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European: Euro 2004 Group B

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posted on May, 24 2004 @ 04:02 PM



The top game of the group will be between holders France and England. The outcome of the match will no doubt decide the eventual winners of the group.

France are still an outstanding side, despite their no-show at the 2002 World Cup, while England grow in confidence under Sven-Goran Eriksson. If both sides can steer clear of injuries to key players, they can be regarded as potential champions.

Switzerland have the brilliance of Basle's Hakan Yakin to call on, but coach Kobi Kuhn's side are unlikely to last beyond the first phase.

Croatia needed a play-off win against Slovenia to reach Euro 2004 and the golden era of the nation's football has passed.

VERDICT: France and England to qualify with ease.

[Edited on 24/5/04 by TRD]


posted on May, 30 2004 @ 06:30 PM
England coach Sven Goran Eriksson has dropped a broad hint that Frank Lampard will be given the nod to start the opening game against France.

The Chelsea midfielder has enjoyed a superb season at club level and is set to be rewarded with a starting role at Euro 2004 in Portugal.

Eriksson concedes Lampard's performances this season have made it virtually impossible for him to be overlooked for the team's first match against holders France.

The key decision now appears to rest on who Eriksson will axe in favour of Lampard with Paul Scholes admitting his place is under threat.

Scholes' Manchester United colleague Nicky Butt is more likely to make way, with Eriksson also hinting Steven Gerrard could play on the left side of midfield.


posted on Jun, 7 2004 @ 05:09 PM
Robert Pires believes facing England is the ideal way for France to kick off the defence of their European Championship crown.

Les Bleus lock horns with Sven Goran Eriksson's side at Estadio da Luz on Sunday, with the outcome likely to have a major impact on who wins the group.

The Arsenal midfielder is expecting a stern battle with England but feels tackling a major rival in the opening game will be perfect for starting the tournament.


posted on Jun, 9 2004 @ 05:08 PM
Sven-Goran Eriksson set John Terry a deadline of Friday to prove his fitness for Sunday's opening group tie against France as he vowed not to gamble England's entire tournament hopes on one game.

While the England coach is still hopeful that Terry will recover in time from a hamstring injury, he insisted that he would not risk losing the Chelsea defender for the entire competition.

Terry will therefore continue his rehabilitation work over the next two days before undergoing a fitness test on Friday, little more than 48 hours before Sunday's kick-off in Lisbon.


posted on Jun, 9 2004 @ 05:12 PM
Switzerland midfielder Johann Vogel handed coach Kobi Kuhn a major boost on Wednesday when he promised that he will be fit for Sunday's Euro 2004 opener against Croatia.

The PSV Eindhoven star arrived in Portugal on Monday with a thigh injury, and although he was always expected to shake off the problem in time for the clash with Otto Baric's men in Leiria, he today insisted that there is no doubt.

"I am still not at 100%, but it was much better today," he said after warming up with his team-mates before working with medical staff as the rest of the group trained normally. "I'll be ready against Croatia."

That will come as a relief to Kuhn, who was forced to leave Marco Streller, Leonard Thurre and Johann Lonfat behind at home through injury.


posted on Jun, 11 2004 @ 12:57 PM
Croatia goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa is likely to be out of action for between 10 and 15 days, meaning manager Otto Baric may be without his first-choice stopper for the entire Euro 2004 campaign.

Pletikosa is suffering from a right thigh injury and appears to have no chance of playing in his country's opening Group B clash with Switzerland on Sunday or the match against defending champions France four days later.

There is hope, however, that the 24-year-old will recover in time for the final group encounter against England on June 21.


posted on Jun, 11 2004 @ 01:02 PM
John Terry has failed a fitness test and will miss England's Euro 2004 opener against France on Sunday.
The defender, who damaged a hamstring in the friendly against Japan, joined a light warm-up on Friday but could not take part in the full training session.

Sven-Goran Eriksson had said Terry would need to come through that session to be considered for the Group B game.


posted on Jun, 12 2004 @ 06:34 AM
Well the big game is tomorrow and all i gotta say is...............

C'mon England!!

We need to beat the french....

[Edited on 01/24/2004 by Sir]


posted on Jun, 12 2004 @ 08:01 AM
Croatia coach Otto Baric is backing his side to make an impact at Euro 2004 despite claims that they are not as good as some of their predecessors.

The Croatians left their mark on the finals of both the 1998 World Cup in France and Euro 2000 in the Low Countries to announce their emerging nation as a genuine force on the international stage.

Baric's men made heavy work of qualification this time around, and needed a hard-fought play-off victory over Slovenia to secure their place in Portugal.

And they will have their work cut out if they are to win their way through Group B over the next week or so with reigning champions France, England and Sunday's opponents Switzerland standing in their way.


posted on Jun, 12 2004 @ 08:04 AM
Switzerland will launch an all-out attack on Croatia in Sunday's Group B opener in a bid to lay the platform for qualification for the knock-out stages.

Hamburg midfielder Raphael Wicky knows that, with reigning European champions France and Sven-Goran Eriksson's England to come, defeat by Otto Baric's side would leave the Swiss with a mountain to climb, and to that end, they are determined to get a result from their first match in Leiria.


posted on Jun, 12 2004 @ 08:07 AM
Thierry Henry is in the mood to announce himself as the best player in the world at the European Championships.

That was the ominous warning for England on Saturday from Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira on the eve of the most eagerly-anticipated match in the first round of Euro 2004.

When Henry walks onto the pitch on Sunday evening at the Estadio de Luz here there will be no negative thoughts about the sending-off for a reckless lunge against Uruguay which marred a desperate World Cup for France in Japan two years ago.

