Euro Mills & Boom: Bend Balotelli’s ear

Date published: Friday 22nd June 2012 10:48

Hi everyone, Danny here checking in from Poland. You can hear my thoughts on Euro 2012 every morning on Sky Sports News Radio.

Have a read and leave a Comment below.

Milner & Johnson working well

I’ve been impressed with Glen Johnson so far – he has done what he’s had to do. We haven’t seen those marauding runs going forward that he likes to do. In the past myself and everybody else have been slightly critical of his defending ability as he does seem to have the odd lapse in concentration, but the way the team is set up with James Milner in front of him works well as James works incredibly hard and always puts a tremendous shift in.

Bend Balotelli’s ear

It’ll be interesting to see if Mario Balotelli starts on Sunday. He’s a talented player. If it was me playing against Balotelli, I’d be in his ear winding him up trying to get some sort of reaction. Of course you’ve got to be very careful how you do it and not get caught by the referree. But it’s all part of getting inside people’s heads and the mind games of trying to get one over your opponent.

One-man show

I think Portugal are very much a one-man team, especially going forward. Ronaldo wants to take free-kicks, corners and penalties. He’s an exceptional player and he ran the show – but the Czechs for me were poor. They sat back and I don’t think they had a shot on target. Portugal are certainly a threat but if you take Ronaldo out their side then they will probaly lose 30% of their games. If Spain join them in the semi-final it will be an enthralling encounter and a real football game. Both teams will want to attack but they often leave space for the opposition players to exploit. It’s difficult to say whether Portugal can go all the way as they rely heavily on Ronaldo. If teams can nullify Ronaldo I think it will be game over for Portugal.

Germany v Greece

Greece are a strange side. They’re unknown, dogged and determined. They’ve only lost two in 24 games which at international level is fantastic whoever you have played against. They’re missing their captain, Giorgos Karagounis, which will be a huge loss. He scored the winner in the last group game to put them through. The Greeks don’t score many goals. I don’t think they’ve score more than one goal for some time in a competitive fixture, so that’s going to be tough on them. The Germans are incredibly impressive, going through their side there aren’t too many players over the age of 25 but they have bags of experience. Even the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger seem to have been around for years and I don’t believe they have reached their peak yet. They have two or three tournaments left in them.

Germany and Spain to march on

When you look at the quarter-finals, Germany are massive favourites and Spain are favourites in their game on Saturday. England v Italy is the only one that I’m struggling to decide which way it’s going to go. But again this tournament has thrown up a number of twists and turns, so I think teams have to be wary that anything could happen.

Play it again, Roy

I think Hodgson will stick with the same team against Italy if that is possible. I think Ashley Young has come through his little injury scare and Hodgson should have a full team to choose from. You can’t worry about what the Italians are going to do, it doesn’t make much difference who starts up front whether it’s Cassano, Di Natale or Balotelli. What could be key is where De Rossi plays, he was magnificent in the first game playing a sweeper role, then he was moved into midfield. Chiellini will be a big miss for the Italians, so that is a plus for England. But I just think they’ve got to go out and do what they can and do what they’ve done so far and they will always have the chance. If I was a betting man I’d have a punt on it going to penalties

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