What does Euro 2012 hold in store for Blues abroad?

What does the tournament hold for Blues abroad? And who will lift the Henri Delaunay Trophy?

What does Euro 2012 hold in store for Blues abroad?

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Andy

June 6th, 2012

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With the European Cup safely locked away at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea’s international stars head for Poland and Ukraine this week for the kick-off of Euro 2012.

What does the tournament hold for Blues abroad? And who will lift the Henri Delaunay Trophy?

England. And then there were two. With Frank Lampard and Gary Cahill both sidelined by untimely injury, only John Terry and Ashley Cole make the trip from Stamford Bridge to England’s training camp near Krakow.

New boss Roy Hodgson has all but written off this tournament, as he gets on with the real job in hand of steadying the ship for the 2014 World Cup.

A run to the final would see Cole notch-up his 100th England cap: though that is surely unlikely for a squad so depleted that getting out of the group stages may actually be the biggest challenge.

Spain. The inclusion of Fernando Torres in the squad of the reigning World and European champions looks very much like a luxury, when you see how short of goals their forward-line is. But injuries mean boss Vicente del Bosque has very little choice.

Torres last week scored his first international goal in almost a year, as Spain romped to a 4-1 win over South Korea.

Meanwhile for Chelsea he this season managed an improving, yet still far from acceptable, 11 goals.

Juan Mata’s inclusion makes far more sense. Though he has looked very tired as the season has worn on, and would benefit from a break.

Spain look very beatable this time around: yet could still make the final thanks to a favourable draw.

Portugal. Once a squad packed with men who knew their way around Cobham, Raul Meireles is Chelsea’s sole representative in Paulo Bento’s 23.

The midfielder may treat the tournament as a shop window, with his Chelsea future unsure following the departure of Andre Villas-Boas.

Sharing a group with Holland and Germany, Portugal are unlikely to see the knock-out phases.

France. Another man looking to impress future employers this summer is Florent Malouda.

Expected to leave Stamford Bridge in each of the last two transfer windows, this is the Blues last opportunity to cash-in on the winger.

The third oldest man in Laurent Blanc’s squad, his inclusion had surprised some. However a wonder-goal against Serbia last week may have justified the decision.

Dependent on their result against England, France may make the knock-out stage: where their hopes will surely be dashed by Spain or Italy.

Czech Republic. As with Chelsea, the first name on the Michal Bilek’s national squad is an easy one to pick: Petr Cech.

So far ahead of the pack, Cech already has his 100th Cap in sight: with the possibility that his pro career could have ten years to run.

The Czechs may make it beyond the lottery of their group: though probably not beyond a second round tie with Holland or Germany.

So who will win? After a particularly demanding domestic season in all the major leagues, injuries have taken their toll on the squads of all but a few Euro 2012 contenders. This could be the year for a Greek-style wild-card winner (though probably not Greece themselves).

But it’s more likely that the natural order of European football will be restored: and Germany will raise the trophy.

Words by Dan Levene (Twitter @blueschronicle)

1 Response

Posted by Firnny on

I don’t think Neymar is in that much demand anormye. He has had some bad publicity, and clubs like Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona will want to avoid controversial players. And can; there is a lot of talent out there. I think Neymar will be lucky to get another offer from Chelsea. They would sooner go for someone more level headed like Eden Harzard.

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