I Azzurri, etc

I was disappointed that the Italians didn’t play better, but then, the Danes are always tough. Buffone kept the Azzurri in it, but that’s to be expected. Both goalies played very, very well, as there were desperate one-hand reflex saves on either end. The draw makes it tough, though, as Sweden looked imposing in utterly destroying Bulgaria. Excellent team play and unselfish passing simply tore apart the defense. It’s no wonder that there are 30 teams lining up to try to sign Henrik Larsson out of Scotland.

And speaking of strikers, I think the Italians are more dangerous with Inzaghi up front. Del Piero and Vieri simply don’t seem to work together very well, and Inzaghi is nothing if not a fox in the box.

As for tonight’s games, I expect Holland to beat Germany and the Czech Republic shouldn’t have any trouble with Latvia. Advocaat is a lousy manager at this level, but he’s made the right decision to sit Kluivert since Van Nistelroy doesn’t blow his chances the way Kluivert does. I still think the Dutch would be better off with Dennis Bergkamp creating chances from behind the strikers, but unless they self-destruct – which is always a definite possibility – they will win.