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Monday, June 09, 2008

Euro 2008: Confident Spain to Face In-form Russia in Group D Encounter on Tuesday

Spain is going to start their Euro 2008 campaign on 10th June 2008 with the match against Russia. No doubt, Spain is favorite for the match, but considering Russia’s inspirational qualifying form Spain has no chance to relax. Here, it is noteworthy that Russia finished second in their Euro qualifying group behind Croatia, where football powerhouse England failed to qualify from the same group.

Spain is considered as the biggest underachieved side of Europe. Spain always takes part in the major tournament as a favorite but hardly ever live up to the expectation. Their only European success came 44 yeas back when Spain clinched Euro 1964 title. Twenty years later in 1984, Spain played in another Euro final but this time could not emerge winner. Spain is favorite for Euro 2008 as well, but football pundits are skeptical about their success in Euro 2008.

However, Spanish coach Luis Aragones is upbeat about their success ahead of the opening match. Coach is confident two of his top guns: Fernando Torres and David Villa will be leading Spain in the tournament. The coach thinks both the strikers are quick and can score.

BBC reported:

"If we all work hard, there's no reason to think we'll lose," said Aragones.

"Villa and Torres are very quick and can score. It'll be difficult for Spain to go one game without scoring."

Both Torres and Villa have been at their prime last season for Liverpool and Valencia respectively. Spain will go into the match on a six-match winning run to face Russia. Spain did not lose any of their last 16 matches since November 2006. Spain seems to be full of confident with two confidence-booster victories against Italy and France recently in pre-Euro 2008 friendly matches. However, no recent records or unbeaten streak would make Spanish fans feel happy until Spain shows something impressive in Euro 2008. Spain went into 2006 FIFA World Cup with 21-match unbeaten streak, but Spain lost to France in the second round. This time, Spain is not considering what they did in the recent past, rather they are focusing on what they are going through and what is coming up next.

For Russia, Euro 2008 is a tournament to prove that they have improved a lot and they are much better side that that played four years ago in Portugal. Guus Hiddink is well-known for bringing success and Russian fans are also looking to Hiddink to continue his success story that he did as South Korea coach in 2002 World Cup leading Korea to the semi final. Russian defense is expected to be a big problem for Spain even though they have some in form strikers like Torres and Villa. Russia is expected to put either 3-5-2 or 4-4-2 formation against Russia in the match as Hiddink very often switch between these two formations.

Now, you can see that both teams have something to prove, have got to prove their ability at this level of competition. So, naturally the match between Spain and Russia seems to be very exciting and interesting.

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1 comment:

  1. Spain will get 3 points but they will need to earn their 3 points. It won't be plain sailing against the Russian especially under Guud Hiddink! :)