Quarterfinal Match – Spain v. France

Yesterday the gridlock between the two couples was broken as Amanda’s Big Fat Greek hopes were dashed to bits after a stunning display by the Germans. There will be no change in the standings today as all bloggers have chosen Spain to beat France.

La Furia Roja (isn’t it time for a new name Spain?) will try to exorcise the demons of last being eliminated from a major tournament by France in World Cup 2006. Since that tournament, the two countries couldn’t be more different in terms of footballing accomplishments. The Spaniards have won the previous Euro and World Cup, while the French are a picture of infighting and self-destruction at nearly every competition.

One cannot deny, however, how talent rich both of these teams appear to be on paper. While the French team does not have the same depth as their Spanish neighbors, they have a true number nine striker in Karim Benzema that even Spanish eyes must envy in this tournament. The Spaniards know all too well of Benzema’s brilliance since he dons the Real Madrid kit as his club. The Spaniards will start with David Silva and Cesc Farbregas as the fifth and sixth midfielders in their lineup today, with Cesc serving as the false number nine. The embarrassment of riches for Spain is clear when you look at the players watching the game from the bench (Fernando Llorente, Fernando Torres, Javi Martinez, Victor Valdez, Juan Mata to name a few), however it will be up to the starting eleven to play with pace and pass with precision to break down what is sure to be a French wall in defense. Expect that much of the first 30 minutes to be played in the French half with no less than nine players for Les Blues behind the ball. Croatia’s model in the last group game and to a certain extent, Chelsea’s Champions League victory over Barcelona will will guide French coach Laurent Blanc’s game plan today.

Our picks are as follows:

 June 23, 2012

Cáit

Brendan

Amanda

David

 Spain v. France

Spain

Spain

Spain

Spain

A few last things of note, today’s match is being played in Donbass Arena in Ukraine, marking the first time that Spain will play away from Gdansk, Poland. France played their first two group games against England and Ukraine (a tie and a victory respectively) at Donbass Arena in Donetesk, Ukraine. Also, remember to follow all the action on our Twitter account (@GdanskIfUWant2).


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