Two of the top teams remaining in Euro 2008 meet on Thursday in the quarterfinals as Portugal takes on Germany. Portugal is a slight favorite in the game, mainly because they have the world’s top player in Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Germans will not have coach Joachim Loew on the bench because he was suspended by the UEFA for his actions in Germany’s win over Austria.
"It really hurts him, because it's a special game, the biggest game so far in his career," team manager Oliver Bierhoff said, "He won't be able to use his intuition on the bench." The problem for Germany will be containing Ronaldo. "We have a special plan to stop him, but I won't tell you," Bierhoff said. "He is the best player in the world; you can't stop him for 90 minutes. And he is not alone. We have to stay solid as a group, confronting them one-on-one won't be enough."
Portugal is a -155 favorite with a total of 2 at SBG Global.
Three-way line – Portugal +130, Germany +185, Draw +210
Euro 2008 Quarterfinal Betting Preview
Portugal vs. Germany
Thursday, 2:45 pm Eastern – ESPN
Germany will be relying upon Michael Ballack who scored their only goal against Austria. "I am looking forward to this game," Ballack said. "I know a few players; they have very strong individuals, not only Ronaldo. It promises to be a good match." Germany's leading scorer in Euro 2008 is Lukas Podolski but he has a left calf injury and is questionable. Midfielder Torsten Frings has a fractured rib and is also questionable. The good news for Germany is that Bastian Schweinsteiger is likely to return from his one match suspension.
Ronaldo definitely has respect for Germany. "It's going to be a very good game," Ronaldo said. "Both teams are good, Portugal has more technique and Germany (plays) more physically, they have strong players. We have to respect Germany; it is a dangerous team, with very good players. But we are too, so let's see."
The teams have met twice at the Soccer Betting European Championship. They played to a scoreless draw in 1984 while Portugal routed Germany 3-0 in 2000. Portugal had already secured a spot in 2000 and was resting players in that match. Germany defeated Portugal 3-1 to take third place in the 2006 World Cup.
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