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 Post subject: Spain v France
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:50 am 
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Euro 2012:

Image Spain v France Image


Venue: Donbass Arena, Donetsk
Date: Saturday, 23 June
Kick-off: 19:45 BST



TEAM NEWS

Spanish boss Vicente del Bosque again looks set to start two-goal Fernando Torres in an unchanged side.

That would leave Cesc Fabregas, who himself has scored two Euro 2012 goals, on the substitutes bench once more.

France will be without suspended centre-back Philippe Mexes following his second tournament booking, Laurent Koscielny will deputise for him.

Yohan Cabaye is set to start after overcoming the thigh injury that saw him miss out against Sweden.

Samir Nasri and Franck Ribery are both expected to be fit for France to face Spain in the Euro 2012 quarter-finals on Saturday.

The two midfielders did not take part in Wednesday's training session, with Nasri nursing a knee injury and Ribery having picked up a blister on his left foot.

"They are doing very well," said France assistant coach Alain Boghossian. "They missed training [on Wednesday] to look after some little niggles."
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MATCH PREVIEW

"Iniesta is really impressing me. He's got so much influence in Spain's game. He reminds me of myself… but he is more pale than me!" Zinédine Zidane

When three-time World Player of the Year Zinedine Zidane clipped the ball past Iker Casillas in the dying seconds of France's 3-1 quarter-final win over Spain at the 2006 World Cup, it marked the last international goal from open play of one the game's all-time greats. But not only was that a moment when the curtain began to come down on Zidane's career; it also saw the dawn of a new era. That strike is the last goal Spain have conceded in the knock-out stages of a major tournament, encompassing a run of seven games during their Euro 2008 and 2010 World Cup triumphs as they became kings of all they survey.

Despite emerging from the group stage of Euro 2012 with the most goals scored (six) and fewest conceded (one), detractors are queuing up for some Spain-bashing - especially as Joachim Loew's young Germany side now appear to be flavour of the month. The classy Iniesta and co may not have been at their jaw-dropping best so far, but they have clearly demonstrated that they will take some beating. Croatia pushed hard to put them out in their final group match, but still the Spaniards kept calm to pocket a 1-0 win and secure top spot.

Whether they play with a recognised centre-forward or not, Vicente Del Bosque's men smell an unprecedented hat-trick of major titles. That alone will drive them hungrily into the knockout stages.

Next up are Laurent Blanc's France, who put in an erratic display in their 2-0 loss to Sweden in their final group match. That defeat was their first reverse in 23 matches, and reports of post-match dressing room unrest have fuelled parallels with the in-fighting that destroyed Les Bleus chances at recent major tournaments - most notably the 2010 World Cup. Blanc has assured the French media that calm has been restored but whether this is true remains to be seen? Eric Abidal's arrival, on invitation from the French Football Federation, could unite them and prove the FFF's trump card. The left-back underwent a liver transplant in April, ruling him out. But his Barcelona club connection means he has a foot in both camps; the whole football community will be delighted to see him.

The French have never lost competitively to the Spanish; including wins at the aforementioned 2006 World Cup, the quarter-final of Euro 2000, and perhaps most memorably the final of Euro 84 - when Uefa President Michel Platini was among the scorers in a 2-0 win. Still, as England proved against nemesis Sweden earlier in the tournament, these sorts of streaks do have to end sometime.


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Head-to-head

Spain have never won against France in a major tournament (one World Cup and three European Championship encounters). It is six competitive matches in total.

Vicente del Bosque's men have won three of their last four games against France, all of them friendlies (the other match being the 3-1 World Cup defeat in 2006).

France are the only side to have beaten Spain twice at the Euros - excluding penalty shootouts (beating them in 1984 and in 2000).

Spain have never won a European Championship quarter-final in regulation time.

They will equal the European Championship record for of 10 matches unbeaten if they avoid defeat.

Spain were the only team to keep more than one clean sheet in the group stages of Euro 2012.

