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Just a tip - donīt bet on Austria - following is the weakest Austrian-national-team, I īve ever seen (and Iīve seen some weak ones [img]i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif[/img] )
Alexander Manninger (Espanyol Barcelona/10)
Roland Goriupp (FC Kärnten/1)
Michael Baur (Hamburger SV/36)
Harald Cerny (1860 München/41)
Ferdinand Feldhofer (Rapid/3)
Martin Hiden (Austria/17)
Marcus Pürk (1860 München/1)
Gerd Wimmer (Rostock/3)
Rene Aufhauser (GAK/3)
Thomas Flögel (Austria/24)
Richard Kitzbichler (Hamburger SV/17)
Jürgen Panis (Austria/3)
Michael Wagner (Austria/0)
Markus Weissenberger (1860 München/15)
Volkan Kahraman (Pasching/0)
Roland Kollmann (GAK/0)
Roland Linz (Austria/2)
Roman Wallner (Rapid/7)
The two "Top-player", Vastic and Herzog are missing (both are quite old, but probably better than the ones nomainated).
After the demise of FC Tirol the defense is "missing" and nearly every "section" of the squad is filled by players from different teams, who have never or seldom played with each other (the four nominated player for the offense have nine !!! national matches combined).
Itīs a friendly and Iīm not sure and havenīt looked for Infos how serious the Swiss will take this match, but a mediocre team should beat this Austrian team easily.
Iīll try to be Wednesday evening at a place, where there is no TV around [img]i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif[/img], because this will be an "ugly" match
PS.: Switzerland - Austria was the quarter final of the WC (in Switzerland) in 1954 and Austria has won this match 7:5 (without penalties), so be careful [img]i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif[/img]
Thanks for that.
I know that Wales and both Irelands have been decimated by injury, in the first case if Croatia have got a full strength team 4/9 is a gift and will form the starting point for any bet that I have (and I normally HATE taking a price that short, but if it's value ....),
Durwood, I agree, especially for international A friendlies.
But they are on alphasoccer's scan list, so most of their articles will show up in alpha's compilation. And any one site that helps me cut down my surfing is valuable, as alphasoccer does.
BUT, I'm not sure all of soccerage's previews show up at alpha. Will check today, for tomorrow's games.
Well, what can you say about the Norwegian national team? We've never been a
major power in the European scene, but the decent team of the 90s seems long
gone and the sorry bunch who will wear the shirt tomorrow will never qualify
for a major tournament again.
The squad goes like this (with a small reservation, there seems to be one
player each day who has to withdraw):
Frode Grodås (Hønefoss)
Ivar Rønningen (Brann)
Erik Holtan (Odd-Grenland)
Tommy Berntsen (Lyn)
Christer Basma (Rosenborg)
Henning Berg (Blackburn)
John Arne Riise (Liverpool)
Thomas Pereira (Viking)
Ronny Johnsen (no club)
Claus Lundekvam (Southampton)
Trond Andersen (Wimbledon)
Eirik Bakke (Leeds)
Brede Paulsen Hangeland (Viking)
Øyvind Leonhardsen (Tottenham)
Roar Strand (Rosenborg)
Jo Tessem (Southampton)
Fredrik Winsnes (Hammarby)
Sigurd Rushfeldt (Austria Wien)
Frode Johnsen (Rosenborg)
Ole Gunnar Solskjær (Manchester United)
where we have had late withdrawals from Ajax-defender Bergdølmo and Spurs-
striker Iversen. Solskjær will only play 45 minutes after coach Semb made a
deal with Ferguson.
IMO this team is packed with mediocre players, especially the midfield looks
very weak. None of the three goalkeepers are international class either. Up
front there is a total lack of pace, especially for the part where Solskjær
will be missing. Johnsen has been struggling with injuries this season and does
not seem to be in top form, while Rushfeldt is only a sub in Austria Wien if I
am not mistaken.
If Holland has a serious approach (and looking at their friendly results I
guess they will) then I think the Norwegian will face huge problems. The
national team had a very bad spell earlier this year before the hammered Japan,
but the small Asians was a perfect opponent for the strong Norwegians so I
would not look at that win as a shift in form.
