Euro 2012, Day Four: Open Thread

Scary Ibra.

Today marks the last set of opening matches at Euro 2012. The key, as always, is not to lose. Only 38% of teams that lose their first match advance. On to Group D.

France vs. England, 12 noon ET

A classic old-school matchup. Both sides will rely on youth due to squad turnover (France) and injuries (England). But Les Bleus will feature the two best players on the pitch: Karim Benzema and Franck Ribery. That may be true in every Group D match, but not beyond the group stage. I like France's look, though.

England is another story. No Frank Lampard may be a positive, as he and Steven Gerrard seemingly cannot coexist. But Wayne Rooney still has no strike partner, and there are no good vibes (albeit good results) surrounding this squad. Can Roy Hodgson grind out 1-0 results against top opposition? I say no.

Ukraine vs. Sweden, 2:45 pm ET

The other co-host closes the first round of matches in Kiev. Likely a more vociferous crowd supporting a better side. Impressive that only Anatoliy Tymoshchuk plays outside the old Russian empire. Important to get a win in their debut, with the positive vibes flowing at full blast.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic + 10 gets underway in a challenging group. Maybe not the "Group of Death," but every team in Group D has its pluses and minuses. A draw in both of today's matches would likely please the Swedes.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Villarreal USA

You must be a member of Villarreal USA to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Villarreal USA. You should read them.

Join Villarreal USA

You must be a member of Villarreal USA to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Villarreal USA. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker