Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

September 8, 2002

CBC Sports Online: Euro 2004: Teams: Greece

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 8:19 am

The News Review:

* Wales on course for Euro 2004?
* Clockwatch: Euro 2004 qualifiers
* CBC Sports Online: Euro 2004: Teams: France
* CBC Sports Online: Euro 2004: Teams: Greece
* CBC Sports Online: Euro 2004: Teams: Italy
* CBC Sports Online: Euro 2004: Teams: Croatia
* CBC Sports Online: Euro 2004: Teams: Bulgaria
* CBC Sports Online: Euro 2004: Teams: Latvia
* CBC Sports Online: Euro 2004: Teams: Denmark
* CBC Sports Online: Euro 2004: Teams: Netherlands
* CBC Sports Online: Euro 2004: Teams: Switzerland
* CBC Sports Online: Euro 2004: Teams: Germany
* CBC Sports Online: Euro 2004: Teams: Russia
* Shambles in Moscow
* McCarthy says Keane chasm is beyond repair
* Keane saga will run on – McCarthy
* CBC Sports Online: Euro 2004: Teams: Sweden
* Vogts gets dreaded vote of confidence
* Sychyov’s ‘Golden Boy’ Tag Tarnished
* Severin feared he’d be one-game wonder

Wales on course for Euro 2004?
BBC News – Sep 8, 2002
Wales have a long road ahead of them and of course it’s very important not to get carried away, which is what the Gaffer will be telling the less experienced players. But the future looks bright. Armand, Wales

"

One win over a team that has never qualified for any major tournament is not a turning point

"

Ben, England

It’s true that we now have pride and passion – but we now also have what has been lacking in a Wales squad for 50 years – quality and depth!

I just hope that young players like Simon Davies are not put under to much pressure! The persistence of us Wales fans has paid off and we now have a team that we can be proud of and are capable of going to a major championship. Phil, Wales

I’d just like to register my congratulations to the Welsh team for a fantastic result against Finland, who are no easy opponents nowadays. To win away to them is something that England couldn’t manage in their WC group, so very well done and I hope you can qualify for Euro 2004 and make your nation proud. Ian Raisbeck, England

So Chris in the USA thinks Wales has a midfield England would die for. Apart from Giggs, no-one would even get close to the English team… Wales can now boast a handful of international standard players, with some good younger players emerging and gaining exposure to top level football. The involvement of the top Welsh clubs in the English league has been crucial to this. Wales will do well to qualify for Euro 2004 but expect to see some impressive crowd attendances for the home matches at the millenium stadium. This should raise a few eyebrows in the WRU at least. Simon,
UK
Wales have a fantastic midfield and strike force. The likes of Hartson, Bellamy, Giggs, Speed, Savage and Davies should see them through. Their defence is the only thing of concern.

Clockwatch: Euro 2004 qualifiers
BBC News – Sep 7, 2002
1747: It’s half-time in Helsinki, but the home side are getting closer. Finland captain Jari Litmanen forces a good save from Jones with a well-struck free-kick. Ireland still have 10 minutes to score, but the Russians are not letting them have a touch of the ball. 1741: Russia 3-2 Ireland – the visitors are right back in it. Clinton Morrison finishes sharply after good work from Mark Kinsella and Steve Finnan. Meanwhile in Helsinki, Wales continue to frustrate the Finns. 1736: Russia 3-1 Ireland – no sooner do Ireland gain a toehold in the game, than Russia storm down the field to restore their two-goal lead.

CBC Sports Online: Euro 2004: Teams: France
cbc.ca – Sep 7, 2002
Prognosis:
As defending champions and boasting a team full of galactic
superstars both in the starting lineup and on the bench,
France is the favourite to win Euro 2004. However, the same
was said two years ago at the World Cup (where France were
the defending champions going into the tournament) and we
all know what happened next. Les Bleus are determined
not to let that happen again and they will be one of the
major players at Euro 2004. Progression beyond Group B is
a lock, and anything short of making it to the semifinal
will be a shocking result for the French. A date with either
Spain or Portugal awaits them in the quarter-final. If France
can avoid a potential matchup with the host Portuguese in
the next round, they’ll be well on their way to becoming
the first team to repeat as Euro champions. ROAD
TO EURO 2004
Current FIFA Ranking: #2
First-round schedule:
June 13 vs.

