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Sweden are approaching their opening group fixture of Euro 2012 in good spirits after emerging victorious in their final pre tournament warm up match against Serbia in which goals from the enigmatic Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ola Toivonen saw the Swedes on their way to a confidence boosting victory. The same cannot be said however for their Group D opponents and tournament co hosts Ukraine, Oleh Blokhin saw his side falter against Turkey in their final warm up match however of a more pressing concern to him is the fact up …

As the official beginning of this summer’s UEFA Euro 2012 tournament in Ukraine and Poland reaches ever closer the same sense of anticipation and excuse the pun euphoria is evident within the world footballing community just as it was in South Africa in 2010, Austria and Switzerland in 2008 and so forth. Whilst riding the crest of this wave of continental enthusiasm and hope it is with huge interest that we can look back at previous international tournaments to see how teams fared and if provides any indication as to …

After Sweden’s disappointing failure to qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the then head coach Lars Lagerback was dismissed from his post after a nine year reign in charge of the Swedish national team. Gone were the days of Lagerback’s rigid 4-4-2 formation which after an extended period of qualifying for consecutive International tournaments had become stale and ineffective with the enigmatic Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic often lamenting the lack of creativity within the Lagerback system which many believe to be the reason Zlatan retired from International …

This morning was the deadline for all Managers taking charge of teams in Euro 2012 to submit their final 23 man squads having had to tell two members of the provisional squad they would not be going to the tournament. Whilst there have been some surprises from managers particularly the inclusion of veteran Left Back Wilfred Bouma in the Netherlands squad and the decision from Laurent Blanc to leave Yoann Gourcuff out of the squad, there has also been a number of forced moves for example Italian coach Cesare Prandelli …

Russia entered their final game needing a win to make it to the quarters, Sweden only needed a draw but would be playing for the win. 2 stats were in either teams way Gus Hiddink has made it passed the group stage in all the teams he has coached vs Sweden progressing from the last 3 major tournaments.
Both sides were boosted by the return of key players, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic overcoming a knee problem to start for Sweden and Russian playmaker Arshavin making his first appearance of the tournament after …

The mastermind behind the Russian revolution during Euro 2008 is undoubtedly the incomparable Guus Hiddink. Hiddink’s track record speaks for itself. As a national coach of his home nation Holland he guided them to the semi-finals of World Cup 1998. Four years later he repeated the feat as home hysteria guided the somewhat fortunate South Korea to the last four of the 2002 World Cup. Hiddink is not a man to avoid a challenge and as part-time coach of Australia led them to the second round of the 2006 World …

The city of Innsbruck is the setting for tonight’s decisive clash between these two tournament dark horses. Both Sweden and Russia have shown glimpses of the kind of form needed to go all the way in a major tournament and both will be hoping that they will be the team to face Holland in Basel on Saturday night. The progression of their nation will depend on individual performances from star players such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic for Sweden and Roman Pavlyuchenko for Russia. Another key factor is perhaps the return of …

Luis Aragone’s Spain dramatically sealed their place in the quarter finals of Euro 2008 after a injury-time goal from Valencia talisman David Villa. The tournament’s top goalscorer added to his impressive hat-trick against Russia on Tuesday with a solo effort late on to salvage a win that in fairness they probably deserved. The win leaves Spain top of Group D with only already eliminated Greece to play in Salzburg tomorrow night.
Besides the scintillating Torres and Villa up front for Spain, who always posed a threat to a solid Sweden defence …

In the city of Salzburg that gave the world the great composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the football on show from Greece and Sweden in their opening Group D clash at Euro 2008 for the most part could hardly be described as ‘classical’. Considering the Spanish had set Group D alight just a couple of hours earlier with the flair and guile needed to be crowned champions of Europe (Greece’s triumph from 4 years ago aside), this game never managed to live up to the hype that the Champions …

Venue: Salzburg- Kick-Off:7.45 pm
Euro 2008 kicks off tomorrow night in Salzburg for these two under-dog teams hoping to cause an upset and progress to the latter stages of the tournament. For Greece this would not be out of the ordinary as they famously knocked out France and hosts Portugal four years ago on their way to claiming an unluckily victory. Things haven’t gone to plan for the European Champions over the past four years however, and having failed to qualify for the World Cup in Germany in 2006, they will …