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European: Euro 2004 Group C

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posted on May, 24 2004 @ 04:10 PM

Group C


Italy look firm favourites in this group and under the guidance of Giovanni Trapattoni they will be hoping to erase the memory of the lost to France on the golden goal rule in Euro 2000. Trapatonni remains one of the world's shrewdest coaches, and despite struggling in their qualifying group, they can never be discounted and Christian Vieri remains a force.

The other qualifying place is likely to go to either Sweden or Denmark. Olsen is a shrewd tactician

Bulgaria look the weakest of the four teams, but there is little to choose between the other two.

Denmark showed their promise when they beat England at Old Trafford and AC Milan's Jon Dahl Tomasson is a goalscorer on the highest stage. Morten Olsen is a clever operator at international level and the Danes know their way around this tournament.

Sweden, once again with the experienced managerial duo of Tommy Soderberg and Lars Lagerback at the helm, will be as stubborn and efficient as ever. And with Ajax's gifted Zlatan Ibrahimovic leading the attack, they are not without flair.

VERDICT: Italy and Denmark to claim the two places.

[Edited on 24/5/04 by TRD]


posted on Jun, 7 2004 @ 05:02 PM
Denmark winger Jesper Gronkjaer looks like he will miss Euro 2004 as he has remained at home due to a family illness.

The Chelsea wide-man was expected to be a major player in Morten Olsen's squad, but the Danes may now be without the flying winger for the European Championship.

The Danish Football Union released the news that he had not travelled with the squad due to an illness in the family, but refused to go into the details of the problem, just saying that Gronkjaer had said that he wanted to remain with his family for now.

The 26-year-old said that he would only rejoin his Danish team-mates if he felt ready to, but coach Olsen understands his decision.


posted on Jun, 7 2004 @ 05:04 PM
Wily Italy coach Giovanni Trapattoni has no worries going into Euro 2004 despite Stefano Fiore and Christian Panucci missing training.

The veteran Azzurri boss was in confident mood ahead of next Monday's opener against Denmark as Italy look to go one better than last time around, when France defeated them in the final of Euro 2000.

Fiore and Panucci may have sat out training with minor niggles, but 'Trap' feels they are both fully fit.


posted on Jun, 9 2004 @ 05:13 PM
Denmark coach Morten Olsen is still sweating on the fitness of five players as he steps up training for their opening Euro 2004 match.

Thomas Helveg, Kasper Bogelund, Claus Jensen and Peter Lovenkrands all are carrying minor injuries but are expected to play against Italy on Monday.

The biggest concern though is winger Martin Jorgensen who is still training alone at the Danish camp in Lagos on the Algarve coast due to a thigh injury.


posted on Jun, 9 2004 @ 05:14 PM
Bulgaria's injury list looks to be clearing in time for the Euro 2004 Group C opener with Sweden.

Goalkeeper Zdravko Zdravkov, Velizar Dimitrov and Daniel Borimirov are all expected to be fully fit even though they only took part in light training on Tuesday because of respective knocks.

And those returns will further boost the burgeoning confidence in a squad content to be labelled outsiders.

In addition to the Swedes, whom they meet in their opening match on Monday in Lisbon's Jose Alvalade stadium, Bulgaria have been drawn alongside Italy and Denmark.

But while much of the big money will be on two of the other three teams making it through to the quarter-finals, Bulgaria are happy to do their talking on the pitch.


posted on Jun, 9 2004 @ 05:14 PM
Midfielder Kim Kallstrom believes Sweden are capable of matching every team they meet at Euro 2004.

The Swedes will be looking to battle past Bulgaria, Italy and Denmark in the group stages in order to reach the last eight and beyond in Portugal.

And having enjoyed a promising build-up, beating both Finland and Poland in recent friendlies, Kallstrom admits the Scandinavians are hoping to make a lasting mark on the tournament.


posted on Jun, 12 2004 @ 08:14 AM
Denmark coach Morten Olsen will conduct his final training sessions behind closed doors in a bid to defy the Italian spies ahead of Monday's meeting with the Azzurri in Guimaraes.

The Danes have so far been very open to the public and the media during training but, with two days to go before they start their Euro 2004 adventure, that is about to change.


posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 02:37 PM
Italy began their Euro 2004 campaign in lacklustre fashion as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Denmark at the Afonso Henriques Stadium.

Giovanni Trapattoni's men entered the tournament as second-favourites with the bookmakers but were left frustrated in the Group C opener in Guimaraes.

The Danes proved dangerous throughout the first half though it was the Azzurri who went closest to breaking the deadlock as first Alessandro del Piero then Francesco Totti were superbly denied by Thomas Sorensen.

Italy cranked up the pace after the break but the game only really came to life in the last 15 minutes.

First Gianluigi Buffon pulled off a fine double save from Jon Dahl Tomasson and Dennis Rommedahl and then Italy sprang forward only for Christian Vieri to head wide.

But neither side could find a way through and had to settle for a point.


posted on Jun, 15 2004 @ 11:59 AM
Denmark were deflated after failing to capitalise on their strong performance against Italy but Jesper Gronkjaer has given them a Euro 2004 fillip by joining the national team in Lisbon.

The Danes bossed much of the game against the Azzurri but were held to a goalless draw, with Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon in outstanding form.

Morten Olsen's team played well despite the absence of Gronkjaer, who was back home in Denmark following the death of his mother Irmelin.

The Chelsea winger flew to Lisbon on Tuesday morning and could feature against Bulgaria on Friday.


posted on Jun, 16 2004 @ 12:05 PM
Italy's Francesco Totti could play no further part in Euro 2004 after a UEFA spokeswoman admitted it would be "very difficult" for the playmaker to appeal successfully if he is found guilty of spitting at Denmark midfielder Christian Poulsen.