CBC Sports Online: Euro 2004: Teams: Greece
cbc.ca – Sep 7, 2002
He took over
the Greek national team shortly after it failed to qualify for
the 2002 World Cup and two years later led them to Portugal. Noted
for challenging and getting the most out of his players, he was
also responsible for instilling a much-needed sense of discipline
in his players. Tactical flexibility – Unlike other nations, Greece is
not tied down to one formation. Rehhagel has fashioned a team
of players that can easily go from a defensive 5-4-1, 5-3-2 or
4-4-2 formation to an attacking 3-4-3 or 4-5-1 when it has possession
of the ball. The Greeks’ expert ability to adjust and adapt
as the game progresses and changes will serve them well. Weaknesses:
Scoring depth – Greece is not a team that scores a lot of
goals (they only scored eight times in qualifying) because they
don’t have a deep reservoir of quality of strikers. If opposing
teams can shut down Greece’s first-choice strike partnership
of Demis Nikolaidis and Angelos Haristeas, coach Rehhagel doesn’t
have anybody else of quality to substitute them with… Starting goalkeeper Antonis
Nikopolidis is not exactly fit coming into Euro. A contract dispute
saw him fall out of favour with his club Panathinaikos and he
has not played regular, first-team soccer since January. Prognosis:
Greece comes into Euro 2004 riding a fair bit of momentum. Otto
Rehhagel’s side went on a 15-match unbeaten run starting
in October 2002 before losing 4-0 to Holland in late-April friendly. This is clearly a side playing with newfound confidence and determination,
a team full of bright, young players. They registered a huge 1-0
away victory over Spain in qualifying en route to its automatic
qualification for Portugal. But while Greece has come a long way
since failing to qualify for the 2002 World Cup, there are too
many factors working against them at Euro 2004.

CBC Sports Online: Euro 2004: Teams: Italy
cbc.ca – Sep 7, 2002
New attacking attitude – Gone are the days of Italy protecting
one-goal leads by falling into a defensive shell and employing
negative tactics. Ever since losing to Wales in an October 2002
qualifier, the old defensive Italy has withered away, and in its
place a new squad has been born; one committed to playing attacking,
attractive soccer. With some of the best forwards and attacking
midfielders in the game, Italy will use Euro 2004 as a showcase
for its new offensive prowess. Tactically flexible – Like his team, coach Giovanni Trapattoni
has turned over a new leaf. No longer does Trapattoni intransigently
stick to using a conservative 4-4-2 formation like he used to. Now, he tinkers with the lineup and changes the formation depending
on the game situation. During qualifying, Trapattoni showed his
tactical acumen by using a variety of formations (4-2-3-1, a 3-4-1-2,
a 3-4-2-1 or a 4-4-1-1) to great effect, proving that Italy is
more flexible and not married to one system… During qualifying, Trapattoni showed his
tactical acumen by using a variety of formations (4-2-3-1, a 3-4-1-2,
a 3-4-2-1 or a 4-4-1-1) to great effect, proving that Italy is
more flexible and not married to one system. Weaknesses:
Pressure – As one of the top favourites, Italy has a lot of pressure
to deal with. Millions of soccer-mad fans back in Italy – not
to mention the constant scrutiny of the demanding Italian media
– demand positive results. Anything less than winning Euro will
be viewed as a disappointment. Its failure to win Euro 2000 despite
sitting on a 1-0 lead in extra time, coupled with its anaemic
showing at the 2002 World Cup, means Italy will be playing under
a constant, self-imposed pressure cooker in Portugal. Maldini factor- The retirement of former captain Paolo Maldini,
Italy’s most capped player in history, is bound to have a detrimental
effect on the Azzurri come game time. No longer will Italy be
able to look to the classy defender for guidance and inspiration
on the field as they did for so many years.

