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Preview: Switzerland – Portugal

SoccerNews in European Championships 14 Jun 2008

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Switzerland and Portugal might have little left to play for in their final group match, but both teams will be motivated to show a good performance on Sunday.

The Swiss never had high hopes ahead of Euro 2008, but didn’t expect to be out of the tournament after only five days.

But, as co-hosts, Jakob Kuhn’s men will want to do well in their last match and at least restore their pride against 2004 runners-up Portugal.

Captain Ludovic Magnin promises that his team will try their best: “I think that it will be difficult for us, to motivate ourselves again after such a defeat. But there will be thousands of fans in the stadium who went through a lot of trouble to get a ticket. We will be playing for them.”

Portugal are certain of a spot in the quarter finals as Group A winners, and are likely to field a reserve team for their last group match.

Understandably, the Portuguese are now more focused on their quarter final match than on the third group game.

But manager Scolari expects a good game on Sunday: “Our motivation remains the same. The players who are coming in are going to give their best as they will want to show Mr Scolari they want to be in the first eleven. I think it’s going to be a good game because the majority of the players who will play haven’t played yet.”

Switzerland and Portugal last met in the 1994 World Cup qualifiers. Switzerland held the Portuguese to a draw in their home match but lost in the away game. Nevertheless, the Swiss went on to qualify while Portugal didn’t.

Austrian Konrad Plautz is the referee, helped by linesmen Egon Bereuter and Markus Mayr and fourth official Ivan Bebek of Croatia.

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