UEFA have launched an investigation into the incident following an official complaint from the DBU (Danish FA) after Danish TV station DR published pictures on its website of Totti appearing to spit at Poulsen during Monday's 0-0 draw between the teams in Group C.

Totti is likely to be hit with a heavy ban if he is found guilty.


posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 02:43 PM
Francesco Totti will not face Sweden after Italy's football bosses having put off deciding whether to appeal against his three-match ban until after Friday's game.

Totti, who spat in the face of Denmark's Christian Poulsen in the Azzurri's Group C opener on Monday, was charged with gross unsporting conduct by UEFA and handed a three-match ban on Thursday.


posted on Jun, 18 2004 @ 03:27 PM
Jon Dahl Tomasson opened Denmark's goal account for Euro 2004 as they beat Bulgaria 2-0 to eliminate Plamen Markov's men with one Group C game to spare.

The Danes flew out of the traps in the opening stages and totally dominated possession, with Vladimir Ivanov having to clear Ebbe Sand's shot off the line and Ivailo Petkov hooking the ball off the head of Martin Jorgensen just as he was about to head home from close range.

Jesper Gronkjaer, back in the Denmark squad after the death of his mother, came on for the injured Dennis Rommedahl on 28 and almost scored immediately but keeper Zdravko Zdravkov saved his shot.


posted on Jun, 18 2004 @ 05:38 PM
A late goal from Zlatan Ibrahimovic meant Italy had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Sweden in their second Euro 2004 Group C game.

Denmark's 2-0 defeat of Bulgaria earlier in the day had taken them to the top of the group and left Italy under pressure to secure at least a point.

They made the brighter start in Porto, with Christian Vieri twice going close to breaking the deadlock only for Andreas Isaksson to deny him.

At the other end Freddie Ljungberg's clever run set up Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but he could only fire way over the bar.

Vieri then put two clear headed chances over the bar and Alessandro Del Piero sidefooted narrowly wide as Italy cranked up the pressure and they got their reward on 36 when Antonio Cassano glanced home Christian Panucci's cross.

The Italians were happy to sit back after the break and they needed Gianluigi Buffon to pull off a stunning save from Mattias Jonson to keep the scores level.

But the goalkeeper had no chance five minutes from time when a sublime flick from Ibrahimovic looped over his head and nestled in the Italian net.


posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 12:08 PM
Bulgaria coach Plamen Markov is convinced that his players will find the right motivation needed to beat Italy on Tuesday night.

The Bulgarians, who have nothing to play for except their pride having already been eliminated from the tournament following their dismal performances, are hoping to finish off their Euro 2004 adventure with a triumph against the mighty Azzurri.

Bulgaria were thrashed 5-0 by the Swedes and a few days later disaster struck when they lost 2-0 against the Danes.

Markov believes his team have come to terms with their recent elimination and are now ready to crash Italy's hopes of reaching the last eight.


posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 12:09 PM
Ajax star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been singled out as Sweden's biggest dangerman as they prepare to face neighbours Denmark in the clash that will settle Group C at Euro 2004.

Sweden need only to draw to clinch a place in the quarter-finals.

That would leave the Danes and Italians fighting out a complicated mathematical issue to decide who goes through with them.

And it is 22-year-old Ibrahimovic that the Danes fear most. Even, it seems, more than Sweden's comeback star Henrik Larsson, who blasted two goals against Bulgaria and ran the Italians ragged.


posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 12:10 PM
Italy coach Giovanni Trapattoni has urged his men to focus solely on their clash with Bulgaria and ignore the other Group C encounter that could well decide their Euro 2004 destiny.

The Italians must beat Bulgaria to progress to the quarter-finals but must also hope the score in the Scandinavian duel between Denmark and Sweden does not end in a a higher scoring draw than 1-1.

The Azzurri currently stand in third position, two points behind leaders Denmark and Sweden heading into their final group game.

A complicated mathematical formula lies ahead, but should they win by more than more than one goal, only a score draw of 2-2 or higher in the other game can prevent them progressing.


posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 05:36 PM
Italy crashed out of Euro 2004 despite beating already-eliminated Bulgaria 2-1 in Guimaraes.
The Azzurri knew they needed victory to keep alive any hopes of a quarter-final place from Group C.

They kept up their side of the bargain but still went out as Scandinavian neighbours Denmark and Sweden played out a 2-2 draw in Porto.

Stefano Fiore, Alessandro Del Piero and Antonio Cassano all missed good chances for Giovanni Trapattoni's team before disaster struck right on half-time.

Marco Materazzi fouled Dimitar Berbatov in the Italy box and Martin Petrov put Bulgaria ahead from the resulting penalty.

Italy were level just three minutes after the break when Simone Perrotta stabbed home after Cassano had struck the woodwork.

Cassano got the winner in stoppage time but his joy was short-lived as news of the result from Porto came through.


posted on Jun, 25 2004 @ 01:14 PM
Marcello Lippi was appointed the new coach of Italy on Friday.

He replaces Giovanni Trapattoni who failed to win a contract extension following the Azzurri's disappointing first-round exit at Euro 2004.

Trapattoni, who had reached the end of his contract, pays the penalty for two failures at major tournaments since he took over from Dino Zoff after Euro 2000.

Italy claimed one win and two draws in Portugal this summer, but were eliminated by Sweden and Denmark on goal difference in Group C.

The Azzurri's performance followed another poor showing at the 2002 World Cup.

Italy showed uninspiring form throughout and were knocked out by co-hosts South Korea at the second-round stage.

Lippi, the new man in charge, won five Serie A titles in two spells at Juventus between 1994 and 2004.

He also led the Bianconeri to the Champions League title in 1996, with Juve also losing finalists in that competition in 1997, 1998 and 2003.

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