Euro 2008 Group D predictions
Today’s clashes throw up some potentially exciting games with everything still to play for in this Group. The first game today, Sweden v Spain, gives us a mouth-watering start to the proceedings. Spain looked awesome against Russia and will be looking to qualify to the next stage with a game to spare. Sweden have had to alter their formation today after injuries to Alexanderson and Wilhelmsson so Lagerbeck’s men will line up in a 4-3-3 and start with Larsson, Elmander and Ibrahimovic.Spain are unchanged from the first game and will be looking to gain revenge on Sweden who inflicted the last competitive defeat on them in a 2-0 defeat back in October 2006. As both teams qualified from the same group, they know all about each other and how to handle the tactical situations that both teams will use. Spain should win this, but it’ll be a good open match and Sweden do have the talent to cause problems for them. I think 3-1 to Spain with Iniesta and Xavi’s passing proving too much for the Swedes to handle.The second game sees Russia take on Greece. Both sides were very disappointing, Russia especially in the first match where they were easily outplayed by Spain. The Greeks now know that teams can break them down and exploit their lack of attacking flair. I expect them to change the 5-3-2 that they used against Sweden and go to a 4-3-3. This could be crucial as in their desperation to get the points they need, they may be playing straight in to the Russians hands. They do look a slightly lesser side than the one that qualified without the suspended Andrei Ashavin, who should return for the final group clash against Sweden. Striker Pavlyuchenko has also been struggling with a thigh injury but should recover to lead the Russian line. Russia will be far too strong for Greece tonight and I’m going for another 2-0 defeat for Greece. I can’t see them getting anything and this should be the end of the tournament for Otto Rehhagel’s men and the defending champions.