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The_PC_Gamer Blog

UEFA Euro 2008 - The End

UEFA Euro 2008 official logo

Spain are the European Champions

Well, it has come to an end. Spain has beat Germany 1-0 in the Final, and they are the champoins. Of course... This match was not without its controversy, again due to officiating. A rather obvious hand ball was missed by the ref early in the game, wich would have likely changed the whole game altogether had Germany got that penalty kick. Not taking away from Spain's goal, where Germany made an error and paid for it. But it should have been going to extra time.


Still, you'd wish these finals didn't have so many terrible and questionable decisions by the refs which pretty much changed the whole tournament (late penalty kicks, fouls, letting the game slide past the extra time, etc). Don't get me wrong, I was perfectly neuteral for this match, not really a fan of either team, and I beleive that the refs screwed up this whole tournament.

Anyways, Gongrats to Spain, and thank you to all who have been reading my predictions. I promise to get back to my gaming-related blogs now :P

UEFA Euro 2008 - The Final Prediction!

UEFA Euro 2008 official logo

This is it.

Flag of Spain Spain Vs Germany Flag of Germany

Now or never for both teams.

Germany will win if: They can get back to their strong play, not how they played in the Semi.

Spain will win if: They keep their form from the Russia match and can handle Germany's tactical approach.

Predicted Winner....Germany

This Sunday, whereever you are, tune in and watch this grand final. Good luck to both teams!!

UEFA Euro 2008 - SemiFinals Preview

UEFA Euro 2008 official logo

Quarterfinals!!

Oh boy, to tell you the truth, I did fairly badly when I was predicting which teams will pull through to this stage. Turkey were once again carried here by tremendous luck not seen before in international football (and I repeat, luck). Should they SOMEHOW defeat Germany, I will seriously doubt the integrity of this year's cup. Russia put on quite a show, and it seemed like the Netherlands did not come to play. They were outrun, ourworked and outplayed. And finally, it was sad to see Italy go out on penalties, but I think neither side created that many chances. Too much hope was put into Toni, and the new Coach will hopefully be relieved after such a dissapointing run. But anyways, on to predictions!!

Flag of Turkey Turkey Vs Germany Flag of Germany

How Germany can win: Just play their game, outwork and outsmart their opponents, and this win should be no problem for the talented squad.

How Turkey can win: Luck. Poor officiating. Luck.

Predicted Winner: Germany

Flag of Russia Russia Vs Spain Flag of Spain

How Spain can win: They need to start using some creativity. They showed almost no emotion or took any chances in their previous round, and will need to step up their game. They can also remember they already beat Russia with a good score.

How Russia can win: If they work hard, and keep the pace they had in the Netherlands game, they will surprise the Spanish and take this match early. They had 1 day more to rest, and they are confident. They need to remember that Spain defeated them, but they are a much different team now.

Predicted Winner: Russia

We are so very close to the end now!! Not many matches left, hopefully the weather can keep fair so we can enjoy the best game possible from all the remaining 4 teams. And to recap, I correctly predicted 2 of 4 quarterfinals, which brings my total of the tournament to 8 correct choices out of possible 12. Not that good, but let's just say this has been a very unpredictable tournament.

UEFA Euro 2008 - Quarterfinals Preview

UEFA Euro 2008 official logo

Quarterfinals!!

The time has come, and the best 8 teams of the tournament have secured their position in the next round. Here is an overview of the matches and my predicted outcomes!!

Flag of Portugal Portugal Vs GermanyFlag of Germany

I think this will be a close game, assuming Germany can return to their top form. Their group round was not very solid, and should another breakdown happen here, Portugal will be sure to take Advantage. Predicted Winner: Germany

Flag of Croatia Croatia Vs Turkey Flag of Turkey

Turkey were so very lucky to advance. They have a fairly sloppy game plan, and it really did take a miracle against the Czechs for them to win and advance. However, I believe their lucky streak is over, and, having lost their goalkeeper to a dumb red card, Turkey will be going out of the tournament for sure. Predicted Winner: Croatia

