Euro 2008 Group D Final Match Preview And Predictions
So we enter the final group games tonight, the Spanish are already through to face Italy and Russia and Sweden face each other to see who earns the right to play Holland. Sweden have certainly been the better of the two sides so far in this group and know that a draw will be more than enough to get them into the Quarter Finals. Coach Lars Lagerbeck however is encouraging his side to go for all three points ”We know a draw will be enough but the team selection will primarily be about giving us the best chance to play well and win.”He looks likely to stick with the side that caused Spain so many problems on Saturday night and his 3 man attack of Elmander, Larsson and Ibrahimovic will certainly cause the Russian defence all kinds of problems. Ibrahimovic has certainly shown his class so far in this tournament with 2 wonderful goals and I think he’ll be the main difference here.Russia welcome Andrei Ashavin back in to the team after his two game suspension and he will give the Russians a cutting edge that they have sorely missed in the competition until now. Hiddink has missed his star player and whilst I don’t think it would have mattered too much against the Spanish, he would have given them a lot more options against the Greeks. It’s going to be a real ebb and flow game here in Innsbruck and I think Swedne have too much class for Russia to cope with. I think 2-0 to the Swedes.The other group game sees Greece playing for pride against the already qualified Spanish and coach Rehhagel has urged his side to finish on a high tonight. “I have told my players to give it 100% and play to a worthy finish and for the reserves to show that they deserve to be in the team.” Tonight will also see team captain Angelos Basinas’ final game for the Greeks and he’ll be eager to finish his international career on a positive note. With the World Cup Qualifiers starting in just over 3 months, Rehhagel needs to see that his team will be ready for a group that includes Switzerland and Israel as their main competition. Not the toughest group but they could easily finish third.It remains to be seen just how this European Championships has affected morale in the Greek camp going forward.Both sides will be resting players, Spain are expected to give Reina, Fabregas, De la Red and Navarro a run out. It’s tough to call as it depends just how many changes both managers make but I think Spain will make it 3 wins out 3 and the Greeks will be glad that the competition is over at last. 2-0 to Spain.