Euro 2012 daily round-up: Sunday, June 10, 2012

THE Republic of Ireland and Spain kick off their tournaments today with games against Croatia and Italy respectively, 24 hours after the Netherlands were stunned by Denmark, and Germany edged past Portugal thanks to a Mario Gomez goal.

• Russia have been hit with disciplinary action by UEFA after their fans were involved in violent scuffles with stadium stewards following their 4-1 win over the Czech Republic. Video footage appeared of what appeared to be a mass brawl shortly after the final whistle, along with reports that some sections of the Russian support had racially abused the Czech Republic’s half-Ethiopian defender Theodor Gebre Selassie.

• France will apparently combat the Ukrainian heat in their opener against England on Monday by wearing ‘cryo jackets’ at half time, which will be fitted with up to eight ice packs to keep Les Bleus cool.

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• England manager Roy Hodgson has defended his decision not to call up Rio Ferdinand, alleging that he wasn’t going to call Ferdinand up just to provide cover to his first-choice centre back pairing. Hmm.

• Apparently statistics suggest that each time Germany win their opening match of the tournament, they go all the way to the final. Watch this space...

• Despite his side’s 1-0 win over Portugal, Joachim Loew stated today that his team needs to create more goal scoring chances, adding ‘You can’t start the tournament chasing after the music.’ Quite.


Spain v Italy

ITV, 5.OOpm

Rep. Ireland v Croatia

ITV, 7.45pm


Fernando Torres - Spain

Fernando José Torres Sanz has made 46 appearances but managed only seven goals for Chelsea since his £50 million move from Liverpool. With an injury to Barcelona’s David Villa keeping him out of the Championships, this could well be the much-maligned Torres’ chance to shine. With Spanish boss Vicente del Bosque facing a tough choice to make over who starts up front, all eyes will be on Torres should he be chosen ahead of Alvaro Negredo.


Denmark have only won the tournament once, in 1992 when it was held in Sweden. Incredibly, the Danes had actually failed to qualify for the tournament, finishing behind Yugoslavia in their qualifying group. However, Yugoslavia were expelled by UEFA and FIFA due to the ongoing Balkan conflict, and Denmark automatically took their place, making it all the way to the final where they defeated Germany 2-0.


In 1998, Ireland striker Robbie Keane ruptured his knee cartilage trying to pick up a remote. In a cruel twist of fate, he later badly damaged his ankle by standing on ... a remote control, proving that too much TV does appear to be bad for you.


Ronnie Whelan: Republic of Ireland v Soviet Union (Euro 1988)

After defeating the English 1-0 thanks to an early header from Ronnie Whelan, the Republic of Ireland took the lead against the Soviet Union through a spectacular ‘scissor-kick’ from Whelan, following a throw-in. Mick McCarthy’s long throw evaded the Soviet Defence and fell in front of Whelan on the edge of the box, who hit it first time past Dazaev in the Soviet goal. Replays suggested it had actually come off Whelan’s shin but it’s still a beautiful goal.


Favourites to win tournament:

Spain 11/4

Germany 11/4

France 8/1

Russia 12/1

Netherlands 12/1

Top goalscorer:

Mario Gomez 5/1

Alan Dzagoev 8/1

Karim Benzema 9/1