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Euro 2008

snakies2010-05-04 06:12:43 +0000 #1
Italy face an uphill task to qualify for Euro 2008 after being drawn in Group B along with France and Ukraine.

With only the top two sides from each Division going through, Italy will have to be at their best, especially as they will also face tricky ties against Scotland, Lithuania, Georgia and the Faroe Islands.

The Azzurri will know their main rivals well though given the French influence at Italian champions Juventus.

David Trezeguet, Patrick Vieira, Jonathan Zebina and Lilian Thuram are all Les Bleus stars set to appear at the World Cup this summer.

Ukraine’s danger man will undoubtedly be Milan and former European Footballer of the Year, Andriy Shevchenko.

The latter’s teammate at the San Siro, Kakha Kaladze, should also appear in the qualifiers for Georgia.

Lippi will be well aware of Scotland’s capability too after collecting a win and a draw against the British outfit in the last World Cup qualifiers.

The 2008 European Championships will take place in Austria and Switzerland, with both sides automatically qualifying as hosts.

Group A

Portugal

Poland

Serbia-Montenegro

Belgium

Finland

Armenia

Azerbaijan

Kazakhstan

Group B

France

Italy

Ukraine

Scotland

Lithuania

Georgia

Faroe Islands

Group C

Greece

Turkey

Norway

Bosnia-Herzegovina

Hungary

Moldova

Malta

Group D

Czech Republic

Germany

Slovakia

Rep Ireland

Wales

Cyprus

San Marino

Group E

England

Croatia

Russia

Israel

Estonia

Macedonia

Andorra

Group F

Sweden

Spain

Denmark

Latvia

Iceland

Northern Ireland

Liechtenstein

Group G

Holland

Romania

Bulgaria

Slovenia

Albania

Belarus

Luxembourg


snakies2010-05-04 06:25:51 +0000 #2
Coach Marcello Lippi remained phlegmatic about Italy’s tricky Euro 2008 draw that took place in Switzerland today. "I’m just thinking about the World Cup," he said.

Italy were drawn in the same group as France, Ukraine and Scotland when the teams that will play for a place in the next European Championships in two years time were announced in Montreux on Friday.

However, Lippi insisted that his thoughts were focused on the World Cup in Germany rather than the Euros in Switzerland and Austria.

"The draw is a tough one. There are teams like France and Ukraine, while Scotland are a side on the up," he admitted. "But frankly I think that at the moment all of our mental energy needs to be focused on June.

"It’s impossible to even consider not separating the two competitions," he added. "I repeat, we are concentrating on the World Cup, because we are facing opponents worthy of great respect."

Lippi’s comments will doubtless raise concerns over his future as national team Coach.

The former Inter and Juventus tactician’s contract expires after the summer tournament and, while the Italian FA have expressed a willingness for him to stay in charge of the Azzurri, Lippi has yet to agree to any new deal.

The Viareggio-based Italy boss added that he has been watching Ghana’s performances in the African Cup of Nations with close interest.

The Black Stars will be Italy’s first opponents at the World Cup, but Lippi suggested that their recent defeat to Nigeria is a poor yardstick by which to measure a side currently missing key players.

"They are playing without three major elements such as Michael Essien, Sulley Ali Muntari and Asamoah Gyan," he explained.

"They have even changed their normal formation, so while it is helpful to watch them, it is only indicative up to a point."
snakies2010-05-04 06:59:22 +0000 #3
this will be the official thread for the Euro 2008
ilcapitano2010-05-04 07:04:23 +0000 #4
What an awful beginning to this qualification, and for new coach Donadoni. 1-1 against Lithuania on Italian soil! Terrible...

Pippo scored the only goal. I didn't see the game but reports said that Cassano did very well; he also made the pass for Inzaghi's strike.

This will make next weeks France match so difficult...italy can't lose.
Cherry.DeRossi2010-05-04 07:19:48 +0000 #5
Gosh, that's not a great start for Azzurri indeed, really hope they can pull it through against France, otherwise it would be a really bad qualification for them...sigh....
materazziIZbad2010-05-04 07:11:58 +0000 #6
It's a better start than we had last time, we lost to Wales and tied someone else that is 2nd rate in the last go round. A good result against France is definetly necessary. Hopefully we field someone better than Pippo next time up top like Gilardino. I was never a fan of Pippo because he's too one dimensional.
materazziIZbad2010-05-04 07:58:52 +0000 #7
Donadoni has dropped nine players from the world cup squad for the euro qualifiers that recently happened and will soon happen. Players such as Cassano have been added at the expense of others. The players off the squad are Keeper Angelo Peruzzi, defender Alessandro Nesta, midfielders Mauro Camoranesi, Simone Barone and forwards Vincenzo Iaquinta, Francesco Totti and Luca Toni, as well as Marco Materazzi.

Obviously cannavaro, and del piero, and some of the names above are older and we need to head in a different direction, but nesta is about the age cannavaro was 4 years ago and I have heard nothing about him retiring from international play (correct me if I'm wrong). The only reason to drop Nesta is injury. I have heard grumblings about Totti retiring from international play but he could manage to play at least through euro 2008 as well as Luca Toni and Camoranesi.

Fitness has to be the reason some players such as Gilardino are sitting on the bench instead of Pippo. It would be nice to see some appearances later in qualifying from the likes of Arturo Lupoli and American-born Guiseppe Rossi if they come along well enough.

Possible lineups for the upcoming france encounter go.....

France (4-2-3-1): Coupet; Sagnol, Gallas, Thuram, Abidal; Makelele, Vieira; Ribery, Saha, Malouda; Henry.

Italy (4-4-2): Buffon; Zambrotta, Cannavaro, Barzagli, Grosso; Semioli, Pirlo, Gattuso, Perrotta; Cassano, Inzaghi.
ilcapitano2010-05-04 09:26:38 +0000 #8
Nesta is injured? Is it still the same injury that ended his world cup? Anyway, it will be a tough test for Barzagli or anyone else playing in his position. I'm very worried...

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