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Spain and Sweden ready to push on from Group D

Latest update : 2008-06-14

Already in the same qualifying group during the Euro 2008, Sweden and Spain meet again in the finals in Innsbruck. Both teams could get very close to the quarter finals with a win. Later on Saturday, Russia take on title-holders Greece.

Click here to see all results and comments from our Observers.

 

VIENNA - Spain and Sweden, who beat each other in their Euro 2008 qualifying group, meet again in the finals on Saturday in Innsbruck (1600 GMT) when a draw might well satisfy both.

However, having blown so many tournament campaigns after good starts, Spain would be delighted to follow up their opening 4-1 win over Russia with a second victory that might be enough to send them through with a game to spare.

Sweden, too, will not want to leave things to their last game, when Russia should be buoyed by the return of suspended playmaker Andrei Arshavin, and may well also go for the win.

Holders Greece play Russia in Salzburg (1845) in the second game with few neutrals fighting for tickets after both produced uninspired performances in their openers.

Greece coach Otto Rehhagel is under pressure to abandon the five-man defence that kept Sweden at bay for more than an hour in the opener but which limited the holders to sporadic attacks.

Russia coach Guus Hiddink said he does not have enough depth of quality to reshuffle his team but he knows the underpowered Greeks represent his best chance of a group victory.

The teams met in their final group game four years ago when Russia won 2-1 but Greece went through and lifted the trophy.

A draw in their game this time would send Spain or Sweden through if either wins the earlier match.

On Friday, Netherlands thrashed World Cup runners-up France 4-1 to advance to the quarter-finals in spectacular style having beaten world champions Italy 3-0 in their opener.

Gianluigi Buffon kept Italy in the tournament when his 81st-minute penalty save from Romania's Adrian Mutu kept the score at 1-1 to set up a host of permutations for the final round of fixtures in the group on June 17.
 

Date created : 2008-06-14

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