The key Euro 2012 Group B game between Germany and Portugal will begin at 2.45 p.m. ET in what promises to be one of the games of the group stages.
Expectation will be high as the efficient and young German side will take on the flair and unpredictability of the Portuguese.
Germany are known for always making it to the latter stages of major tournaments, and following their appearance in the final of Euro 2008, as well as their semi-final appearance in the 2010 World Cup, many believe the Germans are one of the favorites for the tournament. Such is the pressure on this side that only Spain are realistically considered a higher seed ahead of Germany; Spain in fact knocked Germany out of the two last major tournaments in 2008 and 2010.
German Coach Joachim Low has gathered together an exceptional group of young players, and they lit up the World Cup in 2010. However, over the past two years these young players have managed to grow and mature further and many will be wondering if it is time for Germany to add to their three previous Euro wins.
Portugal are known for being able to devastate any opposition on their day, with their flair and skill, but are equally known for failing to show up for some games. It is this inconsistency that makes this game so intriguing. If the real Portugal show up, and key player Ronaldo is on form, then Portugal could cause an upset against the more-favored German side. However, the inconsistent Portugal side could easily turn up and be swiftly swept aside by the ever efficient Germans. Ronaldo, as ever, may be key to the Portuguese and this game; he scored an amazing 60 goals this past season for Real Madrid and is the only player in Europe who realistically challenged Lionel Messi as the best player in the world last year.
Germany are probably the favorites for the tie, but no one should underestimate Portugal. What is for sure is that this is a group game not to be missed by any soccer fan across the world.
The game, which kicks off from the Arena Lviv in Ukraine at 2.45 p.m. ET., can be watched on ESPN, or via live stream on ESPN3.