Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

August 19, 2004

Lean Ferguson delighted to accentuate the positive

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 3:59 pm

The News Review:

* Player-by-Player guide
* BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | Figo to take Portugal break
* Butt, Smith to start for England
* Lean Ferguson delighted to accentuate the positive
* Asia Times – News and analysis from throughout Southeast Asia
* ESPNsoccernet – Global – Latvia v Wales Report
* Spain look to make fresh start
* Smith states good case
* Woodgate may be next for Madrid
* Another LEGEND Retires from International Football [Archive] -…
* FIFA World Cup – News & Features
* Athens on track for success
* Eriksson urges more rest for soccer stars
* Wins for Germany and England but shock defeat for Italy
* A rest is good for a change, says Eriksson
* BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | International round-up
* Dive bombers, Greek bombshell
* Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan
* Olympic Games: Your views
* FIFA World Cup – News & Features

Player-by-Player guide
Telegraph.co.uk – Aug 19, 2004
Steven Gerrard: Seemed to be playing within himself but every now and then surged forward with those characteristic driving runs. Made one brilliant swerve to change direction out on the left flank, and put in some fearsome tackles. Frank Lampard: Hit only one, bouncing shot at goal and did not make the same exertions as Euro 2004. Did not get forward as much as he usually does, but his passing was short and sweet. Nicky Butt: The chant “Nicky Butt is a Geordie” rang out around St James’ Park when this son of north Manchester picked up the ball in the first half. The Newcastle fans got a taste of exactly what their money has bought. Tidy tackler, no frills.

BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | Figo to take Portugal break
BBC News – Aug 18, 2004
I still can’t say if this is for ever, but I feel the need to stop. ”

The 31-year-old former World Player of the Year has made a record-breaking 110 appearances for his country
scoring 31 international goals. Last month the Real Madrid star helped Portugal reach the Euro 2004 final. But Figo did not rule out a return to the side in the future, adding: “I have never refused to serve my country and no one can predict the future. ”

Figo, along with Costa and defender Fernando Couto, was part of the so-called “Golden Generation” of players who won the world youth championship in 1989. The Portuguese reached the last four at Euro 2000 and the final at Euro 2004, but having missed out on the trophy both times, that generation’s greatest chance of success is now gone and younger players like Cristiano Ronaldo have taken centre stage. Despite being a key player over the years, Figo was substituted several times during Euro 2004.

Butt, Smith to start for England
iAfrica.com – Aug 17, 2004
“Nicky is our best sitting midfielder,” said Eriksson “He played very well on Saturday (against Middlesbrough) and he is fit again. He is a very clever player and the fact that he will playing most of Newcastle’s games will help him with his fitness and his form. ”

The Swede said he had always picked Butt was when he was fit — a claim that is not strictly accurate as the midfielder was dropped at the start of Euro 2004 before suffering an injury that ruled him out of the tournament. Eriksson admits that Gerrard is likely to be as uncomfortable on the left as Scholes was before his shock decision to quit the international game. But his naturally cautious nature — which was the subject of much criticism in the wake of England’s quarterfinal exit from Euro 2004 — dictates a safety first approach which means Butt, if he performs well, can look forward to starting next month’s opening World Cup qualifiers, in Austria and Poland. Smith, who was left out of the Euro 2004 squad, has made a bright start to his career at United and was rewarded with the opportunity to forge a striking partnership with Michael Owen in the absence of the injured Wayne Rooney. Smith’s selection ahead of Jermain Defoe represents the biggest surprise in Eriksson’s line-up, the Spurs striker having been expected to get a chance to build on an exceptional international debut in a pre-Euro 2004 friendly against Sweden.

Lean Ferguson delighted to accentuate the positive
Telegraph.co.uk – Aug 18, 2004
I hope he plays for 90 minutes because he needs match fitness. It’s important for him, for Scotland and for Blackburn. “Ferguson himself is not entirely sure that he can last a whole match at this level and remarked yesterday that he would be happy with to play for an hour, but added: “I’m just desperate to be back playing. I only took two-and-a-half weeks off this summer. I lost a lot of weight and feel better for it,” said Ferguson. “In one of Blackburn’s pre-season friendlies I got a bad knock on the knee, and had stitches put in it, but that showed me I was able to go back in fully committed. I was slightly surprised when Graeme Souness took me aside and said he wanted me to be captain but I’m delighted and there was no ill-feeling with any of the other lads at the club… “I think we are not a national team now – we are a club team. I have spoken to the boys about why we would win one game and lose the second game. In the Euro 2004 qualifiers we drew with the Faroe Islands and lost to Lithuania. “That was five qualifying points which would have saved us from having to try to qualify through the play-offs. In our World Cup group the strongest team is Italy, and although they went out of the tournament early, I thought they were the beat team in Euro 2004. “But on our day we can beat them. What we have to do is pick up points against Norway, Slovenia and Moldova.

