Match Previews: June 9

The teams in Group B start on match day two of Euro 2012

Netherlands vs. Denmark in Kharkiv

The “Group of Death” kicks off with a must-win game for the Dutch. Netherlands have many options and formations to choose from. The trio of Ibrahim Afellay, Wesley Sneijder and Robin Van Persie in the last friendly were impressive against Northern Ireland. Look for this threat to cause trouble for the Danes.

Players to watch

Robin Van Persie- Coming off a great year with Arsenal, Van Persie will be key for the Netherlands. He didn’t play to his potential in the 2010 World Cup, but is fit now and ready to shine.

Nicklas Bendtner- Van Persie’s teammate at Arsenal has a lot of prove like Russia’s Andrei Arshavin. Bendtner was also a castaway at the Emirates Stadium and spent the last season on loan at Sunderland. The striker is the Danes most dangerous threat to score goals against a shaky Netherlands defense.

Prediction: Netherlands 3, Denmark 0

Germany vs. Portugal in Lviv

The first match of Euro 2012 with major stars on both teams. In a group of such strength every point is vital and even goals are important because of goal differential. This will be a tussle between five Real Madrid teammates. Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira for Germany, and Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe and Fabio Conetrao for Portugal.

Players to watch

Lukas Podolski- The German winger has already played very well in three major tournaments. The 27 year old just came off a great club season where he scored 18 goals for FC Koln. Portugal will focus on midfielders Ozil and Bastian Schweinsteiger, which could give the Polish-born Podolski some chances.

Nani- Everyone knows what Ronaldo can do. So someone needs to step up if Portugal moves on. Playing on the opposite flank of Ronaldo will be Manchester United winger Nani, who has proven that he can provide moments of brilliance.

Prediction: Germany 2, Portugal 1

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