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This will be the first ever match between Costa Rica and Greece. Savvy fantasy football players will have loaded their teams loaded up with Costa Rican defenders – but the Greeks may spring a surprise and score their fifth ever World Cup goal.
This is the second time Costa Rica have reached the knockout stages of the World Cup (in 1990 they were knocked out at this stage by Czechoslovakia) – for Greece it is their first.Costa Rica have only let in one goal so far in this World Cup (a penalty) whilst Greece have only scored 2 (and only 4 in World Cup history).Greece have won just 2 out of their 9 World Cup games (v Nigeria and Ivory Coast).Greece are the only nation who made it through to the last 16 with a negative goal difference (-2).
The Netherlands have looked pretty impressive so far in this tournament, scoring more goals than any other team in the Group stage and slaughtering Champions Spain. Mexico managed to hold Brazil to a 0-0 draw but they will have their work cut out to avoid their usual fate at this point in the competition.
Out of 9 CONCACAF teams to reach the second round since 1990, only one has gone through to the quarter-finals – the USA in 2002.Mexico beat Bulgaria in 1986 to go through to the quarter-finals - where they were beaten by eventual finalists West Germany.Mexico have now reached the knockout stage in their last 7 World Cup appearances, but have been knocked out at the second round stage in all 5 editions since 1994.Netherlands have won 9 of their last 10 World Cup
Leaping out from the deluge of post Euro opinion are two basic questions which seem to be swamped by all the expert, and not so expert, punditry. From a national perspective, why did England not do better? Let`s get the easy one out of the way, answer, because England were not good enough, deeper analysis and dissection for a later time. The second and more pleasant question is, why did Spain win. Again that`s quite an easy one, because they were the best team.
Why were Spain the best team, basically because they lifted the trophy and in the record books for all time they will be listed as winners, as they will be for the 2010 World Cup and the 2008 European Championships. And therein lies the rub as Will Shakespeare wrote. You see we keep hearing and reading phrases like
Let`s be fair, at times, watching the various efforts of ITV and BBC in the punditry game at Euro 2012 has been far more interesting than some of the matches. Adrian Chiles may not be the most polished of presenters, a la Lynam, Coleman etc but by golly he is entertaining as he tries to MC Roy Keane etc and he is a true fan.
I`m not sure how immersed in the tournament the BBC guys can be ensconced in deepest Salford whilst Chiles and co at least have a genuine backdrop against which to pontificate. I also have to say that ITV has edged ahead of the corporation pundits because there is far less `same old same old` as we seem to be served up courtesy of our licence fee.
Love him or loathe him, and the latter group must be exceedingly larger than the former, Roy Keane
In the Netherlands v Denmark game Jetro Willems, at just 18 years and 71 days old, became the youngest player ever to play in the tournament. The record was previously held by Enzo Scifo who was 18 years and 115 days old when he played for Belgium against Yugoslavia in 1984.
We are covering all matches live with our Twitter App - the 11v11 Matchdeck as per usual.
Here's the link for Euro 2012 live on twitter
Updated 10th June 2012 at 10:51 AM by Statisticus
It didn`t take long for Roy Hodgson to experience `withdrawalitus` following his accession to the England hot seat. In the space of a few days injury ruled out Kyle Walker, voted the best right back in the Premier League, Gareth Barry and Frank Lampard, the latter two vastly experienced players. Throw in the injury doubts surrounding Danny Welbeck and Scott Parker, the Spurs man being particularly crucial to England`s tournament hopes and you don`t even have to delve into the unavailable Darren Bent, Jack Rodwell and Chris Smalling to start contemplating some malevolent spooky curse.
Actually it`s a bit more down to earth because ALL the England player have just completed a physically taxing Premier League season, some more than others of course. But it was interesting
This week's performance of the week was Arsenal’s 5-2 demolition of Tottenham Hotspur.
Following the defeat to Milan in the Champions League and FA Cup exit at Sunderland, Arsenal’s season was in danger of imploding as they trailed their North London rivals by two goals on home soil after little more than half-an-hour.
In this, their 150th league meeting, Tottenham Hotspur looked like increasing their chances of finishing above their hosts for the first time since 1995 when former Gunner Emmanuel Adebayor became only the second player after Jimmy Robertson to score for both teams in derby matches.
Indeed, Spurs fans were looking forward to back-to-back league wins at the home of the Gunners for the first time since 1926.
Our Premier League Performance of the Week goes to Blackburn Rovers for their New Year’s Eve win at Manchester United.
- The scene seemed perfectly set at Old Trafford for United to celebrate manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s 70th birthday as, if defeat was avoided, they would return to the top of the Premier League.
- With 11 defeats in the 18 league games in 2011-12, it also seemed like the old year would end in familiar fashion for crisis-club Rovers.
- Having amazingly led 2-0, another familiar pattern appeared to emerge as United drew level after 62 minutes.
- However, against the odds, Steve Kean’s team pulled off arguably the biggest shock win in Premier League history with youngster Grant Hanley’s first senior goal.
- According to the bookies,
Season's Greetings! Here are our predictions scorers and assists for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. This service will extended to probable line-ups in the New Year in support of those playing the intriguing Football Insider game on their Facebooks.
(After Sunderland line-ups announced)
Manchester United Blackburn Rovers (2-3)
Man Utd scorer: Hernandez* Berbatov* x 2 Assist: Luis Nani* Antonio Valencia*
Blackburn Rovers scorer: Yakubu x 2 Assist: Nzonzi
Arsenal Queens Park Rangers (1-0)
Arsenal scorer: Robin Van Persie* Assist: Alex Song
QPR scorer: Bothroyd Assist: Wright-Phillips
Bolton Wanderers Wolverhampton Wanderers (1-1)
Bolton scorer: Klasnic Assist: Petrov
Wolves scorer: Steven Fletcher Assist: