Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
3. EURO 2008: Weekend previews (Part 1)
March 21st, 2007 1:17AM

MOST READ


Qualifying for the 2008 European Championship in Austria and Switzerland continues with games Saturday and next Wednesday, the first of five double dates in 2007.

Here's a look at Groups 1-3.

GROUP 1. Portugal, currently tied for fourth place in Group 1, faces two critical Euro 2008 qualifiers in the next week. The Euro 2004 runners-up host Belgium on Saturday and travel to Serbia next Wednesday.

The Portuguese will be without Brazilian-born playmaker Deco, who underwent surgery to deal with an injury to one of the fingers on his right hand. Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, who is also without the suspended Simao Sabrosa for the Belgium game, called up 21-year-old Sporting Lisbon midfielder Nani.

"Two victories in the next two matches put the Portuguese team in a comfortable position and not in need of the help of third parties in the fight for the top places," Scolari told reprters.

GROUP 1
STANDINGS:
Finland 11 points;
Serbia, Poland 10;
Portugal, Belgium 7;
Kazakhstan 2;
Armenia, Azerbaijan 1.

SCHEDULE:
Saturday, March 24

Poland-Azerbaijan (TV: PPV-Setanta, live, 12:55 pm ET)
Portugal-Belgium (TV: Setanta Sports USA, delay, 6 pm ET)
Kazakhstan-Serbia
Wednesday, March 28
Azerbaijan-Finland
Poland-Armenia (TV: PPV-Setanta, live, 2:25 pm ET)
Serbia-Portugal (TV: Setanta Sports USA, live, 3:10 pm ET)

GROUP 2. French coach Raymond Domenech continues to be a lightning rod for controversy.

Arsenal's French manager, Arsene Wenger, engaged in a dispute with Domenech, claiming the French national team overused Arsenal star Thierry Henry, leading to his season-ending injuries.

Now Didier Deschamps, the French coach of Italian giant Juventus, blasted Domenech for failing to call up Henry's long-time friend, David Trezeguet, for the Bleus' Euro 2008 qualifier at Lithuania on Saturday. Domenech claimed that playing in Serie B, the second level of Italian soccer, isn't good enough for a player seeking to be selected to a national team.

"He can't say he is not choosing a player because he plays in Serie B and that he hasn't adapted to the level the national team play at," Deschamps was quoted as saying by La Gazzetta dello Sport on Monday. "It is an offense to Juventus and the player. Trezeguet is at the same level today as he was when he was in Serie A. Serie B is a hard league, and of a very high standard."

Without Henry and Trezeguet, who started in France's most recent game, a 1-0 loss to Argentina in February, Domenech has called up seven strikers: Djibril Cisse (Marseille), Nicolas Anelka (Bolton), Karim Benzema (Lyon), Sidney Govou (Lyon), Florent Malouda (Lyon), Frederic Piquionne (Monaco) and Sylvain Wiltord (Lyon).

Piquionne was one of four uncapped players called up along with midfielders Abou Diaby (Arsenal), Lassana Diarra (Chelsea) and Samir Nasri (Lyon).

STANDINGS:
Scotland, France 9 points;
Italy 7;
Ukraine 6;
Lithuania 4;
Georgia 3;
Faeroe Islands 0.

SCHEDULE:
Saturday, March 24

Scotland-Georgia
Faeroe Islands-Ukraine
Lithuania-France (TV: PPV-Setanta, live, 12:55 pm ET)
Wednesday, March 28
Ukraine-Lithuania
Georgia-Faeroe Islands
Italy-Scotland (TV: RAI International, live, 2:25 pm ET)

GROUP 3. Turkey and Greece, the defending European champion, play for the Group 3 lead when they meet Saturday in Athens, but Turkish coach Fatih Terim has tried to play down down the encounter between the bitter rivals.

"We altogether are trying to detach this match from getting perceived as a national cause, diminishing the pressure on our players," Fatih said. "This is not a national cause but a national match."

Just as important for Turkey could be the match four days later at home against third-place Norway.

STANDINGS:
Turkey, Greece 9 points;
Norway 6;
Bosnia-Herzegovina 4;
Malta, Hungary 3;
Moldova 1.

SCHEDULE:
Saturday, March 24
Moldova-Malta
Greece-Turkey (TV: PPV-Setanta, live, 3:25 pm ET)
Norway-Bosnia-Herzegovina (TV: Fox Soccer Channel, delay, 4:30 pm ET)
Wednesday, March 28
Turkey-Norway (TV: Setanta Sports USA, live, 2 pm ET)
Malta-Greece (TV: PPV-Setanta, live, 1:25 pm ET)
Hungary-Moldova


No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Top stands out for Arizona United FC    
[DOWN ON THE FARM] The aptly named Jonathan Top, on loan from FC Dallas to Arizona ...
What They're Saying    
"It's the most amazing experience we're ever going to have in this industry. It simply won't ...
Klinsmann: Dempsey strong start due to Fulham foundation    
[USA MEN] MLS may be the place to be for U.S. World Cup hopefuls, but national ...
Will one-goal lead be enough for Real Madrid?    
[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] Karim Benzema's goal in the 19th minute gave Real Madrid a 1-0 win ...
Brazilian volleys keeper clearance into goal    
[VIDEO PICK: Golazo] From the Brazilian minor leagues, Gesse of Atletico Acreano met a goalkeeper's clearance ...
Injury-plagued Pontius is sidelined again    
[MLS INJURY REPORT] Add another disheartening chapter to the hard-luck story of D.C. United attacker Chris ...
What They're Saying    
"The net effect will be to reinforce football's [soccer's] presence to such an extent, it will ...
Unbeaten Orlando City is back on top    
[USL PRO: Week 6] Midfielder Kevin Molino, one of the players signed for Orlando City's MLS ...
Union fans mourn death of original supporter    
[OBITUARY] Major League Soccer is not yet so big that the death of a fan is ...
What They're Saying    
"I love David Moyes. Not only as a manager, but as a person. He was very ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives