Euro 2008 warm-ups are wrapping up, as the countdown to the start of the competition is inside the six-day mark. No one wants to enter the tournament on the wrong foot, but a few teams didn’t make positive impressions in their final warm-ups. There’s also some injury news to report, which is (possibly) good for Holland and (possibly) bad for Turkey.
Turkey may lose a key member of their squad for all of Euro 2008, as Bayern Munich midfielder Hamit Altintop suffered a muscle injury in training on Friday.
Switzerland striker Marco Streller will be calling time on his international football career after Euro 2008, thanks to regular bouts of abuse from Swiss fans. So what will happen if Streller, who turns 27 this month, scores some big goals for the co-hosts? Will they still boo him?
Poland may need to get in some extra penalty practice ahead of their Euro 2008 campaign, as Maclej Zurawski missed one from the spot in a 1-1 draw with Denmark on Polish soil.
Denmark went up 1-0 on 28, and Zurawski missed his spot-kick minutes later, but thankfully, Jacob Krzynowek equalized in the 42nd to level matters. Still, it’s not exactly the result they were likely looking for heading into Sunday’s matchup with Germany.
After being extremely wasteful in their 1-1 draw against Denmark, Holland turned in a much better performance on Sunday night in a 2-0 win over Wales in their final Euro 2008 warm-up, with Real Madrid duo Arjen Robben (35) and Wesley Sneijder (54) netting the goals.
Marco van Basten is still no doubt trying to readjust after the news that Ryan Babel will miss out on Euro 2008 after tearing ankle ligaments in training on Saturday, but he may be getting a boost with the potential return of another Premier League man, in Arsenal’s Robin van Persie. Van Persie is set to train with the squad for the first time on Wednesday, and from there, it’ll be a race to see if he can be fit for next Monday’s clash against Italy.
Greece and Sweden will kick off their Euro 2008 group campaigns against one another, but hopefully they’ll bring it much better than they did in their warm-ups on Sunday. Greece drew 0-0 with Armenia, while Sweden fell 1-0 to Ukraine.
Greece did dominate the match for the most part, but they couldn’t dent the net, which brought an end to a mixed bag of Euro warmups – they lost 3-2 to Hungary, beat Cyprus 2-0, and then comes the goalless draw with Armenia. Not the toughest competition in the world, so Otto Rehhagel might be hoping that his team channel 2004 and all turn it on when it matters.
As for Sweden, they tasted defeat at home to Ukraine, as Sergie Nazarenko’s 82nd minute goal gave the visitors the win.
Well, that’s it for today’s news – check back tomorrow for all of the latest as we get closer to the start of Euro 2008.