Flag of Russia Russia Vs Netherlands Flag of the Netherlands

As matches go by, it seems that the Russian have woken up and are playing very well now. They have a young team, so its possible it took them a while to warm up for such a huge tournament. Regardless, they have their work cutout for them with the Netherlands. The key to winning this match will be defence of both teams. Russians showed their defence could be sloppy in the match against Spain, and this could very well come back to haunt them here. Predicted Winner: Russia

Flag of Italy Italy VsSpain Flag of Spain

Once again, if Italy can come out in their top form, they will be sure to give Spain a run for their money, especially after Spain's unimpressive wins over Sweden and Greece. Buffon could really make all the difference here, assuming the Italians find their scoring touch up front. Predicted Winner: Italy

All in all, we are in for quite an exciting next 4 days of Quarterfinals. The battles will be long and hard, and the better team will come out on top (unless referees decide to make some crutial incorrect calls). Just As reference, I have correctly predicted 6 out of 8 teams that made it through the group stage.

On with the tournament!

EURO 2008: Round 2 review

UEFA Euro 2008 official logo

Two matches have been played in each group, and its crunch time to either win it all or go home empty-handed. Here is a quick overview/thoughts regarding the second round of matches in the competition.

Group A

Flag of Portugal Portugal 3-1 Czech Republic Flag of the Czech Republic

Portugal continues to show the strength of their squad, tho the Czech's had their share of chances as well.

Flag of Switzerland Switzerland 1-2 Turkey Flag of Turkey

The hopes of the host nation were crushed with this defeat, and they have been eliminated from the tournament.

Group B (best matches of the week)

Flag of AustriaAustria 1-1 Poland Flag of Poland

A controvertial last-minute free kick helped Austria salvage a draw out of this game. I don't think it was a good idea for the ref to call something so vital in such an important game for both teams. Poland now needs to try very hard in the last match if they wish to advance.

Flag of Croatia Croatia 2-1 GermanyFlag of Germany

After falling behind, the Germans were unable to mount a comeback, and Croatia took the surprising win.

Group C

Flag of Italy Italy 1-1 Romania Flag of Romania

And once again Italy is struggling. Don't get me wrong, Italians had ALOT of good chances to score, but the Romanian goalie played very well. As did Buffon of course, saving that vital penalty kick. Still, you gotta wonder if Italy will find their scoring touch in time to qualify.

Flag of France France 1-4 Netherlands Flag of the Netherlands

And once again, the orange shirtsput on a dominating performance. Many critics are now changing their pre-Euro predictions, putting the Netherlands into the top 4 teams.

Group D

Flag of Spain Spain 2-1Sweden Flag of Sweden

Spain seemed to have struggled in this one, and won by a very late goal. Though they are now through, you have to wonder what went wrong against a relatively weak Swedish side.

Flag of Russia Russia1-0 Greece Flag of Greece

No suprises here, Greece has failed to advance in this year's competition, while Russia grabbed the vital points needed to advance.

Matches for Round 2

June 15

Switzerland vs. Portugal - This game does not matter to either team, expect to see a calm game

Czech Republic vs. Turkey - All or nothing, for both these teams. Should it be a draw, penalties will take place to decide a winner

June 16

Croatia vs. Poland - Croatia is through, while Poland needs to win this to stay alive

Austria vs. Germany - A win is required here for the Germans to secure their playoff spot

June 17

Italy vs. France - Another "winner takes all" match. Win and you advance (assuming Netherlands win as well)

Netherlands vs. Romania - Romania has everything to play for, with Netherlands already through.

June 18

Greece vs. Spain - Spain is through, Greece is out. Another relaxed match

Sweden vs. Russia - Yet another crutial match for both teams. Winner here will advance

Isn't it crazy how the most important matches for both teams just happened to be scheduled against their rivals for advancement?? It's crazy, we have 3 winner-takes-all matches. Should be an exciting last round of group play.

Until next time, when Quarter Finals are revealed!!

EURO 2008: Round 1 review

UEFA Euro 2008 official logo

The tournament has began, and the teams are starting to feel the tension. This is a quick overview/thoughts regarding the first round of matches in the competition.

Group A

Flag of Portugal Portugal 2-0 Turkey Flag of Turkey

A result that may have been easily predicted by some, I also expected Portugal to win fairly comfortably.

Flag of Switzerland Switzerland 0-1 Czech Republic Flag of the Czech Republic

While I also expected the Czech's to take this one, I was imagining a more secure victory. No doubt Swiss will look to rebound next time around (tho they lost their top scorer)

Group B

Flag of Germany Germany 2-0 Poland Flag of Poland

Another confident result, the Germans are looking strong from the getgo. The memories of the past Euro and World cups are crawling into the back of Polish players, as they failed to advance past the group stage in previous tournaments after dropping the first game.

Flag of Croatia Croatia 1-0 Austria Flag of Austria

Some may say that Croatia barely escaped with this one. Scoring on a penalty kick is no doubt a very lucky way to win a game, and I think a better performance will be needed from both teams if they want to keep their hopes alive.

Group C (best matches of the week)

Flag of Italy Italy 0-3 Netherlands Flag of the Netherlands

Well, this was quite an upset. From the controvertial offside goal, down to the collapsed defences of Italy, the world champs will need to reinvent their game to survive the group. The Dutch did quite well, and perhaps will take the top spot instead of the 2nd in the group after all is said and done.

Flag of France France 0-0 Romania Flag of Romania

Upset? In a way. I know France will be struggling to get out of the group (I dont think they will) but I certainly didn't expect them to tie Romania. Props to Romania though, for a great defence. France not being able to score will be the crushing blow to their playoff hopes.

Group D

Flag of Spain Spain 4-1 Russia Flag of Russia

A strong performance by the Spanish team. The goals were good, but you could see that the Russian defence was struggling, especially 1vs1. By scoring a goal and not giving up though, the Russians proved they have a good shot to still get out of the group. This was the first match so far where both teams scored.

Flag of Sweden Sweden 2-0 Greece Flag of Greece

No suprises here, Greece is not the same team that won the cup 4 years ago, and it was a good warmup game for the Swedish for the tougher opponents to come.

Matches for Round 2

June 11

Czech Republic vs. Portugal - Should be a competitive match for both teams

Switzerland vs. Turkey - Swiss really need to win this one

June 12

Croatia vs. Germany - Germans should have no problems

Austria vs. Poland - Poland needs to recover, or lose all hope

June 13

Italy vs. Romania - A must win for Italy

Netherlands vs. France - Netherlands will take this if France can't score

June 14

Sweden vs. Spain - Spain will take this match, but both will score

Greece vs. Russia - Russia needs to rebound, should be the winner

And lastly, a hint for those who cannot watch the games on TV for whatever reason. For me for example, I have to work, so I cannot to catch the games. The solution? Live free commentary. Found at Yahoo UK, you can catch all the matches there with updates every 30 seconds. I recommend it.

Until next time!!

UEFA Euro 2008 - First Round Preview

UEFA Euro 2008 official logo

The time has come. EURO 2008 is set to be an excellent tournament. Top League players from around Europe are all pulling on their shirts for their nations is something we are all able to enjoy, but who will win this years tournament? The competition is strong (even though England is missing), and so in this article I will have a look at the groups, the players, and general title contenders.


Group A Prediction
Flag of Portugal1. Portugal
Flag of the Czech Republic2. Czech Republic
Flag of Switzerland3.Switzerland
Flag of Turkey4. Turkey

-----The pre game favourites for group A will of course be Portugal, hosting Ronaldo, Quaresma, Deco, Nani, Simao they have a vast array of attacking talent, though questions could be asked of their defensive options, and the fact that they don't have a recognised striker. It is expected that Ronaldo will fulfil the forwards role, being supported by Quaresma and Nani from wider positions, how effective this will be, we will have to wait and see. The defence, featuring Chelsea's Ricardo Carvalho, could be seen as the weak link of the side. Full back Miguel is a prominent international figure, but Portugal do lack serious quality support for Carvalho in the centre of defence.
-----I thoroughly expect the Czech Republic to take second place in this group, with Arsenal star Tomas Rosicky leading the line. With striker Jan Koller, they have a big target man up front, partnered with the pace of Milan Baros. With Cech in goal, they wont look to concede many, though a fragmented defence could lead them to slipping easy goals, and finding themselves with a lot of work to do.
-----Switzerland, co-hosts of the tournament, are my dark horses for this group. In the world cup two years ago, they became the first team to be sent packing without conceding a goal, as they went out on penalties in the last 16 stage. They boost a strong defence, with Arsenal centre half Phillipe Senderos at the heart, and in Alex Frei up front, they have a potent goalscorer, and I could really see them surprising people with how well they do, and perhaps even progress to the second phase.
-----Propping up the group, I expect will be Turkey, retirements and ageing players have weakened them over past years, though with Tuncay Sanli up front they do have a genuine goal threat. In prospective though, I expect a weak Turkey team and fully expect them to finish with the wooden spoon, as they cant compete with their more illustrious rivals.


Group B Prediction
Flag of Germany1. Germany
Flag of Croatia2. Croatia
Flag of Poland3. Poland
Flag of Austria4. Austria

-----In this situation, the team I see topping the group will be Germany. There squad is very strong, and they have quality players in every position. The likes of Ballack, Schweinsteiger, Frings in midfield, Lahm in the wing back position, and strikers such as Klose, Podolski and Kuranyi. They really do have top quality players in every position and they will be a formidable opposition to anyone. They were the first team to qualifty for the tournament and I really do see them topping the group, and perhaps going all the way and lifting the tournamet trophy.
-----Croatia will be tough opposition for anyone, and while the loss of Eduardo Da Silva will be a prominent one. they still have a good squad, and a lot of internationally rated talent. Players such as Corluka, Modric and Petric have become quality players over the past year, and the superb qualifying campaign of the Croatians overlays the talent they have been able to build up, and I fully expect them to continue this form into the tournament and qualify for the second round via second place.
-----Austria and Poland will be two teams who are going to find it difficult in the group. Neither of the sides have any real quality players who will be able to help them to progress to the second stage. The home atmosphere could count somewhat for Austria, but they do seriously lack any potent talent to form any sort of attempt to move on the the second round. Poland will also face a problem, though I do expect them to finish third in the group. They have performed well internationally over the past few years, and if they manage to carry on this form, they could very well challenge Croatia for second place.


Group C Prediction
Flag of Italy1. Italy
Flag of the Netherlands2. Netherlands
Flag of France3. France
Flag of Romania4. Romania

-----Group C - this years group of death, featuring both of the finalists of the last world cup. Italy have a great team, very balanced, and are not likely to concede many goals with Alesandro Nesta, their key figure in defence, protected by the likes of Andrea Pirlo and Genarro Gattuso. They also have a lot of attacking talent through Alberto Gilardino, as well as Rolando Bianchi, Toni, Vincenzo Iaquinta and even Di Natale. Italy will be a strong team within the tournament and I realistically see them capturing first place in the group with relative ease.
-----The Netherlands will find it tough in this group despite being a top quality side themselves. The likes of Wesley Sneijder and Van Bommel will provide a strong midfield line up, with great attacking options such as Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Robin Van Persie, Arjen Robben and even Roy Makaay. The dutch will be able to score goals, but they must ensure that they keep a strong defence in order to attempt to progress onto the second stage of the tournament.
-----France are another top team in the group, another balanced team who will compete well through the tournament. Key players for them will be Thierry Henry and Frank Ribery attacking wise, as well as William Gallas and Patrice Evra in defence. The French have proved themselves a top quality international side over the past ten years, however they have struggled recently, and I actually believe that they will have to settle for 3rd place and an early exit from the tournament.
-----I have no doubt that Romania will go out at the first stage, they've been placed in the group of death and I can only see them finishing bottom of the group with likely no wins.


