Swedes favoured over Bulgaria

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:04 IST

Sweden head into their opening Euro 2004 Group C match against Bulgaria as the clear favourite on paper.

Swedes favoured over Bulgaria

Estoril:

Sweden head into their opening Euro 2004 Group C match against Bulgaria as the clear favourite on paper. The Vikings have not loss to the Balkan nation in 37 years and have surrendered only twice ever in 11 meetings. But Sweden are under pressure to collect three points at the Jose Alvalade stadium in Lisbon before tougher games against Italy and archrivals Denmark, something that may play in Bulgaria's favour. "The first match is very important. And when you have only three matches like this, you need to have a good start," said Lars Lagerback, who co-coaches the Swedish side with Tommy Soderberg. "If you lose the first match you still have a chance but it makes it much tougher if you have a bad start. When you think of how good Bulgaria was in the mid-1990s, it was with some big stars on the team. But now they are more of a team. They work more for each other. They still have some top-notch players. We'll have to be ready for them," he added. Bulgaria's biggest success in a major tournament was reaching the semi-finals in the 1994 World Cup in the United States, where they lost the bronze medal match 4-0 to Sweden. But they have struggled since. However, for Euro 2004, the team pulled together to win their qualifying group convincingly ahead of Croatia and Belgium, losing just once on the way. The relative weakness of the Bulgarian group has perhaps made them look stronger than they actually are. (AP)



Topics : Football
Related Articles
Metz-Lyon Lique 1 Game Abandoned After Keeper Hit by Firecrackers
Metz-Lyon Lique 1 Game Abandoned After Keeper Hit by Firecrackers
Manchester City Star Yaya Toure Charged With Drink Driving
Manchester City Star Yaya Toure Charged With Drink Driving
Brazil Mourns Fallen Football Team in Pouring Rain
Brazil Mourns Fallen Football Team in Pouring Rain
Show Comments
Advertisement