GROUP D GUIDE

Nike EuroEuro 2008 Group D – Analysis and Guide

Greece Greece

Russia Russia

Spain Spain

Sweden Sweden

torres football bootsSpain have too much about them to be worried in this group, but the fight will be between the well organised units of Sweden and Russia for second place, with Greece lagging and handing over their trophy after round 1.

Spain Spain

Forecast Group D Winner

Renowned as tournament underachievers, Spain as always go into this competition with high hopes and the potential to win Euro 2008 outright.

A blend of youth and experience bodes well for the Spaniards, even some of their younger players have top level experience. Both Fabregas and Torres have played top level Champions League football and succeeded in being influential, so when combined with the likes of Puyol, Xavi and Casillas.

It’s when the Spanish get to the last eight that their credentials will be tested, as they will face one from Italy, Holland, France of less likely Romania.

Sweden Sweden

Forecast Group D Runner Up

This well oiled unit is constructed with long serving coach Lars Lagerback. In charge since 2000, Lagerback has developed his methods over time and has a squad who, if they hit form, could be dark horses in Euro 2008.

Captain Ljungberg will need to get over a poor season with West Ham, that heralded just two goals. But the hard working Swede could throw in one more effort for his country and in support to Ibrahimovic, they could be a potent force.

Henrik Larsson came out of retirement to travel to Austria and Switzerland, his presence alone may influence the Swedes to punch above their own weight.

Russia Russia

Forecast Round 1

Having qualified in roller coaster fashion, at the expense of England of course, Russia will be relying heavily on two men.

Firstly their manager Guus Hiddink. He’s now a specialist international manager, having taken Holland and South Korea to World Cup semi-finals, in 1998 and 2002, and Australia to 2006 World Cup.

On the field Russia will depend on Andrei Arshavin, Hiddink himself labelled Arshavin the cleverest player he has ever coached. However, Arshavin is suspended for the first two games and by the time he makes his entrance against Sweden in the last group game, Russia could already be out of the running.

Greece Greece

Forecast Round 1

The Greeks are the current holders of this trophy, but make no mistake, they will be relinquishing it.

Greece won’t just roll over and embarrass themselves, they are too organised and resolute for that, but they lack world class talent.

Angelos Charisteas, who scored the winner for Greece in 2004, is still around, but he has hardly set the world alight at FC Nuremburg.

Their only hope is that Theofanis Gekas, top scorer in the Bundesliga last season, can make the most of any opportunities that go his way and fire Greece through in tight games.

Nike Euro

Fixtures:

Group D

Spain v Russia – Innsbruck – June 10 1700BST – BBC1

Greece
v Sweden – Salzburg, June 10 1945 BST – ITV1

Sweden
v Spain – Innsbruck, June 14 1700 BST – ITV1

Greece v Russia – Salzburg, June 14 1945 BST – ITV1

Greece
v Spain – Salzburg, June 18 1945 BST – ITV1/4

Russia
v Sweden – Innsbruck, June 18 1945 BST – ITV1/4