Group D Prediction
Flag of Spain1. Spain
Flag of Russia2. Russia
Flag of Sweden3. Sweden
Flag of Greece4. Greece

-----I expect Spain to take victory in this group, their team is very strong, full of young talent. The midfield of Cesc Fabregas and Xavi will be sure to create attacking opportunities for the striking talent of Fernando Torres and David Villa, as well as the veterans of Raul and Fernando Morientes. Spain will be a strong side in the tournament and their ability to score goals could see them progress through the first round with relative ease, assuming the young players can cope with the pressure.
-----The rest of the group will really be about how the teams perform in the tournament. Russia, Sweden and Greece are all roughly similar in terms of quality and a lot will depend on how they perform. I expect Russia to snatch the second place spot, they proved in beating England that they can defeat the European "giants" and with players like Arshavan and Smertin they have a strong midfield, with Pavlyuchenko up front to knock the ball into the back of the net, and earn a second place spot for Russia.
-----The third and fourth places could be very close, with both Sweden and Greece likely to end up on the same amount of points. The star man for Sweden is Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and his goals will be vital to Sweden's push for a place in the second round. Whereas Greece, winners of the tournament the last time it was played out in 2004, have lost a lot of their side from back then, and will find it difficult to compete in the way they did. The way I see it, the toss up for second, third and fourth place is going to be a very close affair.


All in all, I expect Euro 2008 to be a great tournament, forgetting the fact that England are not competing. My favourites for the tournament are the Germans, as I can see them winning the tournament, with Spain, Italy and Portugal to finish off the top four of the competition.

Summer Movie preview

I go to movies alot. I enjoy a good comedy, action or scifi film. So I decided to write something up regarding which movies I'm looking forward to this summer. This is not a complete list, of course, just the stuff I care enough to write about. So, starting with May...

May

Iron Man (May 2nd) - :) - Already saw it, and you should too. And I never read the comics
Speed Racer (May 9th) - :( - Waste of time
Prince Caspian (May 16th) - :( - Again, for kiddies only
Indiana Jones 4 (May 23rd) - :? - Mixed feedback, and I've never been a fan
Sex And The City (May 30) - :( - Avoid. As you should anyway if you're a guy

June


Kung Fu Panda (June 6th) - :) - Looking forward to this one, it looks funny in a smart kind of way
You Don't Mess With The Zohan (June 6th) - :? - Not sure...
The Happening (June 13th) - :) - Looks good as well
Incredible Hulk (June 13th) - :( - Not a hulk fan, and the first movie didn't help that
Get Smart (June 20th) - :) - This looks VERY promising
The Love Guru (June 20th) -:( - I think this looks very dumb... the typical Mike Meyers comedy
Wall-E (June 27th) - :) - Another promising animated flick
Wanted (June 27th) - :) - Looks like a good time waster and eye candy
Hancock (July 2nd) - :) - Looks funny, an interesting take on the superhero genre
Hellboy 2 (July 11th) - :? - Looks ok, as was the first one
The Dark Knight (July 18th) - :) - Should be good, tho I wonder how the media will handle Heath Ledger's death in relation to the movie release
X-Files 2 (July 25th) - :) - I'm gona be the first in line

August


The Mummy 3 (August 3rd) - :( - Never been a fan, and I still think this one will flop
The Pineapple Express (August 8th) - :? - Potentially hilarious, potentially pointless
Tropic Thunder (August 15th) - :? - Again, could be funny, could be not
Bangkok Dangerous (August 22nd) - :) - Good to see Cage return to his serious roots (hopefully better than Next was)
Babylon A.D. (August 29th) - :) - Nothing like a good Diesel action flick to round off the summer.

So there you go. A fairly busy season, mixed with sleeper hits and overhyped trash. Pick wisely, and enjoy your summer at the movies!

**Notes: These are my personal opinions. The smiley faces represent how I feel towards the movie, ie Good, bad, or unsure. No, Im not gona post a link to each movie. Its called Google.

Hot weather

Well It seems that Summer finally decided to wander in, and it's been a very hot week here.

Week 2 on the job pretty much flew by, and I'm excited to see my first paycheck sometime next week :D

Gaming-wise, not a whole lot going on atm. Started playing some Prey, and that game messes with your head a little more than I expected. Overall its an alright shooter so far. Mass Effect coming at the end of this month, will likely pick it up. In early June I'm looking forward to GRID (though the drifting in that game seems impossible... cant get it right while playing the demo).

That's about all. Don't have much to write about, but I figured I should post something because I don't like when my current blogs become outdated.

P.S. Cnet was purchased by CBS. http://www.news.com/8301-10784_3-9944882-7.html No biggie, right?