Have you been following Euro 2012? The European soccer tournament taking place in Poland and Ukraine right now (and airing like crazy on ESPN and ESPN2)? If you haven’t, here’s what you missed: Spain embarrassed Ireland, underwear model/Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo scored a couple of nice goals, and Adidas ran a lot of commercials.

And now that the tourney has reached its eight-team knockout stage (aka Act Two), here’s a semi-in-depth look at what you can expect in the coming days.

Thursday, June 21, 2:45pm ET, ESPN
Czech Republic v. Portugal
Analysis: With Ronaldo’s confidence up and his teammates playing some sexy football, you gotta like Portugal’s chances here.

Friday, June 22, 2:45pm ET, ESPN
Germany v. Greece
Analysis: The Greeks showed a lot of fight to get this far. But without their captain (suspended for too many yellow cards), this looks like the end of the Grecian road.

Saturday, June 23, 2:45pm ET, ESPN2
Spain v. France
Analysis: Would be a huge upset if France toppled the Spaniards. Especially after Les Bleus’ head-scratching 2-0 loss to Sweden in their previous match.

Sunday, June 24, 2:45pm ET, ESPN
England v. Italy
Analysis: The one real pick-’em game of the quarterfinals. England weren’t exactly sharp against Ukraine. Italy look 2006 good. Could be the match of the tournament.

Which sets up a probable semifinals of…

Wednesday, June 27, 2:45pm ET, ESPN
Portugal v. Spain
Analysis: If Portugal can avoid the typical big-moment gaffe, they could do this. With Nani and Ronaldo on the wings, they’re actually more explosive than Spain.

Thursday, June 28, 2:45pm ET, ESPN
Germany v. Italy
Analysis: Germany are built for games like this. But Italy have the kind of small, quick playmakers—plus wild card Mario Balotelli—that could frustrate the Germans.

Which sets up a possible final of…

Sunday, July 1, 2:45pm ET, ESPN
Portugal v. Italy
(Or Spain v. Germany. Or who knows, Czech Republic v. England.)
Analysis: Hey, just watch it. Whoever’s playing.

—S.D.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Shawn Donnelly