CBC Sports Online: Euro 2004: Teams: Croatia
cbc.ca – Sep 7, 2002
The 25-year-old
has over 40 caps to his credit, and is an excellent shot stopper
who is an expert at saving penalty shots. Should Pletikosa succumb
to injury, backup Tomislav Butina is an experienced goalkeeper
who exhibits great command of his penalty area. Weaknesses:
Central midfield – Unlike past years when it had a slew
of central midfielders to call upon (i. : Robert Prosinecki,
Alijosa Asanoiv and Zvonimir Boban), Croatia can not boast a single
creative playmaker on its Euro 2004 squad. Niko Kovac is the lone
central midfielder of any quality, but playmaking is not his forte. As a result, Croatia relies on its wingers to launch its attack,
leaving them wanting for a creative presence in the middle of
the field.

CBC Sports Online: Euro 2004: Teams: Bulgaria
cbc.ca – Sep 7, 2002
Strengths:
Momentum – Bulgaria topped a tough qualifying group that included
Belgium and Croatia with one game to spare to book its trip to
Portugal. They cruised to a first-place finish on the strength
of five wins and two draws in eight games. That type of form will
give them a world of confidence going into Euro 2004. Defence – Bulgaria only gave up four goals in eight qualifying
games, a sign of their defensive solidity. Although not blessed
with great depth at the back, Bulgaria is in good hands with veterans
Predrag Pazin and Ivailo Petkov leading the way and a solid group
of youngsters playing with great discipline and intelligence –
although the right fullback position is a bit of a problem. Coaching – Thanks to coach Plamen Markov, Bulgaria is competing
at its first major tournament in six years. Markov is a demanding
coach who gets the most out of his players, takes calculated risks
with his game-plans, and is an astute judge of players’ strengths
and weaknesses… That type of form will
give them a world of confidence going into Euro 2004. Defence – Bulgaria only gave up four goals in eight qualifying
games, a sign of their defensive solidity. Although not blessed
with great depth at the back, Bulgaria is in good hands with veterans
Predrag Pazin and Ivailo Petkov leading the way and a solid group
of youngsters playing with great discipline and intelligence –
although the right fullback position is a bit of a problem. Coaching – Thanks to coach Plamen Markov, Bulgaria is competing
at its first major tournament in six years. Markov is a demanding
coach who gets the most out of his players, takes calculated risks
with his game-plans, and is an astute judge of players’ strengths
and weaknesses. Weaknesses:
Experience – Unlike past Bulgarian teams that relied on veterans
to lead the way, this squad is full of young, green starlets with
few experienced players in the roster to help guide them. The
international retirements of former captain Krassimir Balakov
and Krassimir Balakov are huge blows to a squad in desperate need
of team leaders.

CBC Sports Online: Euro 2004: Teams: Latvia
cbc.ca – Sep 7, 2002
But as they demonstrated by defeating Turkey in the playoffs,
unbridled passion and a fearless attitude can carry teams a long
way. Latvia has nothing to lose at Euro, meaning all the pressure
will be on all the other teams in Group D. Weaknesses:
Tough Group – The draw could not have been any crueller to the
tiny Baltic nation. Competing in its first major international
tournament, Latvia finds itself competing in Group D against thee-time
Euro champions Germany, former champions and heavy favourites
Czech Republic, and perennial European soccer power Netherlands. Securing a tie – let alone a win – will be a major accomplishment. One dimensional – Figuring out how to beat Latvia isn’t tough,
because it relies entirely on the counterattack to score its goals. Latvia’s one-dimensional play means teams can easily take charge
of the game by putting them under constant pressure, pinning them
back in their end of the field and taking an early lead… No pressure – If nothing else, Latvia has a tonne of zest and
zeal coming in Euro. This is their first major international tournament
and most pundits argue that they weren’t supposed to be here. But as they demonstrated by defeating Turkey in the playoffs,
unbridled passion and a fearless attitude can carry teams a long
way. Latvia has nothing to lose at Euro, meaning all the pressure
will be on all the other teams in Group D. Weaknesses:
Tough Group – The draw could not have been any crueller to the
tiny Baltic nation. Competing in its first major international
tournament, Latvia finds itself competing in Group D against thee-time
Euro champions Germany, former champions and heavy favourites
Czech Republic, and perennial European soccer power Netherlands. Securing a tie – let alone a win – will be a major accomplishment.

