Euro 2012 is the premier European international soccer tournament. Co-hosted this year by Poland and Ukraine, there are 16 teams battling it out for the trophy. Germany and Spain are the favorites, while Greece and Ireland are (ironically) fighting for their survival in the competition.
Here are our picks for the best games and our favorite places to watch them.
Thursday, June 14 @ 11:45am
Ireland vs Spain.
Tournament favorites come up against the tournament's minnows, Ireland. Back in the competition after a 24-year hiatus, Ireland need a win to stay in.
Best places to watch: If you are downtown and want to catch the action on your lunch break, head to The Chieftain where there are sure to be plenty of Irish supporters. 198 5th Street.
Jake’s Steaks are offering your first beer for $2 if you wear either an Irish or Spanish jersey. 3301 Buchanan Street .
Friday, June 15 @ 11:45am
England vs Sweden
It has been 46 years since England brought the trophy back home. Always under immense pressure from their demanding fans, they need a victory over Sweden to guarantee a ticket to the knockout stages. A loss would send Sweden out of the tournament.
Best places to watch: The Mad Dog in the Fog is a favorite for English soccer fans and should be packed. 530 Haight Street.
If you would rather have somewhere to sit down and watch the match, Danny Coyle’s just up the street is usually quieter. 668 Haight Street.
Saturday, June 16 @ 11:45am
Greece vs Russia
Czech Republic vs Poland
Because it is the final game day of Group A both games will be played simultaneously. After trouncing the Czech Republic in the opening game, Russia should make it through. The battle will be for second with hosts Poland under pressure to make it through.
Best places to watch: Kezar is offering up a veritable feast of soccer on Saturday with two MLS games to be broadcast after the Euro 2012 matches. 770 Stanyan Street.
The Mad Dog in the Fog is a stalwart for soccer matches and the TV outside in the beer garden is a definite plus.
Sunday, June 17 @ 11:45am
Denmark vs Germany
Portugal vs Netherlands
The penultimate day of Group B offers some brilliant match ups. Group favorites Germany take on Denmark, while tournament heavyweights Portugal and Holland battle for their survival.
Best place to watch: Blackthorn Tavern in the Sunset has a Germanic flavor to it and should be decked out with people wearing their white German jerseys. 834 Irving Street.
Again, The Mad Dog in the Fog and Kezar will both have their TVs turned to Euro 2012.
Where will you be watching Euro 2012?