My immediate estimation (under the assumption of a serious approach by Holland)
would be something like 25-30-45 and instead of backing the 2,40s for the
straight away win I will rather use a 0:0 Asian at 1,75+ which should yield the
according Switzerland - Austria:
Iīve placed a VERY small bet on Switzerland DNB @1.46 - although Iīm sure, that the Swiss are the stronger team, this match could be "very friendly" - Austria and Switzerland want to "co-host" Euro 2008 and there will be some UEFA-representants in Basel to see this match and perhaps it wouldnīt be a disadvantage if both teams look equaly strong.
Well.. looks like Alphasoccer is about two days behind on the available information for the Finland - Ireland game, so here's something about it.
The Finnish team is (name, club, caps/goals):
Jussi Jääskeläinen, Bolton Wanderers, 9/-
Antti Niemi, Hearts, 52/-
Hannu Tihinen, Anderlecht, 27/2
Toni Kuivasto, Viking Stavanger, 30/-
Sami Hyypiä, Liverpool, 45/1
Janne Saarinen, Rosenborg BK, 15/-
Janne Hietanen, Denizlispor, ?/?
Markus Heikkinen, HJK, 4/-
Petri Pasanen, AFC Ajax, 8/1
Midfield / Attack:
Mika Nurmela, SC Heerenveen, 31/-
Jari Litmanen, Liverpool, 77/21
Aki Riihilahti, Crystal Palace, 37/7
Peter Kopteff, Viking Stavanger FK, 4/-
Teemu Tainio, AJ Auxerre, 13/1
Jari Ilola, HJK, 10/1
Shefki Kuqi, Sheffield Wednesday, 24/3
Jonatan Johansson, Charlton Athletic FC, 43/9
Joonas Kolkka, Panathinaikos FC, 40/9
Mika Kottila, HJK, 23/6
10 substitutions are allowed in the game, so it might not be too exciting.. but that should guarantee everyone gets to play. Finland will start with Jääskeläinen, Pasanen, Tihinen, Hyypiä, Saarinen, Ilola, Nurmela, Tainio, Johansson, Litmanen and Kolkka.
Usually Niemi has been the first choice keeper, most likely the coach will change the goalie after the 1st half. Both goalkeepers are very good, it's only a matter of taste.. but it's probably a good idea to try out Jääskeläinen as Niemi has proven himself a long time ago. The defence line is more or less the same as always, only the right back keeps changing as that position seems to be haunted by injuries. Pasanen is a bit of a question mark as he hasn't played much at his club - so the right side could be a problem. Tihinen and Hyypiä make a good pair at the centre, so no major problems are expected there. Saarinen is the best choice for the left back, but he tends to get booked a lot.
Midfield is new with Ilola starting for the first time in 3 years - usually Crystal Palace's Riihilahti has started instead. Ilola can't play for 90 mins, so I expect the coach to make some midfield changes at half time. Midfield looks pretty good now.
Up front Charlton striker Johansson tries to take Mikael Forssell's place, but he has been very bad in the national team lately. He hasn't scored for over 3 years, or in the last 17 or so games, or for 1029 minutes. So basically the coach hopes Johansson will benefit from Litmanen's excellent passes, and finally score. If that doesn't work, we're in big trouble.. on the bench we've got Sheffield W striker Shefki Kuqi, who works hard but isn't a very good player.. or HJK's Mika Kottila who is about 6'5" - Kottila is more like a target player, not the kind of a "runner" we'd need instead. I doubt Kuqi or Kottila will have much impact in the game, Johansson knows he must succeed so at least it's guaranteed that he'll try hard. If Johansson fails, that means a major problem for the Wales game which is just 2 weeks later. Kolkka will play on the left wing and Nurmela on the right - Nurmela will be responsible for much of the crosses, while Litmanen tries to pass the ball to Johansson who is pretty fast on a good day.
To me it looks like a very even game, but Robbie Keane is much better than any of the Finnish strikers, so it could be up to him to do the goalscoring. Despite the Irish injuries, they can start 9 of the 11 players who started the game against Spain in the Korea/Japan.
0-0 or 0-1 could do the trick here, but Finland hasn't lost at home for a long time now, so I hope I'm wrong. I'd say this game is about 34-30-36, Unibet's 3.00 for Ireland is the only even remotely interesting offer I've seen. Anyway I'm hoping for a better game than yesterday's horrid U21 game (which Ireland won 1-0 thanks to an injury time goal).
Last meeting was about 2 years ago, Ireland won their home game 3-0.