CBC Sports Online: Euro 2004: Teams: Denmark
cbc.ca – Sep 7, 2002
Coaching – Coach Morten Olsen is an astute tactician, who makes
the proper adjustments in his formations as the game progresses. He’s an intelligent coach that has an instilled a solid work ethic
in his players, inspiring his charges to make the right choices
and take calculated risks on the field. He also knows when not
to ‘over-coach’, allowing his players to run the show on the field. Width of attack – Denmark just doesn’t come at opponents down
the middle of the field. They come at you down the flanks, stretching
the opposing team as far across the width of the field as they
can. Gronkjaer and Rommedahl are two of the most talented wingers
in the game, using their pace to make brilliant runs down the
sides and create havoc for defenders. Weaknesses:
Defensive depth – The Danes possess a solid defence but once you
get past their top four starters, the quality of their defenders
really drops off… In a mildly surprising squad
omission, striker Henrik Pedersen did not get a call-up. Midfield
dynamo Thomas Gravesen will miss the opening game against Italy
through suspension after picking up two yellow cards against Bosnia-Herzegovina
in Denmark’s final qualifying match. Prognosis:
A team lacking superstars, Denmark is, nevertheless, a hard-working
and talented squad that has to be considered a dark-horse favourite
at Euro 2004. The core players of the team have been playing together
for four years, resulting in a tightly knit, cohesive squad that
can challenge and defeat the favoured teams in Portugal. They
combine just the right amount of elegant skills with grit and
determination, and can score goals with the best of them. Often
overlooked by opponents, Denmark’s workmanlike attitude and goal-scoring
prowess makes them a dangerous threat on any given day. Although
the Italians are favoured to win Group C, don’t be surprised to
see the Danes wrest first-place away from them and cause a few
upsets in the ensuing rounds.

CBC Sports Online: Euro 2004: Teams: Netherlands
cbc.ca – Sep 7, 2002
The lone striker (Ruud van Nistelrooy)
plays as target-man, waiting up front for service from those behind
him who try to get him the ball as close to the penalty area as
possible. Advocaat has said that he might go with the 4-4-2 setup
in Euro; if he does, expect Patrick Kluivert or Roy Makaay to
partner van Nistelrooy up front, van der Vaart to drop back in
the centre of midfield, and one of the wingers to lose their place. Strengths:
Offence – With the exception of France and Italy, the Netherlands
has the most potent attack of any of the teams competing at Euro
2004. Ruud van Nistelrooy is a goal-scoring machine and is widely
considered one of the top three strikers in the world. Roy Makaay
is equally deadly, Pierre van Hooijdonk is a free-kick specialist
and Patrick Kluivert is the country’s all-time leading scorer
with over 40 goals in close to 80 national team games. Wingers – The Dutch spread their attack along the full width
of the field thanks to quality of their talented wingers. Andy
van der Meyde (on the right) is a playmaking threat who can also
score, while Marc Overmars (on the left) is an experienced player
with a proven track record in international competition… Tactical naiveté – Coach Dick Advocaat is a funny guy
to figure out. In Roy Makaay, he has one of the most lethal strikers
in the world, but Advocaat rarely starts him next to Ruud van
Nistelrooy, feeling the two deadly strikers are too similar to
play together in the starting lineup. By going with one lone striker,
Advocaat is not using one of his best resources (depth at the
striker’s position) leaving van Nistelrooy to do all the work
on his own. Key Players to watch:
Ruud van Nistelrooy – Those who argue that Thierry Henry is the
best striker in the world will get an earful from supporters of
Ruud van Nistelrooy. The Manchester United hit-man is a classic
goal poacher who combines deadly finishing skills, power and strength
into an awesome scoring package. He can score with either foot
and has excellent aerial skills, making him even more of a threat
when he’s in the penalty area. Rafael van der Vaart: A playmaker that can also score goals,
van der Vaart gives the Dutch a real creative presence in midfield.

