The last day of Group D on Sunday sees all four teams looking to seal a place in the quarter-finals, however two will progress and two will head home. Germany are favourites and only need a point against Denmark, whilst both Portugal and Netherlands will fight to win and hope to claim second place.
Germany vs Denmark
Germany have been one of the standout sides of the tournament so far, and have an impeccable record of two games played, two wins. A 1-0 victory over Portugal was followed by a comprehensive 2-1 win over Netherlands, and Joachim Low’s men are now odds-on to top the ‘Group of Death’. Even a defeat could still see them in the quarter-finals if the other game ends in a draw, but Joachim Low’s men will look to win the game to keep momentum building.
Mario Gomez has netted all three goals for the Germans so far, and has shown a clinical and ruthless streak. The side’s defence have also been uncompromising, with Mats Hummels and Holger Badstuber looking like no-nonsense characters in the centre of the German rearguard. Low has quality in the remainder of his squad, but despite this he is likely to stick to the same starting XI that has propelled the nation into one of the competition favourites to date.
Denmark were expected to be the whipping boys of Group B, but have proved far from it with two solid and impressive performances. Michael Krohn-Delhi scored the only goal of the game to give the Scandinavians a 1-0 win over Netherlands in their opening fixture, whilst they were on the wrong end of a five-goal thriller with Portugal last time out, with a late goal resulting in a 3-2 defeat.
The Danes will have one eye on the other game, as the fate of Netherlands and Portugal is tied in with that of their own. Morten Olsen’s men have looked to play enterprising and exciting football throughout the campaign and Nicklas Bendtner will look to add to his two goals against Paulo Bento’s side.
Portugal vs Netherlands
Portugal know that if they beat Netherlands, regardless of what happens in the other game, they are through to the next stage. Paulo Bento’s men have come back from a 1-0 defeat to win 3-2 over Denmark, with Pepe, Helder Postiga and Silvestre Varela getting the goals and the three points. Cristiano Ronaldo has not been his menacing self and was guilty of missing chances in both games; the Iberian nation’s captain has a weight of expectation on his shoulders and will look to contribute towards victory on Sunday.
Netherlands meanwhile are still somehow in the mix despite being beaten in both of their opening games. A 1-0 defeat to Denmark and 2-1 loss to Germany has had the nation’s fans in shock, as there were high hopes for a star-studded Oranje squad in the build-up to the tournament. The side have been guilty of not taking their opportunities, a fact even more surprising given the attacking calibre in the squad’s ranks.
Holland are currently bottom of the group, but should they beat Portugal by two goals and Germany defeat Denmark they will finish as runners up. Bert van Marwijk’s job is unsafe and there have been rumblings in the Dutch press that he will be axed if the quarter-finals are not reached. Two things are for sure; it is set to be an enthralling night of football, and two good sides are getting knocked out by this time tomorrow.