Instead, the Gunner who has won the Footballer of the Year award in the English Premiership for the past two years will be determined to earn his place in history.


posted on Jun, 12 2004 @ 08:13 AM
Sven-Goran Eriksson is set to place his faith in Ledley King to overcome his inexperience by rising to the occasion in Sunday's Euro 2004 clash against France.

Eriksson is relishing the start of the tournament after such a long build-up, especially with just one injury worry having clouded his preparations.

John Terry was on Friday ruled out of the opening game against France in Lisbon with a hamstring injury, although he is expected to be fit for the second tie against Switzerland next Thursday.

In his absence, 23-year-old King is poised to be thrown into his first competitive England start, having previously won just five caps.

Indeed, his only other start for his country was the friendly in Portugal four months ago, when he scored in a 1-1 draw, but Eriksson is not worried by his lack of experience.


posted on Jun, 12 2004 @ 11:25 AM
France captain Marcel Desailly has failed to fully recover from a knee injury and will start on the bench against England on Sunday. Mikael Silvestre will deputise for the veteran defender, with the captain's armband going to Zinedine Zidane.


posted on Jun, 13 2004 @ 04:18 PM
David Beckham was left to rue a missed penalty as two goals from Zinedine Zidane in injury-time gave France an amazing 2-1 victory over England in Euro 2004 Group B in Lisbon on Sunday.

What a let down we had the game won and threw it away...Terrible backpass by Gerrard..


posted on Jun, 13 2004 @ 05:17 PM
Switzerland and Croatia played out a dull goalless draw in the opening game of Group B at Euro 2004 on Sunday night.

With big guns England and France meeting in the group's other showdown on Sunday night this was expected to be the best chance of points for either of these sides.

But despite that they turned in a woeful 90 minutes in Leiria.

The Swiss ended the game with 10 men after midfielder Johann Vogel, who'd already been booked, was sent off for kicking the ball away on 50 minutes.

But despite their numerical advantage the Croats couldn't produce the craft required to take all three points.


posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 02:37 PM
Sven-Goran Eriksson has revealed Paul Scholes has only a 50-50 chance of facing Switzerland on Thursday as England look to revive their Euro 2004 hopes.

Scholes has emerged as England's main injury doubt ahead of the game in Coimbra after twisting his ankle during the last-gasp 2-1 defeat by France.

The Manchester United midfielder may not train on Tuesday and must prove his fitness to Eriksson on Wednesday or risk being ruled out of the second group game, which England must realistically now win.


posted on Jun, 15 2004 @ 12:01 PM
England midfielder Nicky Butt's participation in Euro 2004 looks to be over after a scan revealed medial ligament damage to his right knee.

The Manchester United star suffered the setback in training on Monday and a visit to the specialist confirmed coach Sven-Goran Eriksson's worst fears.

A Football Association spokesman admitted that such an injury is likely to keep a player on the sidelines for up to a month although no formal decision has yet been made as to when Butt will return home.

The FA have contacted UEFA about the possibility of a replacement for Butt but were told that would not be possible.


posted on Jun, 16 2004 @ 12:06 PM
England midfielder Paul Scholes was back in training on Wednesday afternoon - just 24 hours ahead of the vital Euro 2004 clash with Switzerland.

Scholes twisted an ankle during the second half of Sunday's 2-1 defeat by France in Lisbon.

The Manchester United star had been rated on Monday as 50-50 by coach Sven-Goran Eriksson to be fit to face the Swiss.

But he appeared to be making the right kind of recovery rate to keep his place in the side as he trained on Wednesday.

Scholes' Manchester United team-mate Gary Neville was also participating after picking up a slight calf injury against the French.

Scholes' recovery is all the more important as one of his possible replacements, Nicky Butt, will take no further part in the tournament because of medial ligament damage in his right knee.

Skipper David Beckham, midfielder Steven Gerrard and central defender Sol Campbell were also back in action in the sweltering conditions after missing training on Tuesday because of blisters.


posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 02:43 PM
Wayne Rooney made history as England revived their Euro 2004 hopes with a 3-0 victory over Switzerland.

The Everton striker became the youngest-ever goalscorer in the history of the European Championship at 18 years and 237 days by heading home from close range to give England victory - and was also credited with the second goal by UEFA despite it striking Swiss keeper Jorg Stiel last.

Sven-Goran Eriksson's men were put under a sustained spell of early set-piece pressure from the Swiss and Steven Gerrard almost headed into his own net as England struggled to gain the initiative.

But the breakthrough arrived after 23 minutes when Michael Owen picked out Rooney and the youngster coolly headed the ball past Jorg Stiel.

Alexander Frei almost equalised with a back-post header and Hakan Yakin curled a free-kick narrowly wide and Daniel Gygax headed into the side netting with his first touch after coming on at half-time.

But the Swiss could not find a way through and their hopes were extinguished when they had a player sent off for the second successive game, with Bernt Haas dismissed for two bookable offences.

Rooney then got lucky as his powerful shot struck a post before hitting Stiel and nestled in the net (75) and Gerrard sealed the victory on 82 after a sweeping move.


posted on Jun, 20 2004 @ 05:26 AM
Switzerland striker Alexander Frei has been charged by UEFA after television cameras caught him spitting at Steven Gerrard in Thursday's Group B match.

The charge was made after video footage of the incident - which is said to show Frei spitting over his shoulder and Gerrard then clasping his hand to his neck - in the 77th minute of England's 3-0 victory was examined on Saturday.

UEFA officials compiled statements from the players involved and also with England captain David Beckham - although there was no formal complaint about the incident from the Football Association.

Frei will face a hearing of UEFA's control and disciplinary body on Sunday at 1pm in Lisbon.

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