Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 12th 2015 Contents A52
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, November 12, 2015
AMSTERDAM --- Davy Klaassen has
pulled out of the Netherlands squad
for friendlies against Wales and Ger-
many because of a knee injury.
The team announced yesterday that
Netherlands coach Danny Blind will
not call up a replacement for the Ajax
The Netherlands, which failed to
qualify for next year s European Cham-
pionship, plays Wales tomorrow in
Cardiff and World Cup champion Ger-
many next Tuesday in Hanover.
Blind will be using upcoming friend-
lies to begin rebuilding his team after
its disappointing Euro 2016 qualifying
MADRID---Spanish football federa-
tion says Francisco Alarcon "Isco" has
been dropped from the national team
because of muscle fatigue.
Tests conducted Wednesday showed
that the Real Madrid midfielder will
not be fit for the friendlies against Eng-
land in Alicante on Friday and against
Belgium in Brussels on Tuesday.
The federation says Isco was already
dealing with muscle fatigue before
arriving at the national team.
Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque had
already lost defenders Juanfran Torres
and Sergio Ramos because of injury.
They were replaced by Nacho Fernandez
and Oscar de Marcos on Monday.
It was not yet clear if Del Bosque
will summon a replacement for Isco.
Isco dropped from Spain squad
because of muscle fatigue
LONDON---For Zlatan Ibrahimovic
to probably make his international
swansong at Euro 2016, he must con-
tinue his ferocious form in front of
goal for Sweden in its playoff against
Ibrahimovic was the fourth highest
scorer in qualifying with eight strikes,
but a third-place finish in Group G
behind Russia and Austria means Swe-
den s only route to the championship
is to defeat Denmark over two legs,
starting on Saturday.
At the age of 34, he s not expected
to play internationally beyond Euro
2016 in France. He missed the 2014
World Cup in Brazil after Sweden lost
its playoff against Portugal.
If Ibrahimovic can pull it off, he will
end the tenure of Denmark coach
Morten Olsen, who has said he will
step down when his team s campaign
for Euro 2016 ends.
In the other playoffs, Ireland meets
Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hungary takes on
Norway, and Ukraine welcomes Slove-
nia. Here s some things to know about
IRELAND WARY OF BOSNIA-
Ireland coach Martin O Neill has
singled out midfielder Miralem Pjanic
and striker Edin Dzeko, who both play
for Italian side Roma, as the danger
men for his team ahead of the first leg
Defender Seamus Coleman merely
hopes they can fulfil their supporters
"We are all excited with what could
happen at the end of it but we have
got a big job to get done," Coleman
said. "I feel that pressure to do as best
as I can for the fans."
Ireland is bidding to reach its second
straight European Championship, and
do better than Euro 2012, where they
lost all three group matches against
Spain, Italy and Croatia.
Bosnia is hoping to make history by
qualifying for the first time: "It is good
that we are in a situation where we are
masters of our destiny," Bosnia coach
Mehmed Bazdarevic said.
DENMARK COACH CONFIDENT:
Olsen, who has played more than
100 times for Denmark, has been the
national coach since 2000, and while
he s said this is his last run, he s not
preparing to say goodbye yet.
He s hoping Denmark will have the
advantage after Saturday s match to
take back home to Sweden.
"It pleases me that we get the oppor-
tunity to decide it all at home," he said.
"Deciding it all in front of your own
crowd is always something special."
Denmark won the European Cham-
pionship in 1992, and is the only pre-
vious winner competing in the play-
HUNGARY WANTS HOME
Hungary hasn t qualified for the
European Championship since 1972,
while Norway has not made it since
Their first leg is in Oslo today, when
Hungary will try to beat Norway for
the first time since 1981. Norway can t
be overconfident; it has lost all six
home games it has played in November
in the last 20 years.
"Our aim in the away game is to
create the foundations so that three
days later, at home, we can achieve the
right to take part in the European
Championship," Hungary coach Bernd
The playoff is a huge disappointment
for Hungary, which had hope of being
the best third-place team as late as the
last rotation in the group stage.
BAD OMENS FOR UKRAINE:
For Ukraine to reach Euro 2016, it
will have to do two things for the first
It has never beaten its opponent
Slovenia in four attempts, losing
two and drawing two, while its last
five playoff encounters have all
ended in defeat.
The first match will be hosted
by Ukraine on Saturday, something
which coach Mikhail Fomenko did
"Of course, it would be better
to start away, but we cannot
change anything with the draw,"
Slovenia has been in the playoffs
for the European Championship
twice, defeating Ukraine in 2000,
and losing to Croatia in 2004. (AP)
Ibra keen for last shot at glory
EURO 2016 PLAYOFFS
Klaassen out of Netherlands
squad with knee injury
Striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, second left, during a training session with the
Swedish national team at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, on
Tuesday. They play against Denmark in the Euro 2016 play-off in
Stockholm on Saturday and in Copenhagen next Tuesday. AP PHOTO
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