Euro 2012: Who will survive the Group of Death?

By Chris BevanBBC Sport

Euro 2012's "Group of Death" has not disappointed.

Two wins for Germany have left them top of Group B, but two defeats for the Netherlands mean they are rock bottom while Denmark and Portugal have a victory apiece.

That means going into Sunday's final round of fixtures, all four are in with a chance of reaching the quarter-finals.

So, who will be progressing into the last eight in Poland and Ukraine, and who will be going home?

BBC Radio 5 live commentators Chris Waddle, who has covered both of Germany's wins, and former Denmark midfielder Jan Molby, who has done the same for the Danes' matches, assess the prospects.

You can see all the Euro 2012 qualification permutations, here.


Chris Waddle: "Germany are the strongest team in the group by far.

"While I was commentating early on in their win over the Netherlands, I questioned whether they deserved their status as one of the pre-tournament favourites.

"The reason was that, after I'd watched them struggle to break down Portugal in their first game, they were being pegged back by the Dutch.

"But games turn on chances. The Dutch didn't take theirs, but Mario Gomez got one opportunity for Germany and took it. They did not look back after that.

"I cannot see Joachim Loew's side taking their foot off the gas in their final game against Denmark."

Jan Molby: "In beating Portugal and the Netherlands, Germany have proved they are the best side in the group but there is still an outside chance they could be knocked out.

"For that to happen, Denmark need to beat them.

"The last thing we want is an end-to-end game against Germany because they are so good at breaking forward from one end to another in two or three passes.

"They play like that whether they are in front or not, but if we find ourselves chasing the game they are good enough to take us apart."


Chris Waddle: "The Netherlands deserve better than their two defeats - they have played well and created loads of chances against Denmark and Germany.

"But they have not taken their chances, and they have also been quite sloppy at the back. Defensively they are suspect and that is what has cost them.

"I am sure they will change things around against Portugal.

"Their manager Bert van Marwijk has got to drop Mark van Bommel in midfield, and play someone with more mobility alongside Nigel de Jong.

"He should put Wesley Sneijder on the left and play Robin van Persie behind Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. When that happened against Germany, Van Persie looked a better player and the Dutch looked a better team.

"Van Marwijk has got to get the balance right, but at least he is lucky enough to have the option of bringing other people on if their system is not working after an hour against Portugal."

Jan Molby: "I am a little bit surprised the Dutch have struggled so badly, but I didn't see them as contenders to win the tournament.

"I know they reached the World Cup final two years ago but I didn't quite buy into the hype surrounding them, and all the people telling me how great they had been in the qualifiers.

"They have some exceptional players, but some real weaknesses, which have been exposed in their defeats so far.

"I don't think their problem for the last game is whether to play Huntelaar or Van Persie up front, but the fact they insist on playing Van Bommel and De Jong.

"I don't think those two players offer anything - so many teams play 4-2-3-1 but without those static defensive midfield players. The Netherlands don't just have one, they have two."


Chris Waddle: "I'm not sure. Cristiano Ronaldo has had a poor tournament and Nani has flitted in and out of matches.

"They have not got a centre-forward and they have never really had one, something that has cost them the chance of winning tournaments in recent years.

"Ronaldo is not in full flow - he missed a couple of glorious chances against Denmark which normally he would have put away, and he has had some really disappointing free-kicks.

"He needs to produce a lot more in their final game against the Netherlands, because he is their best chance of making it through."

Jan Molby: "Portugal have got some really good players but they have got some really average ones too.

"When I saw them beat Denmark, they cruised into a 2-0 lead but were looking very shaky once the score was back at 2-2.

"Yes, they came back and ended up getting a winner but while Ronaldo is not firing on all cylinders, they look like a limited side."


Chris Waddle: "They are a typical Danish side, well organised and hard to break down, although we still saw how many chances the Dutch created against them.

"They are definitely not the best team in the group, but they have shown what you can do if you defend with determination and a little bit of luck, and are able to get bodies forward on the counter-attack.

"The Danes have done well to have three points so far, but I cannot see them troubling Germany on Sunday."

Jan Molby: "Yes, in a way, by beating the Dutch, although we knew they had weaknesses.

"But the game we were hoping to win was against Portugal, because we finished above them in qualifying and have a good recent record against them.

"But by the time we got started, we were 2-0 down. We played some decent stuff after that, but we need to start games better.

"The game we expected nothing from is our last one, against Germany.

"On one hand, we were delighted we got to play them last, but on the other we know that, if they bring their 'A' game, there is absolutely nothing we can do to stop them."


Chris Waddle: "Germany will beat Denmark and win the group, no doubt about it. That will leave the door open for the Dutch.

"A lot of people I have spoken to say they cannot see the Netherlands winning by two goals but I think they can.

"Robin van Persie has broken his duck and he will be full of confidence after scoring such a good goal against Germany. If they convert some of the chances that I think they will create against Portugal, they will go through.

"If the Dutch do sneak through, it will give them so much belief going into the knockout stages, and could even be the start of a very good run."

Jan Molby: "Unfortunately I don't think Denmark will get anything from their game with Germany.

"Even getting a point will be very tough, especially because it looks like Niki Zimling and Dennis Rommedahl will be missing. Denmark do not have 23 world-class players, and every time we lose one of our better ones, it really hurts us.

"What is happening in the other game will be of great importance. The key for the Danes is to make sure Germany do not get out of sight.

"The Netherlands against Portugal is very close to call, but it would not surprise me if somehow the Dutch make it into the last eight through the back door."