Monday, November 29, 2021

Preview: Greece – Sweden

SoccerNews in European Championships 9 Jun 2008

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While Greece had the honour of opening the tournament four years ago, they and Sweden are now the last teams to join in the action at Euro 2008.

Four years after surprisingly winning the 2004 European Championships, there must be some pressure on the Greek shoulders this year. However, they haven’t been given a realistic chance of victory by international bookmakers.

The Greek selection includes several of the players that took their country to the trophy in 2004. Keeper Nikopolidis will continue to defend the goal, Traianos Dellas still leads defense and Angelos Charisteas, who scored both in the quarter finals and in the final in Portugal, hopes to make up for a bad phase in his personal career with a good performance in the Alps.

Next to these three, another seven players were already there in the previous tournament. German coach Otto Rehhagel selected thirteen newcomers.

Sweden haven’t been doing too well recently, and lost their friendly with Ukraine earlier this month.

But the Scandinavians will rely on top players as Henrik Larsson, Freddie Ljungberg and of course Zlatan Ibrahimovic to make a difference on Tuesday.

Ibrahimovic isn’t certain about playing the entire match though, as the forward is still struggling with a knee injury: “My knee is getting better, I feel ready and prepared and I am training normally. But as I haven’t played a lot of late, I don’t even know myself if I can last 90 minutes, or if the coach will even select me.

Starting at 20:45 local time in Salzburg, the match will be led by Swiss Massimo Busacca, linesmen Matthias Arnet and Stéphane Cuhat and fourth official Ivan Bebek from Croatia.

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A draw game i presume. Greece will want to show to the world that their Euro 2004 win wasn’t a fluke victory. smile

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