Asia Times – News and analysis from throughout Southeast Asia
Asia Times Online – Aug 18, 2004
For the
next two weeks, it has one more: Indonesia is not
broadcasting the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. The
country’s 10 television networks wouldn’t pay the price
for broadcast rights demanded by the International
Olympic Committee (IOC), a group that makes Indonesian
politicians look incorruptible. If you’re looking for a
respite from the relentless hype, enter this
NOlympic village. Indonesia stands out
among the 220 Olympic participants as one not
telecasting the Games. The archipelago has sent 39
athletes to Athens to compete in 14 sports… It’s not that Indonesian
stations won’t pay big sums for coveted sports
programming. RCTI forked over $5 million to telecast
soccer’s 2002 World Cup. The network got plenty of
viewers for Euro 2004 soccer matches, shown live, even
during the middle of the Indonesian night. Some
observers attributed voters arriving late for the July 5
presidential balloting to a Euro 2004 contest the night
before. Because of the time difference between
Indonesia and Greece, showing events live would have
meant burning the midnight airwaves again. (Showing
events on tape would mean significantly more local
production work and, most likely, a less appealing
program. ) But broadcasters contended that the Athens
Olympics would fall short of the allure of world-class
soccer.

ESPNsoccernet – Global – Latvia v Wales Report
go.com – Aug 18, 2004
John Hartson and Craig Bellamy scored in the last 10 minutes to give Wales asmash-and-grab win over a side who played at Euro 2004. • Hughes hails strike pairingWales rode their luck – their woodwork was struck twice – but defendedmagnificently against a very quick and forceful side before striking with deadlyfinishing late on. Hartson has not played for Wales since the November play-off disaster againstRussia – and he has managed to play alongside Bellamy on just five of the last15 matches. But their top drawer finishing secured Wales’ fifth game without defeat beforethey embark on their World Cup campaign in Azerbaijan next month. Hughes fielded one of his strongest line-ups in months for their only friendlybefore embarking the trip to Baku and home match against Northern Ireland. Ryan Giggs – suspended for those two games – was not needed here, but only theinjured pair of Danny Gabbidon and Simon Davies would come close to forcingtheir way into tonight’s side. The Latvians were playing their first game at home since their summer of Euro2004 heroics – and Wales found out just why this little country with an evensmaller population has done so well at international level recently… And a minute from time the win was sealed when Bellamy was put through byRoberts, and he slid a shot into the far corner. • Hughes hails strike pairingAfter the match Mark Hughes hailed his goal-hungry strike force of Craig Bellamy and John Hartson after their demolition of Latvia and claimed they would frighten any team in the world – including England. The pair struck vital late goals to send Euro 2004 qualifiers Latvia spinningto a 2-0 defeat in the Skonto Stadium. Hughes, whose side have now gone five games without defeat since they failedto reach Portugal themselves in the play-off disaster against Russia, now marchinto next month’s World Cup qualifiers full of confidence. They face England at Old Trafford in October, and the form shown by Bellamy inparticular will give Sven-Goran Eriksson plenty to think about. Hughes said: ‘He is as sharp and as confident as I have ever seen him in hiscareer. ‘I was delighted with the performance of both my front men.

Spain look to make fresh start
Telegraph.co.uk – Aug 18, 2004
“Euro 2004 was a huge let-down for all of us, for the players and for the fans,” the Real Madrid striker said in Las Palmas yesterday before tonight’s friendly against Venezuela. “We are now starting a new era and we are keen to take on the ideas of the new coach with the aim of turning in a good performance and winning the game. The 66-year-old former international said his first task was to help the side recover their self-esteem… But while he has temporarily left out the Juventus favourite Alessandro Del Piero, Lippi admitted that he would stop at nothing in getting the best players for his 2006 World Cup squad – including luring the retired Italy defender Paolo Maldini and goalkeeper Francesco Toldo back to the fold. Totti’s Roma team-mate, Antonio Cassano, and Lazio’s Bernardo Corradi are also unvailable through injury and it means that newcomers Francesco Flachi (Sampdoria), Luca Toni (Palermo), Simone Barone (Palermo) and Manuele Blasi (Juventus) could be given a chance to make their names. “It’s only fair to select some players who have not been given a chance in the national team,” said Lippi, who reiterated that he had not closed the door on anyone. Lippi is hoping the Iceland match will be the first of many which gives the Italians back their appetite for success ahead of the 2006 World Cup qualifiers. Information appearing on telegraph. uk is the copyright of Telegraph MediaGroup Limited and must not be reproduced in any medium without licence.

