Euro 2008 Qualifiers
Posted by Sports Snob on September 2, 2006
Its been two years since the unfancied Greek team lifted the Euros at Lisbon. The tournament wasn’t a classic by any stretch of the word. Defensive football had won over attacking flair, whence the saying ‘To do a greece’- which means to defend at all times and score on set plays. Hardly edge of the seat stuff but as Portugal found out on two occasions in 2004 , it is very effective. But lets be more optimistic and hope that that style of football is a thing of the past…….
On the subject, Euro 2008 qualifiers kick off this weekend with some top european teams slugging it out. It will be fascinating to see them in action just two months after the enervating World Cup [ I’m trying to make it as interesting as possible, please bear with me. Given the material- Georgia vs France, England vs Andorra and Serbia vs Azerbaijan to name a few, I think I’m doing a fine job of it🙂 ]
Here are the groups for the Euro 2008 qualifiers :-
Serbia & Mont
Rep Of Ireland
Change to the Format :The Qualifying Format has been changed compared to previous tournaments. The winners and runners-up from seven groups will automatically qualify for the Championship, with the hosts filling the other two slots in the 16-team tournament. The change means there will be no play-offs between teams finishing in second place in the groups. Six of the qualifying groups will contain seven teams, and the other eight.
Predictions : I don’t see any of the heavyweights struggling but there will be a few mouth watering matches on offer. The most interesting will be the WC 2006 final rematch sans Zidane on 06/09/2006 and the replay on 08/09/2007. Its a spread out competition so the business end will be a few months away. Group B seems very interesting with Ukraine offering stiff competition to the WC finalists. I tip the french to get the boot.
Group A: Portugal, Poland
Group B: Italy, Ukraine
Group C: Greece , Turkey
Group D: Czech Republic, Germany [ The team placed third in the WC , hasn’t qualified for the following Euro in a long time, but the teutons get the nod for lack of quality opposition]
Group E: England, Russia [Remember, Hiddink is the coach of Russia now. A shoo-in given his pedigree]
Group F: Sweeden , Spain [The danes to miss the bus]
Group G: Holland, Bulgaria
PS: Interesting friendly this weekend at The Emirates Stadium with Brazil and the Argies locking horns. Its Ronnie [if his injury isn’t very serious] vs Messi for me. We will also get a chance to see Sergio Aguero and West Ham’s latest signings in action. *still pinching myself*