Thursday, June 12, 2008

UEFA Euro 2008: Day 7 Previews

The second day in Group C sees the World Champs Italy looking to rebound against Romania, while France hopes to slow down Holland.

Italy vs. Romania
The venue: Letzigrund Stadion, Zurich, Switzerland
The broadcast: ESPN2, 12:00 pm ET
The storyline: Italy looked old and slow in their opener against Holland. Was that the result of a brilliant Dutch side or the sign of an Italian team that reached their peak two years ago? That question will be answered against a cagey Romanian opponent.
The prediction: Expect a sharper Italian defense and an offense that just does enough to get a 1-0 win.

France vs. Holland
The venue: Stade de Suisse Wankdorf, Berne, Switzerland
The broadcast: ESPN2, 2:45 pm ET
The storyline: France's ability to ground the high-flying Dutch will depend on what contributions they get, if any, from Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry, who both missed the opener with thigh injuries. Overlooked in Holland's win over Italy were key saves from Edwin van der Sar, who will seek a second clean sheet.
The prediction: Holland are brimming with confidence and with the French at less than 100 percent, the Dutch lock up Group C with a 2-1 win.

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