If selected, Xabi Alonso will win his 100th cap for his country.

France have reached the quarter-finals for the fourth time in the last five editions of the Euros. Greece (lost 1-0 at Euro 2004) were the last country to knock them out at this stage.

France are one of only two countries whose strikers haven't scored at Euro 2012 - the other being the Republic of Ireland.

Karim Benzema has had 15 shots so far at Euro 2012 - but no goals to show for his efforts.

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 Post subject: Re: Spain v France
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:28 am 
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Gonna be a decent game, this. Everyone is backing Spain but I wouldn't put it past France to pull off the upset. They definitely have the quality. In fact, I'm backing them to win tonight and send shockwaves through Europe. Shame I won't be watching as I'll be studying though, may watch the highlights later on.

I predict 2-1 France.

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 Post subject: Re: Spain v France
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:32 am 
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Riquelminho wrote:
Gonna be a decent game, this. Everyone is backing Spain but I wouldn't put it past France to pull off the upset. They definitely have the quality. In fact, I'm backing them to win tonight and send shockwaves through Europe. Shame I won't be watching as I'll be studying though, may watch the highlights later on.

I predict 2-1 France.


I agree, I'm looking forward to it. Spain have the quality no question, but they don't always get their own way and France could give them problems. It's anybody's game, so once a goal goes in we should have one hell of a game on our hands.

And surely you can spare an hour and a half? Or have you got more exams coming up?

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 Post subject: Re: Spain v France
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:43 am 
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I hope France win, I can't stand how the Spanish team have been setup in their previous matches.

Houlala!

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idontfeardeath wrote: Nevermind. It's not like he's going to make the Juve starting 11. :lol:
Spawny wrote: Tata Paul. Enjoy Juve's reserve team, but at least the weather will be nicer.

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 Post subject: Re: Spain v France
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:44 am 
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France are weak at the back and tend to rely on keeping possession something that they wont get against Spain so can only see 1 outcome.

However, if they can counter quickly and spring Ribery, Benzema and Menez with good long balls they can get at that Spain defence which when tested has looked a little shakey both Italy and Croatia created some good chances vs Spain in the group


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 Post subject: Re: Spain v France
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:50 am 
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conscience wrote:
And surely you can spare an hour and a half? Or have you got more exams coming up?


I'd love to, but I'm sitting my medical finals on Wednesday and Thursday. :thumbdown:

Priorites, priorities...

Then freedom I guess.

Sucks to be me right now. I haven't watched a single full game so far. :p

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 Post subject: Re: Spain v France
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:53 am 
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I think i've watched all but 3 games all the way through.

I'll be watching the England game in the exact same spot of the pub as i've watched the previous 3. It's not anywhere near the main crowd. Not near the second main crowd. But I've got me a TV about 15 of us by the pool tables and the quiet part of the bar so service is instant. I'm superstitious that this may have become a lucky spot. Haha.

As for this game. I hope France are in for a battering. I want to see Spain really turn it on and get some form together so that we can see a great final between them and Germany. I don't want a final where Spain play keep ball and win the game 1-0 ala this last world cup.

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 Post subject: Re: Spain v France
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:55 am 
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Missing the game as I'm going to a wedding reception lucky we won the group otherwise I'd of been sacking it off.

What I hope is a real back and forth game apart from Sweden vs England I can't think of a game that has swang one way then another during the 90 minutes


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 Post subject: Re: Spain v France
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 12:23 pm 
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Riquelminho wrote:
I'd love to, but I'm sitting my medical finals on Wednesday and Thursday. :thumbdown:

Priorites, priorities...

Then freedom I guess.


As priorities go, that's a pretty big one so it'll be worth it for you. Just damned bad timing!

And good luck with your exams. :thumbup:

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 Post subject: Re: Spain v France
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 1:28 pm 
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conscience wrote:
Riquelminho wrote:
I'd love to, but I'm sitting my medical finals on Wednesday and Thursday. :thumbdown:

Priorites, priorities...

