, Northern Ireland Estonia,
    Tuesday: Slovenia Serbia, Italy Northern Ireland

Italy 22 points
Serbia 14 points
Estonia 13 points
Slovenia 11 points
Northern Ireland 9 points

Italy apparently has this group in hand but Serbia, Estonia and Slovenia all battle for 2nd, perhaps Northern Ireland has a shot still as well. Those Baltic countries sometimes play some excellent soccer.

  GROUP D:
     Friday: France Albania, Romania Belarus, Bosnia Luxembourg
     Tuesday: France Bosnia, Albania Romania

France 17 points
Bosnia 16 points
Romania 12 points

It looks like France and Bosnia are in the driver's seat here but the two must still pick up points to assure they advance. Romania might be able to get in with 2 wins.

  GROUP E:
    Friday: Finland Sweden, Netherlands Moldova
    Tuesday: Sweden Netherlands, Hungary Finland

Netherlands 24 points
Sweden 18 points
Hungary 18 points
Finland 9 points

Some teams that did fairly well in the past such as Slovenia, Slovakia, even Israel and Iceland and Finland as in this group have had a poor outing this time qualification campaign apparently. Still, it would make Finland's day to defeat the Swedes, those countries up there along with Denmark and Norway are great rivals to each other. Hungary only has one game remaining while the Swedes have two games left. I think there is a good chance, Hungary could sneak in to the playoffs as a 2nd place team though all the same.

  GROUP F:
    Friday:  Greece Croatia
    Tuesday:  Georgia Greece, Croatia Latvia

  Croatia 19 points
  Greece 18 points

This group looks decided except of course, who will get the automatic qualification for the Euro by winning the group and who will have to go through the playoffs. Little Latvia, the Balkan country went to the last Euro '08, so, one might see them give the Croats a good game, perhaps even a draw so Friday's game is pivotal.

    GROUP G:
    Friday:  Montenegro England, Wales Switzerland
    Tuesday:  Switzerland Montenegro

   England 17 points
   Montenegro 11 points
   Switzerland 8 points

It's self explanatory, Montenegro is in 2nd, Switzerland has a shot if they can win their last two games. Wales pulled an upset last time out defeating Montenegro.

  GROUP H:
    Friday:  Portugal Iceland, Cyprus Denmark
    Tuesday:  Norway Cyprus, Denmark Portugal

Portugal 13 points
Denmark 13 points
Norway  13 points

Norway only has one game remaining against Cyprus. It will be interesting how these games shake out. Surely, Portugal will advance. 2nd place is a bit unclear.

  GROUP I:
    Friday:  Czech Republic Spain
    Saturday: Scotland Liechtenstein
    Tuesday:  Spain Scotland, Lithuania Czech Republic

Spain 18 points
Czech Republic 10 points
Scotland 8 points
 
The last group and in subsequent Euros, 24 teams will be playing versus the 16 teams currently, so it will be easier for the likes of Scotland to qualify. That said, I think Scotland still has an outside chance to make the '12 tournament. That outside chance would mean defeating Spain in Spain while the Czechs would have to lose or draw on Friday to Spain. Highly unlikely but you never know.

Scotland felt hard done in the game vs. the Czechs during this campaign that ended in a draw because the Czechs were awarded a PK which many disagree with. Probably was a bad call from what I saw.

This article is mainly my own little worksheet to get a grasp on how things are coming.

Most of the groups are largely decided, however it is clear that some like groups H and B are not. Those may be the only 2 where things are really up in the air.


 

Posted on: September 7, 2011 4:07 am
 

Minnows? Who are the Minnows??

Looking at the Euro Competition, I noted some of the real 'minnow' countries still put out some good games, Faroe Islands held out for a 0-1 loss against Italy, Liechtenstein drew and defeated Lithuania, Lithuania, though you might want to call them a minnow, crawled into Fifa's top 30 not long ago and had narrow losses to the likes of France and Italy, Luxembourg, the Grand Dutchy has been putting up impressive results for some time, even defeating Switzerland not to long ago. England struggled to defeat Andorra in that one match of the last Euro Cup qualifying campaign, despite I believe finally getting 3 goals by the end of the game. San Marino was bombarded by the Dutch last Friday in their loss, 11-0.  Some people complain about having to play these mega-weak teams.

So, who are the weakest teams??

I do think San Marino probably is. Let's see which teams have the worst goal differential.

http://www.soccerway.com/internatio
nal/europe/european-championships/2
012-poland-ukraine/qualifying-round
/

San Marino -49

But after this country, there is quite a jump up to the team with the next worse.

Faroe Islands -20
Andorra -16
Kazakhstan -15
Luxembourg -13
Malta -13
Liechtenstein -13
Aizerbaijan -12

And from my counting, these are the only teams with double digit negative GDs. Liechtenstein in fact, got bombed for 6-0 by Spain Tuesday. So, that really pumped up their GD.

So, in the end, these teams are often competitive. It seems like it is the really small kinds of countries I would call minnows.

Iceland and Lithuania have both had some good times but both are suffering this time out obviously.


Posted on: August 31, 2011 9:46 am
 

International Matches this weekend.

Quite a wait but a lot of International Matches to be played:

Important games are boldened. Of course, this is a broad term to me.

Friday, 02/09/2011


Israel Greece

Lithuania Liechtenstein

Finland Moldova

Azerbaijan Belgium

Andorra  Armenia

Russia  Macedonia FYR

Turkey Kazakhstan

Georgia Latvia

Malta Croatia

Luxembourg Romania

Belarus Bosnia-Herzegovina

Hungary Sweden

Norway Iceland

Bulgaria England

Netherlands San Marino

Germany Austria

Faroe Islands Italy

Slovenia Estonia

Northern Ireland Serbia

Ireland Republic Slovakia

Wales Montenegro

Cyprus  Portugal

Albania France

Sat03/09/11

Scotland Czech Republic

Tues 06/09/11

Azerbaijan Kazakhstan

Russia  Ireland Republic
 
Finland   Netherlands

Moldova Hungary

Macedonia FYR Andorra

Croatia  Israel

Bosnia-Herzegovina  Belarus

Luxembourg  Albania

Slovakia  Armenia

Denmark Norway

San Marino Sweden

Romania France

Austria Turkey

Serbia Faroe Islands

Estonia Northern Ireland

Malta Georgia

Latvia  Greece

Switzerland  Bulgaria
 
Italy  Slovenia
 
England  Wales

Iceland  Cyprus

Scotland  Lithuania

Spain Liechtenstein

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Other Selected Games - Friendlies

Sept 3 USA Costa Rica 
Sept 6 Belgium USA 

Sep 2 Poland Mexico
Sep 4 Mexico Chile


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com