Beaten in the World Cup final, the Netherlands will want to recapture the drive and desire of that campaign. Bert Van Marwijk has proven himself to be a canny operator and, with the attacking talents of Arjen Robben and Robin Van Persise available, chances will be created and scored. A difficult group, though, means that any slip ups will be punished so they need to be strong from the outset.


Manager Morten Olsen has an in depth knowledge of the international game, and Denmark's squad is stuffed with impressive footballers. Several of members of the squad have enjoyed decent campaigns in the Premier League in England with Daniel Agger serving as a key defender for Liverpool. Elsewhere Nicklas Bendtner, who spent the season on loan with Sunderland, always carries a real threat when playing for his country.


Eager to play with pace and purpose, this current German side is admired for its purposeful approach. Joachim Low is a highly regarded manager and the squad is dripping with class. Inevitably much focus will surround Philipp Lahm's thrilling runs from deep, but Bastian Schweinsteiger's passing and Mesut Ozil's skill are equally critical to the German game.


With Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani around it is sure to be interesting when Portugal enter the tournament. Raul Meireles' distribution from the center of the park will be significant too because Portugal's midfield faces a daunting challenge against the Netherlands and Germany. It will be interesting to see how their defense copes with these high powered attacks and will surely determine how Portugal will fare.

Verdict: Arguably the toughest group in the tournament even if Spain, Italy, Croatia, and Republic of Ireland supporters mightn't agree. Germany still have the potential to be outright winners, but they know that they will have to be at their best because the Netherlands and Portugal possess world class talent. Denmark aren't a bad side either so whoever gets into the quarter finals will certainly have earned it the hard way.

European Championship 2012UEFA