Monday, June 9, 2008

UEFA Euro 2008: Day 4 Previews

The first round of matches finishes up with Group D, featuring Spain against Russia and defending champion Greece versus Sweden.

Spain vs. Russia
The venue: Stadion Tivoli Neu, Innsbruck, Austria
The broadcast: ESPN2, 12:00 pm ET
The storyline: Spain's critics won't be satisfied until they do some damage in the knockout round, but the opener against Russia is a good opportunity to establish their tournament credentials.
The prediction: With Russia short on fire power to start the tournament, Spain gets off to a fast start with a 2-0 win.

Greece vs. Sweden
The venue: Stadion Salzburg Wals-Siezenheim, Salzburg, Austria
The broadcast: ESPN2, 2:45 pm ET
The storyline: The 2004 champs begin their title defense against an enigmatic Swedish side. Lead striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is expected to start for Sweden, but don't expect him to go the full 90 as he recovers from a knee injury.
The prediction: Given Greece's defensive mindset and the health of Sweden's offense, this one has the unfortunate feel of a 0-0 draw.

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