Smith states good case
Telegraph.co.uk – Aug 19, 2004
Alan Smith, for instance, on the evidence so far, could be forgiven for thinking that he is not a favourite of the England coach, Sven-Goran Eriksson. There was the time two years back when Smith scored on his debut against Portugal to round off an all-round impressive performance only to be relegated to the bench for the real stuff – a Euro 2004 qualifier against Slovakia. His next appearance, admittedly, did not much help his cause. A second yellow card came his way against Macedonia for a silly sliding tackle. Suspension inevitably played a part after that before a lengthy period in which he wasn’t picked at all.

Woodgate may be next for Madrid
Telegraph.co.uk – Aug 19, 2004
Sources at the Bernabeu have since indicated that they would be prepared to pay as much as £12. 5 million for Woodgate, 24. The defender joined Newcastle from Leeds in January 2003 for around £9 million but missed out on Euro 2004 with an injury that has threatened to rule him out for the next month. He tore tendons in his thigh and has since gone to Germany to see a specialist. Dyer, 25, has been in a difficult position since an alleged training ground row with Robson over the Newcastle manager’s plans to play him on the right side of midfield in order to accommodate Nicky Butt and Jermaine Jenas in the centre… Dyer, 25, has been in a difficult position since an alleged training ground row with Robson over the Newcastle manager’s plans to play him on the right side of midfield in order to accommodate Nicky Butt and Jermaine Jenas in the centre. Although the club are understood to have offered Dyer for sale for £8 million, there have been no takers. The Birmingham manager, Steve Bruce, is understood to be close to a deal for the player who cost Newcastle £6 million from Ipswich Town five years ago, although Birmingham do not yet have the funds to buy Dyer permanently. A loan deal would at least get the player off Newcastle’s hands after he offended the club’s hierarchy during Saturday’s draw against Middlesbrough. When Alan Shearer handed Dyer the captain’s armband after being substituted, the midfielder made a point of passing it straight to Jenas in a move that was interpreted in some quarters as a sign of contempt for the club. Despite his 24 England caps, Dyer has never come close to establishing himself in Sven-Goran Eriksson’s first XI and has not developed in the same way as his former England Under-21 team-mates, Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard. Antonio Nunez, Liverpool’s new midfielder, sustained a serious knee injury on the training ground yesterday, just hours after being paraded following his transfer from Real Madrid.

Another LEGEND Retires from International Football [Archive] -…
IranKicks – Aug 19, 2004
but at the moment I feel the need to stop,’ the Real Madrid winger said in a statement. The decision by the 31-year-old former World Player of the Year, who made a record-breaking 110 appearances for his country and scored 31 international goals, comes over a month after he led hosts Portugal to the final of Euro 2004, where they lost 1-0 to Greece. ‘In the recent Euro 2004, which filled us all with pride, we saw a new group of footballers emerge, who are capable of guaranteeing the continuity of the level Portuguese football has achieved in the last decade,’ he said. He went on to thank ‘all my team mates with whom I shared so many emotions. They are the best thing that exists in national teams and without them the triumphs we reached would not have been possible. ‘

Figo has won just about every honour available to him at club level and has been named both European and World Footballer of the Year, but he now appears to have decided to retire from international football after missing out on his last chance to win a major title with his national team. His decision comes less than a week after Zinedine Zidane, another of world soccer’s most influential figures and Figo’s Real Madrid team mate, announced he was ending his international career after a 10-year spell with France… ‘In the recent Euro 2004, which filled us all with pride, we saw a new group of footballers emerge, who are capable of guaranteeing the continuity of the level Portuguese football has achieved in the last decade,’ he said. He went on to thank ‘all my team mates with whom I shared so many emotions. They are the best thing that exists in national teams and without them the triumphs we reached would not have been possible. ‘

Figo has won just about every honour available to him at club level and has been named both European and World Footballer of the Year, but he now appears to have decided to retire from international football after missing out on his last chance to win a major title with his national team. His decision comes less than a week after Zinedine Zidane, another of world soccer’s most influential figures and Figo’s Real Madrid team mate, announced he was ending his international career after a 10-year spell with France. Figo came into Euro 2004 as the soccer icon of the host nation but found himself regularly substituted by coach Luiz Felipe Scolari in a personally frustrating period. Substituted against England in the quarter-final, Figo was restored to his pedestal after a barnstorming performance in Portugal’s 2-1 semi-final win over the Netherlands.

