Today in Euro 2008: Zurawski could miss rest of finals with thigh injury
Tuesday 10 June 2008
Poland captain Maciej Zurawski could miss the rest of Euro 2008 after sustaining a thigh injury in Sunday's 2-0 defeat by Germany in their opening Group B match. "Zurawski has strained quads and some bleeding so he may be unavailable for the rest of the tournament," the team doctor Jerzy Grzywocz said yesterday. "For the moment, he will take no part in the next two games."
The 31-year-old striker is the third Pole to be sidelined by injury in their Euro 2008 campaign after midfielders Jakub Blaszczykowski and reserve goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak pulled out during the build-up. Defensive midfielder Mariusz Lewandowski also picked up an ankle knock against the Germans, but Grzywocz said he "should be ready" for Thursday's crunch tie with Austria in Vienna. Zurawski is likely to be replaced by Roger Guerreiro, but the coach, Leo Beenhakker, declined to name any other changes.
Deco wary of Czech threat
Deco says the side will not take the Czech Republic lightly in their next group match in Geneva. "We don't underestimate them, on the contrary, we respect them. They will be just as difficult as Turkey. We're not going to get over-confident either, we still haven't passed the first phase," he added.
Frei invites Celtic offer
Captain Alexander Frei claims Celtic have resurrected their interest. A knee injury has kept the Borussia Dortmund forward out of Euro 2008, but he will be fit again soon. "Celtic want me," he said. "No one has put an offer on the table, but if they want me they can phone me."
Player to watch: Vladimir Bystrov
Pace is increasingly important at the top level and the aptly named winger – Bystrov translates from Russian as "fast" – is as quick as anyone. The 24-year-old Spartak Moscow flyer will prove a tough opponent for Joan Capdevila especially as Spain's system means the Villarreal left-back may have to fend for himself.
Aston Villa, Manchester United and Middlesbrough were all linked with Bystrov last year but injuries have curtailed his progress. The other question mark is his delivery. Leningrad-born, he began at Zenit St Petersburg but moved to the capital before his club achieved their recent eminence.
*HENRIK LARSSON (Greece v SWEDEN, 7.45): The forward forged a reputation as a deadly goalscorer during seven seasons with Celtic. The 36-year-old scored an impressive 242 goals in 315 appearances for the Bhoys during a trophy-laden spell, before moving to Barcelona in 2004. Also spent three months at Manchester United last year, scoring three goals.
Quote of the day
"There is no contract to guarantee success." Kostas Chalkias, Greece's reserve goalkeeper, admits the defending champions may find it hard to retain the title they won in Portugal four years ago.
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