CBC Sports Online: Euro 2004: Teams: Switzerland
cbc.ca – Sep 8, 2002
Strengths:
Momentum – Switzerland comes into Euro 2004 on a major high
having topped a tough qualifying group that included Russia and
the Republic of Ireland. A pair of convincing wins over the Irish,
the pre-qualifying favourite for their group, gives the Swiss
a major confidence boost as they head to Portugal, knowing that
they have it within them to defeat stronger teams. Team Unity – Not a team of international superstars, Switzerland’s
success in qualifying for Euro 2004 was due to team unity. There
are few egos in this side; every player knows his role in this
well-organized side, every player gives a maximum effort every
time they step onto the field and they play as a cohesive unit. Blend of old and young – Coach Kobi Kuhn has fashioned
a team that brilliantly mixes seasoned veterans with aspiring
youngsters ready to reach the next level. Old-guard players such
as defender Stephane Henchoz and forward Stephane Chapuisat will
help mentor such exciting newcomers as defender Stephan Keller
and midfielder Ricardo Cabanas. Weaknesses:
Tough group – Switzerland has its work cut out for itself
in Group B.

CBC Sports Online: Euro 2004: Teams: Germany
cbc.ca – Sep 7, 2002
What they’re missing
is an imposing player that can rile the rest of the team up with
his personality and character. Key Players to watch:
Fredi Bobic – Germany’s main scoring threat, Bobic is a crafty
striker that can score with his head and score goals out of the
simplest of chances. After a four-year absence from the national
team, Bobic proved his worth in gold during the qualifying round
when he scored four goals in five games to help Germany win their
group and gain automatic qualification to Euro 2004. Michael Ballack – An elegant midfielder who carries the ball with
style and grace, Michael Ballack is one of the most dangerous
players in soccer today. The midfield playmaker is strong with
both feet, makes darting runs into the penalty area with the ball,
and can score goals with the best of them. The backbone of the
German attack. Andreas Hinkel – One of the rising stars of German soccer, the
22-year-old defender is coming off a breakout season in the German
Bundesliga with VfB Stuttgart… With everybody writing them
off, the Germans displayed that resolve and resiliency they’re
famous for and made it all the way to the finals. This year, the
critics have again written Germany off, but this time the pundits
may have it right. This is not the all-conquering German team
of times past; instead, it’s a tired, banged up bunch that struggled
in qualifying and all too often loses to teams it should have
no problem beating. Had it been drawn into another group, Germany
would have been a lock to progress to the next round. But because
they have to play against the Netherlands and the Czech Republic,
two of the tournament favourites, their passage to the next round
is not assured. Are they capable of finishing in one of the top
two spots in Group D? Yes. But they’ll have to scrape it out,
and for a team lacking leadership and that is a shell of its former
self, they’ll have to be happy with a third-place finish.

CBC Sports Online: Euro 2004: Teams: Russia
cbc.ca – Sep 7, 2002
Strengths:
Tenacity – Forget about the stereotype of the cold, passionless
Russian athlete. This Russian side has plenty of heart. After
suffering embarrassing losses to Albania and Georgia in qualifying,
Russia stormed back to clinch second place in Group 10 and then
secured its place at Euro 2004 by earning a 1-0 playoff win against
Wales on the road. Solid midfield – Although somewhat lacking in depth, Russia’s
midfield boasts a wide variety of skilled players. Alexander Mostovoi,
inconsistent at times he may be, is a brilliant playmaker; Rolan
Gusev is a threat on the right wing; Dmitri Alenichev is noted
for his threatening runs; and Dmitri Loskov and Alexei Smertin
are both commanding figures in the centre. History – The Russians have a proven track record of achievement
at Euro, winning the inaugural tournament in 1960. Finalists in
1964, 1972 and 1988, and semifinalists in 1968, Russia always
seems to overachieve at Euro, no matter how many critics write
them off… Titov factor – The loss of former captain Yegor Titov due
to a 12-month drug ban is bad news for the Russians, as the Spartak
Moscow midfielder brought a lot of class, quality and inspiration
to the side. Titov’s suspension, coupled with the loss of
Onopko and Ignashevitch, means Russia will sorely be lacking veteran
leadership on the field. Tough group – Like Greece, the draw was not kind to Russia,
as they were grouped with host-nation Portugal and Spain, two
of the favourites to win the tournament. Both of those teams,
brimming with world-class players who ply their trade in the top
European leagues, pose as giant obstacles for a Russian team relying
almost exclusively on players who play in Russia’s non-descript
domestic league. Key Players to watch:
Alexei Smertin – The sparkplug that drives the engine room
of the Russian team, Alexei Smertin is the key player in midfield. Russia’s attack hinges on him, as Smertin operates as a
defensive midfielder in front of the back four, while at the same
time leading the attack from midfield with his precise, inch-perfect
passes. Dmitri Bulykin – This tall, speed striker is coach Georgi
Yartsev’s first-choice selection to play up front for good
reason.

