Group stage has ended, and the quarterfinals of the Euro 2012 will be in motion real soon, with the advancement of the 8 mightiest teams, the tournament gets intense and more exciting. Every team in the quarterfinals is considered a potential contender, promising the most eye-popping match-ups. Starting with Czech Republic and Portugal on June 21; however one of the most commented matches its Spain against France this coming Saturday. Questions rose after a turbulent path for France to get into the next stage, while Spain was taken it calmly as if everything was under control, which leave us with the mayor intrigue that is Can Les Bleus hold it against La Furia Roja? Not I think.
Since the beginning of the tournament, one of the most prominent selections has been Spain, which holds the crown of the last Euro 2008 and the World Cup Trophy. Now they have come to defend their reign over the European Football Soccer once more, and even after a group stage soft performance, Spain remains as one of the favorites to win the tournament.
France development on the group stages wasn't as great as expected after a 21-match unbeaten streak, but it wasn't so terrible either. Their road to the quarterfinals was a struggling one; opening with a draw against England, taking it too long to beat Ukraine 2-0 and surrendering its top spot in group D to England after losing to Sweden 2-0 on the last match.
With so many turns ahead, what can we expect of this match? Will this be a fair encounter, or could we be the witnesses of a future a massacre? These are some of the possible things that may occur on this match based on what we have seen until now.
You may bet on it if you wish; Fernando Torres will fusillade the arc! He played during the three matches at the group stages starting at the last two and shining against Ireland. Expect him to have a great game performance; his goal scoring form is improving from an atrocious and spontaneous method to something precise and deadly, for this game all eyes will be on him.
Laurent Koscielny will be covering Philippe Mexes due to a suspension. The Center back of the Arsenal will be playing his biggest international match of his career, but because of his lack of experience in a meaningful international match, he may be filled with doubts and his nerves maybe melt; also a situation that doesn't help him either is to face El Coloso Espa%uFFFDol in a desperate match to evade elimination.
Possession it's a key factor in the outcome of any match, and Spain is know for their possessive football. So far, Spain has been the most dominant team at the Euro 2012, they average over 70% possession at 90% competition rate. These numbers are the higher on the tournament; however France is another team catalogued as possessive as they showed against Italy and their other contenders. Les Blues stronger area is in the midfield, and they probably will relay on it, but their domination over a weak group has ended; against Spain, France will simply face another kind of level; on Saturday, La Furia Roja will have at least 65% of control.
Karim Benzema should give the best of him to have a chance against Spain, his full strength hasn't showed up at the Euro 2012, but he must perform as he did for the Real Madrid in La Liga matches. Going against some of his club teammates may be give him some trouble to break the Spanish defensive wall, but in the counterpart, his knowledge of the Spanish defensive tactics may give him the gap France need to reach the Spaniards arc.
Together with Benzema in the face of elimination, Hugo Lloris has to give the best of him to contain the Spanish charge. Lloris could be considered one of the best goalkeepers in the world, not to far from his Spanish counterpart Iker Casillas. Against Sweeden Lloris stopped four of six shots, but if not by those four saves, France could have it worse. The Sweden game was a complete struggle from the start to the end. If France doesn't correct their struggles against Spain, Lloris will have a night in hell.
It may be too early to count the match as a Spanish victory, but if they win, they will be at two wins to paving their way to make history. Spain excels at every category and is in great shape. During the Group Stage they played well and were resilient against Italy. With an extraordinary line up with the likes of Jesus Navas, Cesc Fabregas and Iker Casillas, Spain will have the best combination of players in game at every moment.
France will try everything to hold the ball as long as possible; the chances are low and probably won't work at the end. France has great players at their disposal, none of them better than their goalkeeper, but he can do everything to stop the attacks of La Furia Roja star-studded front six. Spain probably will win by 2; they will show everyone in Europe and the world why they are the best..