European Soccer

Euro 2012: Matchday Three (Group C)



Spain, the defending European champions and World Cup Champions, will take their first step toward trying to win an unprecedented third straight major title with their Euro 2012 opener against Italy.

For Italy, the match is a stiff test for a team facing plenty of adversity amid the latest match-fixing scandal and a rash of pre-tournament injuries. The 'Azzurri' could trot out a 3-5-2 formation to try and cope with Spain's dynamic possession game. For Spain, the big question is which forward will be called upon to lead the line, be it Fernando Torres or Fernando Llorente.

The day's second match features Ireland taking on Croatia in a match-up of teams with realistic aspirations of reaching the knockout rounds if Italy can't get it together. The Croatians boast a skillful midfield led by Luka Modric, while the Irish are led by the aging trio of Robbie Keane, Damien Duff and Shay Given.

Here is the viewing schedule for the day's matches:

12 p.m. - ESPN/ESPN3.com - Spain vs. Italy

2:45 p.m. - ESPN/ESPN3.com - Croatia vs. Ireland

If you will be watching today's Euro 2012 action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action.


  • GW

    The idea of guests on a show like that is to 1. Have something interesting to say and/or
    2. Cause a buzz and draw attention.

    It worked on both counts. We don’t often get to hear anything from a current Azzuri player so on that point alone it was interesting.

    And of course his many American fans were sure to notice and comment.


  • GW

    Just out of curiousity, who would you rather have doing the bulk of the attacking and forward play for you, Iniesta and Fabregas or any two USMNT players of your choice?


  • GW


    You don’t know Ley personally do you?

    If you did then maybe you can talk about unnatural and faux.

    If everyone around you at work kept using those terms you might too. I worked in the deep south for many years and found my accent “adapting”.

    Don’t always assume someone is being uppity if they adapt to the local accent.


  • Good Jeremy

    Yes, that’s completely relevant when the Spanish teams. Maybe a better question: Would you rather have Donovan, Dempsey, Bradley, Edu, Torres,and Jones as the front six or would you want a striker playing?


  • Good Jeremy

    If Lalas had just cut his hair or not played guitar we wouldn’t be stuck with this issue. Sigh…


  • Brad

    Did you guys hear when Ballack said that Rossi had a better chance to get silverware with Italy than the USA? Alexi should have said that he would have a better chance at making the team and getting playing time with the USA. I hope Alexi gave him the cold-shoulder all day.


  • Gene

    I love Ireland’s work rate and they are good in the air. But they are way too direct going forward and, really, a class below the rest of the group.


  • GW

    Regarding your “better” question, Bradley did that in last year’s Gold Cup final, except he had Adu for Edu and Bedoya for Torres. Not one recognized specialist striker in the bunch.

    My question was hypothetical, Jeremy.

    Therefore it is perfectly reasonable to offer up two Spanish midfielders as alternatives to any US strikers. If Fabregas and Iniesta want to play striker on any team I have anything to do with that is just fine by me. They can play that position as well or better than about 90% of the strikers out there.

    If you are lucky enough to have two great soccer players like Iniesta and Fabregas playing up front for you, the rather artificial distinction of labels such as “striker” or “midfielder” are sort of irrelevant.


  • GW

    Ireland made some uncharacterisic blunders on the goals, though the third one was great.

    Croatia have some nice attacking pieces but can’t defend. Spain and Italy might just rip them apart.

    Absent the defensive bonehead plays, had Ireland been a little more precise they could have tied this game. They certainly had enough chances.


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