Shambles in Moscow
eleven-a-side.com – Sep 7, 2002
And the most awful factor was the stark realisation that the opposition were litter better than mediocre. Russia often resembled a poor provincial side, such was the scatterbrain nature of their defending. It is abundantly clear that this particular Russian side, beset with injuries and suspensions to key players, locked in a period of transition that could take at least the entire Euro 2004 Group 10 fixture list to reach fruition, does not even approach the class offered by the other qualification rivals Ireland have met in recent times. Going back to Mick McCarthy?s first test as manager, Ireland by turns faced Romania, Croatia and Yugoslavia, Holland and Portugal. All mixed thorough organisation with a varying, undoubted degree of class. Russia, in their obvious vulnerability at the back and the manner in which they capitalized on shocking Irish mistakes at the other end, resembled memories of another opponent that will re-awaken a few nightmares inside the deeper recesses of McCarthy?s mind: Macedonia. Synonymous with Irish calamity since a particularly dire performance in defeat in Skopje five years ago, Macedonia now have a rival for that particular claim.

McCarthy says Keane chasm is beyond repair
rte.ie – Sep 8, 2002
It was inevitable after last night’s surprising collapse against the Russians that McCarthy would be asked if it was time to attempt to make peace with his rebel former skipper, who he so famously banished from the World Cup following a highly publicised training camp bust-up. The war of words has been escalated in the past couple of weeks by the publication of Keane’s autobiography, in which the Manchester United midfielder said he would not play for Ireland while McCarthy remained as coach. Ireland could have done with Keane in the Lokomotiv Stadium last night as they kicked off their Euro 2004 qualifying campaign, but then McCarthy has always stated his team are a much stronger outfit with their former leader at the helm. When the question came as the media pack gathered around McCarthy in the airport departure lounge, he answered with his usual blunt honesty. McCarthy admitted: “Roy has a hip injury so he would not have been able to play anyway. But he has said he is not going to play. It is not going to change, that situation… Ireland could have done with Keane in the Lokomotiv Stadium last night as they kicked off their Euro 2004 qualifying campaign, but then McCarthy has always stated his team are a much stronger outfit with their former leader at the helm. When the question came as the media pack gathered around McCarthy in the airport departure lounge, he answered with his usual blunt honesty. McCarthy admitted: “Roy has a hip injury so he would not have been able to play anyway. But he has said he is not going to play. It is not going to change, that situation. I think the situation is far beyond repair. Roy tells everybody that and it is not going to make it any different.

Keane saga will run on – McCarthy
rte.ie – Sep 6, 2002
The Ireland team arrived in Moscow last night ahead of their first Euro 2004 qualifier against Russia on Saturday and when McCarthy gave his first press conference it was Manchester United skipper Keane who again stole the show, despite again being absent. When asked if Keane’s ongoing absence put extra pressure on McCarthy, he said: “Of course it does, and that is going to be there all the time. The more people give it legs, the more it is going to run and run – it is an unfortunate fact of life. “”I don’t know when it is going to end. It probably will still be going on when I have lost my teeth and my eyesight and all my hair has gone… I’ll be sitting drinking my pint and someone will say: ‘There’s that bloke who sent Roy Keane home from the World Cup’. “”I am on record as saying that when Roy played for us in the World Cup qualifying campaign we were a better team, and we all wanted him to play. But it is an unfortunate fact of life that it is not going to happen. Roy was going to retire after the World Cup anyway, but he has chosen not to. There is a suggestion he may have played if I wasn’t here, but I can’t do anything about that, and if that adds a little bit more pressure to me then so be it,” McCarthy continued. “Whatever happens, it is still results-based. If Roy was playing and we lost here or didn’t qualify, it is still the same.