FIFA World Cup – News & Features
uefa.comUEFA.com – Aug 18, 2004
However, the rematch between the surprise UEFA EURO 2004™ winners and their semi-final victims in Prague stands out as the pick of this week’s warm-up matches ahead of the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Revenge missionGreece stunned the Czechs last month in Porto thanks to a Traianos Dellas silver goal and Karel Brückner’s side, who produced some of the most entertaining football in Portugal, are sure to be out to exact a modicum of vengeance. That point has not been lost on victorious Greek coach Otto Rehhagel, who said: “The Czechs are very strong opponents and they’ll want their revenge after their defeat in the European Championship semi-final. ” Minimal changesApart from the injured Dellas and Themistoklis Nikolaidis, who has retired, the squad is made up entirely of EURO 2004™ winners and includes Vassilios Tsiartas despite his public criticism of Rehhagel for not giving him enough playing time. “We want to try some new things without Dellas… However, the rematch between the surprise UEFA EURO 2004™ winners and their semi-final victims in Prague stands out as the pick of this week’s warm-up matches ahead of the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Revenge missionGreece stunned the Czechs last month in Porto thanks to a Traianos Dellas silver goal and Karel Brückner’s side, who produced some of the most entertaining football in Portugal, are sure to be out to exact a modicum of vengeance. That point has not been lost on victorious Greek coach Otto Rehhagel, who said: “The Czechs are very strong opponents and they’ll want their revenge after their defeat in the European Championship semi-final. ” Minimal changesApart from the injured Dellas and Themistoklis Nikolaidis, who has retired, the squad is made up entirely of EURO 2004™ winners and includes Vassilios Tsiartas despite his public criticism of Rehhagel for not giving him enough playing time. “We want to try some new things without Dellas. The team for the qualifiers will be 95 per cent the same as the one at the EURO,” Rehhagel said ahead of his squad’s first outing since winning the final. “Down the line we will make some changes.

Athens on track for success
Newsweek – Aug 19, 2004
It was one of the few Olympic events with only a small number of unfilled seats. Many of the rest have been characterized by swathes of empty places, with world-class athletes such as Venus Williams the tennis star performing in front of tiny crowds. Perhaps surprisingly, however, the Greek Olympic bosses say they are not worried by the empty seats. On the contrary, they point out that the games have already achieved 90 percent of the budgeted revenue from ticket sales. Athoc, the body organizing the games, budgeted on receiving $226 million from ticket sales, representing less than 10 percent of the total operational budget for the games. Officials say sales are expected to pick up over the next week… Tickets are selling at a rate of between 40,000 and 50,000 a day, and some of the sports in which Greeks are most likely to be interested are still to come. The football matches so far have been played mainly in smaller regional venues, but next week the final stages will be played in Athens, which is likely to raise interest levels particularly in light of Greece’s victory in the Euro 2004 tournament. The total number of tickets available has deliberately been kept smaller than for the Sydney games in 2000. Greece built sports venues with a smaller capacity than those constructed for Sydney, partly because of the country’s lack of a sports tradition and because of possible problems in filling the venues after the games. For Greece, the rows of empty seats are not the financial problem they may appear. But in image terms the damage to the games has already been done.

