The Euros group stage is over and some teams have proven their title credentials but some of them have emerged on the scene piping giants and making a name for them at this competition. Here is the look of the teams that can be the dark horses this year-
Finishing first after piping the defending champions is as statement of intent and Croatia proved this against the match in Spain. Even before the tournament has started, Croatia was touted as a team to reckon with at the Euros and they have delivered according to the expectations. What Croatia has is the winning momentum with them in the knockouts. They have 2 immensely talented midfielders in the centre of the park that is there greatest strength. They also have a potent striker in the name of Mario Mandzukic and have proven themselves defensively too. The road for Croatia will not be easy as they face Portugal but they have an upper hand on them as they will be inspired by the victory for Spain.
The dark horses of this year’s Euros
In the month of December when Wales group was being drawn after a historic qualification that ended the drought of playing in an international tournament after 58 long years. They were just considered a number for the Euros but they certainly contradict that view with their stellar performance as they not only qualified for the knockouts but also were the group leaders. The biggest advantage of Wales is to have an inspirable name in the ranks, the mighty Gareth Bale who has been a savior for them. Aaron Ramsey has also supported him with his stellar performances and what is more than a relief for Wales is that they have an easy draw on the cards for them.
Poland was another such team that was touted as the dark horses long before the tournament had started, but was unlucky to be drawn along with the World Champions Germany. The Polish team didn’t panic and performed brilliantly against the two teams in their group and when the time came up to face Germany, they gave the Germans a run for the money which ended in a stalemate. The biggest advantage of Poland on the cards is that they have the services of deadly striker Robert Lewandowski who is considered among the European elites. Their defense also looks balanced and commanding and thus could be the key to their success this year.
This is a bit surprise, but this team was brilliant in the group stages and what matters most as they enter the knockouts in a promising way by beating their group leaders Italy who were the runner up of the last competition. Ireland strength lies in their back line which has been able dealt with the attackers to a great extent and they are also blessed with the energy and momentum that you may need at the big competition. The thing that will be challenging for them would be that they have a tough challenge going into the knockouts to advance further.
Hungary used to be a potent force on the football scene and this could be start on something new in their ranks. They have been blessed with a good but hard-working defensive united combined with a creative Medfield and attack force. To make Portugal struggle even to draw is an outstanding achievement and Hungary came into the knockouts as group leaders. They were a class above their opponents in their group even though they didn’t have the fancied squad as like the others in their team and can be serious bet to progress further in the game.