CBC Sports Online: Euro 2004: Teams: Sweden
cbc.ca – Sep 7, 2002
The strikers (Henrik Larsson and either Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Marcus Allback) play side-by-side and rely almost exclusively on service from Ljungberg. The central midfielder (Anders Svensson) makes similar penetrating runs up the middle, lending his support to the attack. Strengths: Henrik Larsson’s return – The talismanic striker, who plays for Scottish League champions Celtic, retired from international soccer after the 2002 World Cup, only to be convinced to play for Sweden one last time at Euro 2004. One of Europe’s most prolific scorers over the last several years, Larsson provides Sweden with a lethal goal-scoring threat. He also is a team leader, providing Sweden with a constant source of inspiration on the field. Scoring – Even without Larsson, Sweden is a dangerous offensive team. Starter Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a dangerous, young hit-man, while the more experienced Marcus Allback and Mattias Jonson have demonstrated in the past that they can produce in big games… Alexander Östlund took his place. Johan Mjallby, another key player in the Swedish midfield, has been plagued by knee injuries over last year and is not at 100 per cent. Midfielder Kim Kallstrom comes into the tournament bothered by a nagging groin injury. In a bit of a surprise, defenders Petter Hansson (four caps) and Erik Wahlstedt (two caps) were selected, despite their limited international experience. Prognosis: Anchored by a stingy defence and a talented crop of strikers, Sweden could do some damage and is more than capable of playing stride for stride with teams such as Italy. However, Freddie Ljungberg is the only midfielder of any individual quality on the roster, the only dangerous creative threat in the Swedish midfield.

Vogts gets dreaded vote of confidence
rte.ie – Sep 8, 2002
The German got the vote from Scottish FA chief executive David Taylor after yesterday’s embarrassing 2-2 draw with minnows the Faroe Islands in a Euro 2004 Group 5 qualifier. “It’s not Berti’s style to walk away, just the reverse in fact. There’s definitely a bit of the Scottish character in him. When things go wrong he doubles his efforts. He’s determined to do well,” said Taylor.

Sychyov’s ‘Golden Boy’ Tag Tarnished
St Petersburg Times, Russia – Sep 6, 2002
It reported that Sychyov is now holed up in a boarding house controlled by the Podolsk mafia just outside Moscow. Sychyov has not played a game since the scandal broke. New Russia coach Valery Gazzayev did not pick him for the national team’s friendly against Sweden on Aug. 21 and dropped him from the squad for Russia’s first Euro 2004 qualifier against Ireland on Saturday… Sychyov has not played a game since the scandal broke. New Russia coach Valery Gazzayev did not pick him for the national team’s friendly against Sweden on Aug. 21 and dropped him from the squad for Russia’s first Euro 2004 qualifier against Ireland on Saturday.

Severin feared he’d be one-game wonder
Edinburgh Evening News – Sep 6, 2002
“So I was therefore delighted to go on the trip to the Far East and then come off the bench against Denmark at Hampden last month. “I don’t see me being required against the Faroes this weekend but with a bit of luck maybe I can get the last ten or 15 minutes if things are going well on Saturday. ” The prospect of things not going well at the North Atlantic outpost does not even bear thinking about for Vogts and his new generation and Severin insists the Scots have to be looking at taking full points from not only Saturday’s encounter but also the next qualifier, another away clash, in Iceland in October. The last time Scotland faced the North Sea minnows, Matt Elliott was sent off as Craig Brown’s team was held to an embarrassing 1-1 draw. And Severin knows there can be no slip-ups this time round as the new coach goes in search of his first victory since replacing Brown at the helm. “We can’t afford any mistakes on Saturday,” he said. “We need to get three points, score a few goals and get our confidence up.

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