Yellow is not so dangerous- there is no doubt that suspensions had a huge influence on the Champions League Final this season but that won’t be the case for Euro 2012. Two yellows means a suspension from the next game but single cautions are wiped out after the quarter-final stage meaning that the only way a player can be banned from the final is if he picks up a red card in the semi.
Time is on their side- the schedule is hugely favourable to Groups A and B with regard to rest days. At the semi-final stage whoever progresses from those groups will get two days more down time than their opponents; that won’t make a bad team better than a good one but in a tournament of tight margins that advantage could be crucial.
There’s gold in them thar boots!- four of the last seven Golden Boot winners have been helped to the award by scoring a hat-trick, so if you do want to risk your hard earned cash on a gamble don’t look for a player from a team that you think will win the tournament, look for a player who can “fill his boots” in one game (from the relatively weak Group A perhaps?).
An Irish win?- Ireland will be equaling the record for biggest gap between appearances; twenty-four years. The two other teams that equaled that record were France in1984 (who went on to win) and Greece in 2004 (who went on to win).
The end of the Euro?- after this tournament the number of teams rises from sixteen to twenty-four as UEFA follow the more means better credo. No doubt the competition will still be worth watching but the “it’s actually better than the World Cup” cliche will surely be replaced by “it’s actually like a smaller World Cup”.
Enjoy it while you can.
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