Then freedom I guess.


As priorities go, that's a pretty big one so it'll be worth it for you. Just damned bad timing!

And good luck with your exams. :thumbup:


Exactly, but at least I'll be able to catch the final I guess.

Cheers Cons. :D :thumbup:

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 Post subject: Re: Spain v France
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 6:28 pm 
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Spain starting with no striker, again.

I hope they get battered.

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idontfeardeath wrote: Nevermind. It's not like he's going to make the Juve starting 11. :lol:
Spawny wrote: Tata Paul. Enjoy Juve's reserve team, but at least the weather will be nicer.

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 Post subject: Re: Spain v France
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 7:29 pm 
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Riquelminho wrote:
conscience wrote:
And surely you can spare an hour and a half? Or have you got more exams coming up?


I'd love to, but I'm sitting my medical finals on Wednesday and Thursday. :thumbdown:

Priorites, priorities...

Then freedom I guess.

Sucks to be me right now. I haven't watched a single full game so far. :p

Medicine exams :thumbdown: I've had friends do medicine and I don't know if it works the same as at your university, but their course was ridiculous. Only the top 50% were allowed to go through, so even if you averaged 99% you could still be removed from the course if half the class got 100%.

On a brighter note, Spain will be boring and I can help thinking France will be boring tonight so I don't think it will be overly enjoyable stuff, although no doubt a good standard of boring.

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 Post subject: Re: Spain v France
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 7:48 pm 
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http://premier--streams.info/

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 Post subject: Re: Spain v France
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:06 pm 
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Spain take the lead despite their lack of a striker, now what can France do about it? Is there a fight in them?

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 Post subject: Re: Spain v France
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:24 pm 
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So much for fighting... Iniesta nearly added a second then. Still no joy for the French, who'll no doubt be hoping for a Spanish collapse in the second half.

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 Post subject: Re: Spain v France
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:36 pm 
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Still can't believe Malouda gets in the France squad letalone team. This first half I've spent largely just watching him when Spain have the ball to see if he's doing something I'm not noticing. He doesn't seem to do anything other than slow down attacks and lose the ball when they do have it, so guessed he must be there for his...tactical nous when they don't I guess?

He's not. The game completely passes him by every time. Often leaves teammates exposed through poor positioning, never seems to put a tackle in, doesn't really seem to know how to jockey a man....He really is a rubbish player.

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 Post subject: Re: Spain v France
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:42 pm 
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Agree about Malouda. France had a couple of half chances in the end, not a great match I don't think.

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 Post subject: Re: Spain v France
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:00 pm 
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Martinez's comments about Spain's mentality is interesting. Basically said they don't go into games looking to score 3 or 4 goals, instead their sole aim is to be the better side.

I agree with what Adrian Chiles said (*spits*) when he said Spain aren't an exciting team to watch as a neutral, none of their players really get you on the edge of your seat. They won't care one bit and neither will their fans so fair play to them. As good as Germany are I still think Spain are the team to beat.

Hopefully they'll meet in the Final, will be a hell of a gane.

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 Post subject: Re: Spain v France
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:13 pm 
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:yawn: when will other national teams realise what Spain, then Germany have done? Take your best club teams, and pilfer half of them up to play internationally. Theyg et to "train" all eyar round adn become almost telepathic int heir play! If you have technical players in that team then you have a fair chance of succeeding. Italy should just play with ppl from Jvuentus & Milan for example.

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 Post subject: Re: Spain v France
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:50 pm 
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The only players fom Spain I'd pay to watch are Iniesta & Xavi and they're not get you on the edge on your seat players they're sit back and appreciate players like Scholes.

They don't have a Messi, Ronaldo or Zidane type player who beats a man and excited the crows.

My favourite player to watch so far has been Ozil the way he plays is just a pleasure to watch his movement is unreal and no one can take the ball off him.


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