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Stan Stanfield, an England fan from London, poses with Funtik the psychic pig who makes "predictions" for the Euro 2012 soccer championship matches

The Czechs are here, some coming by train, straight from Prague. The Portuguese have been here since yesterday, fleeing Ukraine, where Portugal played its group games, in anticipation of a great result for Portugal Thursday night.

The Portuguese fans could be seen wandering old Warsaw Wednesday night. Cobblestone streets, airy squares with sidewalk restaurants, cafes tucked into corners of ancient buildings, churches at every turn. Not unlike Lisbon, to be honest. More touristy though. Pierogie palaces galore, waitresses in traditional Polish costumes, happy to have their photos taken with weary but cheerful men in Portugal team shirts.

The international media horde arrives too. Packs of journalist who have been following other teams in other cities here or in Ukraine, poured into the National stadium Thursday afternoon. Many are on the Ronaldo story. It's the sizzle story now.

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They arrive straight from the airport pulling heavy luggage, carrying huge bags with cameras and who-knows-what. Often they arrive at the stadium tired and hungry and their shoulders sag at the sight of the abominable McCafe, the only source of nourishment in the media area. Coffee, pop, juice and pastries is the menu. The only item more substantial is a chicken salad concoction that manages a fair impression of flavoured cardboard.

The volunteer staff in the media centre, who kept busy noisily playing table-soccer yesterday while referee boss Pierluigi Colina lectured journalists, were less idle today. They are handing out vouchers awarding arriving journalists with a free coffee and pastry. Takes too long to leg it from the stadium to find a real restaurant and return through the security perimeter again. Coffee and donuts are consumed glumly, with a sigh that needs no translation.

People are here from countless countries. And yet there is consensus, and not just about the horrors of travel and the torture of the McCafe. A quick survey of some fans and media confirmed the impression that almost everyone is in agreement on predictions for the likely winners in the quarter-finals. With the exception of the England v Italy game.

Here it is - Portugal 2, Czech Republic 1. Others see it as 2-0 or 3-0. Some Czechs see a 1-1 going to overtime, when the Czech Republic wins 2-1. There is some basis for Czech confidence.

The Czechs have gotten better here.  Unfairly written off after being soundly beaten by Russia in its opening game, the team has revived itself with admirable strength. Manager Michal Bilek's reorganized his on-field team, tweaked tactics and won the following two matches.

In Friday's match-up in Gdansk, the consensus on Germany v Greece is 2-0. Mind you, some are predicting a rout of 4-0 for Germany. No Greeks could be found here, as they're all up in the Baltic coast city, probably expecting Greece to pull off a shock 1-0 victory. They have their reasons. Political, economic and, given Greece's emphatic defeat of Russia, they can be allowed hope.

Saturday's Spain v France game, in the eastern Ukraine city of Donetsk has taken on a new piquancy following rumours of internal feuding and harsh words being exchanged in the French camp following the surprise loss to Sweden in the final group-stage game. But Spain 1, France 0 is the popular view. Second most predicted result is Spain 2, France 1.

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That England v Italy game in Kiev on Sunday is almost universally predicted as a 0-0 tie that goes to overtime, then penalties and nobody is willing to predict who wins on penalties. Absolutely nobody.

All very well, of course, this prediction business. But as every tournament illustrates, it is unwise to take anything for granted in any one-off big game.

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