Eriksson urges more rest for soccer stars
Independent Online – Aug 18, 2004
“What do they want to see? They want to see a Zinedine Zidane 100-percent fit, they want to see a (Francesco) Totti 100-percent fit, they want to see a (David) Beckham 100-percent fit. They want to see the superstars a lot but in Japan and Portugal we did not see that. “That does not happen because in the big football countries there is a huge amount of football and in some countries there are no breaks. That is not only for England, it’s most of the big footballing countries. “And in the big football countries there is a maximum of three weeks before the international tournaments start,” Eriksson said. “I am not trying to defend myself but if that’s not changed in the future it will always be like that because fitness is extremely important when you take part in the big tournaments. ”

Eriksson has also said Beckham would continue taking penalties for England despite the fact the team’s captain has missed his last three, including the Euro 2004 quarter-final shootout defeat to hosts Portugal in June… “And in the big football countries there is a maximum of three weeks before the international tournaments start,” Eriksson said. “I am not trying to defend myself but if that’s not changed in the future it will always be like that because fitness is extremely important when you take part in the big tournaments. ”

Eriksson has also said Beckham would continue taking penalties for England despite the fact the team’s captain has missed his last three, including the Euro 2004 quarter-final shootout defeat to hosts Portugal in June. “He will continue taking penalties for us, at least for now,” Eriksson said. “Hopefully he will score the next one but, of course, we will take it game by game because it’s always like that. But I think that David has been unlucky, but not with his right foot, his left foot. ”

Eriksson was referring to the fact that Beckham’s left, supporting foot slipped as he blasted his spot kick over the bar in the Lisbon match.

Wins for Germany and England but shock defeat for Italy
abc.net.au – Aug 19, 2004
England crushed Ukraine 3-0 in Newcastle with newly-united Real Madrid team-mates David Beckham and Michael Owen scoring England’s opening two goals. Debutant Shaun Wright-Phillips added the third. The Netherlands, starting life under Marco van Basten, performed creditably against Sweden in Stockholm, leaving with a 2-2 draw, but former European champions France, also under a new coach in Raymond Domenech, did not fare so well, only drawing 1-1 with Bosnia in Rennes. There was also a shock for Turkey, World Cup semi-finalists just two years ago. After failing to qualify for Euro 2004 and having to watch arch-rivals Greece win it, Turkey started the season with a shock 2-1 home defeat to lowly-ranked Belarus. Italy iced

Apart from Belarus’s unexpected win, the biggest shock of the night was in Reykjavik where Iceland beat Italy thanks to goals from Eidur Gudjohnsen after 17 minutes and Gylfi Einarsson two minutes later. Although the domestic Icelandic season is in full swing and the Italian season does not start until the middle of next month, the result was still a surprise… The Netherlands, starting life under Marco van Basten, performed creditably against Sweden in Stockholm, leaving with a 2-2 draw, but former European champions France, also under a new coach in Raymond Domenech, did not fare so well, only drawing 1-1 with Bosnia in Rennes. There was also a shock for Turkey, World Cup semi-finalists just two years ago. After failing to qualify for Euro 2004 and having to watch arch-rivals Greece win it, Turkey started the season with a shock 2-1 home defeat to lowly-ranked Belarus. Italy iced

Apart from Belarus’s unexpected win, the biggest shock of the night was in Reykjavik where Iceland beat Italy thanks to goals from Eidur Gudjohnsen after 17 minutes and Gylfi Einarsson two minutes later. Although the domestic Icelandic season is in full swing and the Italian season does not start until the middle of next month, the result was still a surprise. Italy will need to improve quickly before they start their World Cup qualifiers against Norway on September 4 and away to Moldova four days later. Iceland, whose soccer has improved over the last few years taking them close at least to the playoffs for Euro 2004 late last year, were far more lively than a young Italian side.

A rest is good for a change, says Eriksson
The Age – Aug 19, 2004
That is not only for England, it’s most of the big footballing countries. “And in the big football countries there is a maximum of three weeks before the international tournaments start. “If that’s not changed in the future, it will always be like that because fitness is extremely important when you take part in the big tournaments. ” Eriksson has also said Beckham would continue taking penalties for England despite missing his past three, including the Euro 2004 quarter-final loss to Portugal in June… “And in the big football countries there is a maximum of three weeks before the international tournaments start. “If that’s not changed in the future, it will always be like that because fitness is extremely important when you take part in the big tournaments. ” Eriksson has also said Beckham would continue taking penalties for England despite missing his past three, including the Euro 2004 quarter-final loss to Portugal in June. “Hopefully he will score the next one but, of course, we will take it game by game because it’s always like that. ” Real Sociedad has agreed to sell Spanish international midfielder Xabi Alonso to Liverpool. “Real Sociedad and Liverpool reached an agreement this morning for the transfer of Xabi Alonso to the historic English club,” the Spanish first division club said on its website. Sociedad said Alonso had agreed to the deal, which is expected to be completed overnight.

BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | International round-up
BBC News – Aug 18, 2004
West Bromwich Albion defender Thomas Gaardsoe and Fulham’s Claus Jensen scored the other Danish goals, with Maciej Zurawski replying for the Poles. European champions Greece showed they have lost none of their defensive resolution to hold Czech Republic to a scoreless draw. The Czechs, eliminated by Greece in the Euro 2004 semi-finals, dominated but could not breach the Greek defence. Early on Czech striker Jan Koller’s headed a corner kick past goalkeeper Antonios Nikopolidis but the goal-bound ball was cleared off the line. Czech Substitute Stepan Vachousek also hit the crossbar in the second half.

Dive bombers, Greek bombshell
The Age – Aug 18, 2004
There was even the diving equivalent of a pitch invader in the penultimate round, when a man in a tutu stealing publicity for a local casino climbed up a springboard ladder and swan-dived into the pool. So much for $2 billion worth of security. Not one official went near the diving imposter for nearly a minute as he floated around the pool.

Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan
Daily Times – Aug 17, 2004
Most of the events are sold out from the quarter-finals onwards,? he said. Zacharatos acknowledged that the dismal performances of Greece?s teams in the mens and womens football tournaments had contributed to a lack of interest that has seen group games played out in near-empty venues. There had been high hopes of a successful football tournament following Greece?s shock victory in the Euro 2004 tournament. ?With regards to soccer it?s not up to the standards of the European or South American championships or the World Cup,? Zacharatos said. ?Unfortunately the Greek team has not been performing to expectations. If they had the crowds would have been bigger.

Olympic Games: Your views
BBC News – Aug 18, 2004
Great fun, and a GB medal at the end!Katherine, London, UK

Why baseball? Very few countries play and the US doesn’t even care enough to send a team. Nick, Tokyo, Japan

To Nick, Tokyo, Japan: the USA does care enough to send a team. Unfortunately they did not qualify for the olympics because of a loss in preliminary olympic play. Secondly, how could someone from Japan ask, “why baseball?” Baseball is huge in Japan. Jason, Detroit, USA

Oh how boring, the Olympics is upon us again! I pay my TV licence in the hope that I’ll get some good programmes to watch not to be bombarded with sport 24 hours a day!Chris A, Ashford, UK

I’m certainly, admittedly not the greatest lover of sport, but the Olympics are unique, special. Even more so if the host city provides the viewer, spectator and athlete a good show, and Athens has done just that. We were all holding our breath but can now safely say, well done Athens… David Lewis, Tokyo

As a Greek, living abroad, I think it’s about time we all understood and appreciated the efforts Greece has made in organising something so great. I only wish the foreign press and especially the British one would stop grumbling about the Games. They did exactly the same thing when the Euro 2004 football championship was won by the Greeks! Isn’t it about time some people abandoned this. old fashioned nationalistic spirit and started embracing other nations’ efforts in trying to do something positive, for a change? Hopefully the Greek Olympic games will give everyone this opportunity! T. Nilsson, Lund, Sweden

The thing I look forward to most is a performance similar to Eric the Eel in Sydney.

FIFA World Cup – News & Features
uefa.comUEFA.com – Aug 18, 2004
I have to field the best eleven players from those who are fit and we have to beat Finland. ”
Finland concernsFinland coach Antti Muurinen also has selection problems, with defender Teemu Tainio and midfielder Hannu Tihinen ruled out. Muurinen said: “We will not have time or space in Bucharest. The defensive play of the whole team is one of the major worries. ”
Skopje encounterElsewhere in the section, F… Macedonia play Armenia in Skopje with both sides hoping to build on encouraging results in UEFA EURO 2004™ qualifying. However, they will need a good start in a pool completed by the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Andorra. Tough groupWith EURO 2004™ contenders Portugal, Russia and Latvia all in Group 3, the remaining four teams will want to begin well tonight. Liechtenstein and Luxembourg, though, are more concerned with breaking ducks than getting a head start on the group favourites. Liechtenstein runLiechtenstein have lost all their previous 20 World Cup qualifiers. They aim to end that run when Estonia visit Vaduz, but injuries deprive them of goalkeeper Peter Jehle – meaning a recall for 34-year-old Martin Heeb – and midfielder Franz Burgmeier. Unchanged teamHowever, forward Thomas Beck has recovered from a foot problem, and coach Martin Andermatt has promised “continuity” from the friendlies in June when his side only lost 2-0 to eventual EURO 2004™ winners Greece and 1-0 to Switzerland.

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