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Seeing as many people seemingly want us to be there, I will just mention that England are currently leading Trinidad and Tobago 2-0 in possibly the most pointless international ever staged.

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Sweden and Greece's warm-up performances most have the Russians thinking they can get out of the group stage. Neither has impressed.

The Dutch have had some solid performances and are looking better than France at the amount in my opinion.

I am torn about Austria, I want them to do well but it will be at the cost of the team I support and a team I really like in Croatia. I have meet two of Austria's players, Sebastian Prodl and Erwin Hopper and it would be nice to see them well, but realistically their best chance for a win is against Poland. Its too bad Austria or Switzerland didn't get a favourable group similar to Group D. Substitute Austria or Switzerland for Sweden in Group D and both would have a vastly improved chance of getting into the final 8.

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Italian team captain Fabio Cannavaro will miss out on the EURO because he suffered torn ligaments at the first training of his team on Austrian soil:

BBC - Italy rocked by Cannavaro injury

Who would have expected this? :blink: Although I'm certainly not a big supporter of the Italian team, this makes me feel really sorry. No team on Earth deserves losing its captain of all players so shortly before a tournament. Is there anyone in the team who can replace him with the same efficiency?

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Yea, its really unfortunate for the tournament that there is another injury.

France suffered something similar before 2006 (though not the captain) in the injury of Djibril Cissé

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That is going to dent their chances if winning.... I hoping for a Dutch or German win but at the rate the Dutch are going, I don't they'll make it past the final 8.

I'd say the final 8 will be Switzerland, Portugal, Croatia, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden & Spain. Greece won't win this again. Final 8 at most, if they're lucky.

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Well, we lost Nesta for injury just before the beginning of Germany2006 and we got it anyway.. what really counts it's the team balance of the WC.

btw we should have good substitutes to replace him. Materazzi, Barzagli or the same Chiellini could do it..

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TSN released their Power Rankings for this tournament.

ITALY TOPS EURO 2008 POWER RANKINGS

With EURO 2008 from Austia-Switzerland about to get underway, TSN.ca Soccer presents the pre-tournament power rankings.

The defending World Cup champions Italy top the rankings, however they will certainly be is tough trying to emerge from a very difficult group following the loss of Captain Fabio Cannavaro.

It does not appear like this will be a very good tournament for co-hosts Austria or Switzerland as they are the cellar dwellers in our rankings.

After you have a chance to view the rankings be sure to let your feelings be known in our 'Your Call' feature below. Enjoy and let the games begin.

To view the full list click here:

http://www.tsn.ca/soccer/feature/?fid=11487

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I'm absolutely convinced that Switzerland won't rank only 15th in the tournament. It is possible, of course, that they are (just like Austria) eliminated in the group stage. But I expect them at least to win against Turkey.

And once again, I think that Spain is ranked too high. I don't see how they can have the nerves this time to survive the quarter or semi final.

The other ranks are OK, I guess.

Meanwhile, France has won against Colombia 1-0 last night. Today, the very last test matches before the EURO will be:

Lithuania-Russia

Spain-USA

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The problem is there is no complete team at this tournament.

Ronaldo disappears in major tournaments (the two penalty misses in the 3 games in the champions league), Ballack has a similar problem, though had a very strong season. Puyol is not a Cannavaro or Zambratta and is Spain's best defender, the Dutch players egos don't all fit into the stadiums, Lehman lost his job this season, France is old and there is a reluctance to use the younger players, not to mention you need a GPS locater to find Henry in big games. And the Czechs are not deep enough and have lost the players that got them to the semis 4 years ago and Cech is not the keeper he was than either. Every contender has a problem and it will be the team that comes together, the players that lift their game that will win this and its impossible to predict. And could lead to a Romania or Croatia being crowned champions of Europe.

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I'm absolutely convinced that Switzerland won't rank only 15th in the tournament. It is possible, of course, that they are (just like Austria) eliminated in the group stage. But I expect them at least to win against Turkey.

And once again, I think that Spain is ranked too high. I don't see how they can have the nerves this time to survive the quarter or semi final.

The other ranks are OK, I guess.

Meanwhile, France has won against Colombia 1-0 last night. Today, the very last test matches before the EURO will be:

Lithuania-Russia

Spain-USA

Everyone seems to forget that Switzerland qualified for the last two major tournaments, Euro 2004 and the WC in 2006. Though at 2004 they ranked 15th (1 point, -5 goal differential) but reached the round of 16 at the WC including a tie against France. I am looking forward to to Switzerland-Czech Republic on Saturday, I think it will be a 1-1 draw.

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The final test match results before the EURO:

Lithuania-Russia 1-4

Spain-USA 1-0

So this is how all the participating teams performed in their test matches in May and June:

Austria 1-1 against Nigeria, 5-1 against Malta

Croatia 1-0 against Moldova, 1-1 against Hungary

Czech Republic 2-0 against Lithuania, 3-1 against Scotland

France 2-0 against Ecuador, 0-0 against Paraguay, 1-0 against Colombia

Germany 2-2 against Belarus, 2-1 against Serbia

Greece 2-0 against Cyprus, 2-3 against Hungary, 0-0 against Armenia

Italy 3-1 against Belgium

Netherlands 3-0 against Ukraine, 1-1 against Denmark, 2-0 against Wales

Poland 1-1 against FYROM, 0-1 against Albania, 1-1 against Denmark

Portugal 2-0 against Georgia

Romania 4-0 against Montenegro

Russia 6-0 against Kazakhstan, 2-1 against Serbia, 4-1 against Lithuania

Sweden 1-0 against Slovenia, 0-1 against Ukraine

Switzerland 2-0 against Slovakia, 3-0 against Liechtenstein

Spain 2-1 against Peru, 1-0 against the USA

Turkey 1-0 against Slovakia, 2-3 against Uruguay, 2-0 against Finland

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What's this about Ukraine/Poland being stripped of the tournament if the inspection in June/July is as bad as some predict??

I already mentioned that a couple of months ago in the Euro 2012 thread (which is now buried again somewhere...). So Poland and Ukraine are struggling already for quite a while.

After we had exactly the same discussions four years before the 2010 World Cup, I think that Poland and Ukraine will put their shoulders to the wheel to get this job done in time. I don't think that there'll be a change of location earlier than one year before the tournament -- if even for the World Cup, one year would be enough to shift it to another host country.

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Tomorrow match against Sui and Cze,I am predicting 1-2 win in favour of Cze.

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I already mentioned that a couple of months ago in the Euro 2012 thread (which is now buried again somewhere...). So Poland and Ukraine are struggling already for quite a while.

After we had exactly the same discussions four years before the 2010 World Cup, I think that Poland and Ukraine will put their shoulders to the wheel to get this job done in time. I don't think that there'll be a change of location earlier than one year before the tournament -- if even for the World Cup, one year would be enough to shift it to another host country.

I saw a story the other day that suggested Scotland may be in the frame if UEFA were to shift the tournament. I don't think that they will, but one never knows.

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I saw a story the other day that suggested Scotland may be in the frame if UEFA were to shift the tournament. I don't think that they will, but one never knows.

Other sources say that Germany is the favourite as alternate host. That's what the German media say, to be more precise. So I guess that's always the point of view of the respective national media.

However, as I said: I think that in the end, all those discussions will turn out to be wasted time. Poland and Ukraine will pull that off.

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I hope so, but the talk I'm hearing suggests that 2012 will be the last tournament with only 16 finalists. For that reason, I hope that Scotland would be invited to step in if necessary.

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I'm hoping Poland/Ukraine pull it out of the bag and that the problems they've been having regarding racism are eradicated.

On another subject I am officially supporting Croatia in Euro 2008. My reasons?

1. Luca Modric, the only Spurs player in the tournament, plays for them.

2. I filled out a quiz in my newspaper for English fans who didn't know who to support; it came out with Croatia for me.

3. I drew them in the office sweepstake; so there's cash in it!

4. If I'm feeling gracious I can say I'm supporting them because I'm a sporting kind of guy; no hard feelings etc.

5. BUT if I'm feeling like a bastard I want them to do well so they lose Bilic to a league team this summer. That'll leave them in dissaray when we play them in a world cup qualifier in the Autumn.

So, I've made my choice!

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