The irony of the biscotto
Hey Peeps and anyone else checking in. A special Euro 2012 Ola goes out to Hazel Mae.
So as we go into the last round of games in the group stage - leave it up to the damn Italians to start the head games and gamesmanship like only they know how. Before the Italy/Croatia game, I picked a tie - check it out. Essentially, I knew the Italians would be weasels, and play not to lose...hoping that the Spaniards would do their dirty work and beat the Croats in the final game, leaving the Italians needing a win over the Irish.
Well, it started with Andrea Pirlo and is now being picked up by other players and the media. The Italians are confident that there will be no "biscotto" in the last round of group games. I'm sure Hazel knows what a biscotto is - having group up in a multicultural city like Toronto...surrounded by Italians - but for those of you who don't know, a biscotto is an twice baked italian cookie...super crunchy, and quite tasty.
Nothing wrong with that right? Well, in Italian Football, a biscotto is a slang term to reference something being cooked up by both teams. If Spain and Croatia tie 2-2 on Monday, the Italians are out, regardless of what they do against the Irish. Under UEFA's tie breakers - if more than two teams are tied, the first tie breaker is goal differential in games between the teams that tie. Oh never mind, it is harder to explain than the Pythagorean theory.
So the Italians, some of whom play for teams that have been accused and/or found guilty of match fixing are worried that two teams are going to collude to tie the game and bump them out of the tournament. Oh to be denied the opportunity to watch more of the Italians' "tactical football". These guys really have no shame...
For those of you wondering - pictured above, Italy's Antonio Cassano and Spain's Iker Casillas
Croatia 2-2 Spain - YEAH BABY!
On to today's games - very unlucky to have England score that third goal yesterday. That game should have tied, oh well, still hotter than a pistol when it comes to Euro picks.
Russia 1-1 Greece
A win would guarantee that the Russians progress as Group A winners - a tie gets them in, regardless of the result in the other game. The Greeks have an outside chance of making quarter-finals - but they have to win by more than 1 and have the other game end in a tie. The Greeks will come to play, they will look to choke the game down in the first half and go for it in the second...it won't be enough. Nice return of 2.67/1
Poland 2-1 Czech Republic
Poland make it to quarter finals with a win - perhaps against Portugal. Given that Poland is one of the hosts, I think there could be some controversial decision that goes against the Czechs and helps Poland along. Biscotto you ask? No, not quite - but with the emotion and the frenzied atmosphere, referees can get caught up in things and make questionable decisions. Poland is going to make it, you can count on it. Poland pays 1.32/1
If you are feeling daring enough - putting both games together gets you 7.6/1.
That's it for today - tomorrow it is "total football" vs "Sexy Football".
Hazel, here's hoping things are groovy in your world.