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So the big day has arrived, heralding three weeks of top class European football without the stress and disappointment associated with In-ger-land. All the preparations are complete in Austria and Switzerland and major football Championship fever will be taking hold throughout Europe.

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Cameras will be trained on pretty girls in traditional costume - a bit like the Eurovision Song Contest, but with balls.

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One of Chaddy's relations has flown into Vienna to keep watchful eyes on the action.

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But I hear you say "What's it got to do with us, out here in the football backwaters with the likes of Wales and Scotland?". Well, there's no point being miserable about it - it's much more fun if you create an interest and get involved. What better team to support than the one which played England off the park twice in the qualifiers. That's right, Croatia, and then if they go on to win the tournament, you can say England was beaten by the winners. I've drawn Croatia in the sweep, so I have a vested interest.

My Croat boys are preparing for tomorrow's game in their base camp at Bad Tatzmannsdorf, where a crowd of 4,000 showed up at the town square to meet them.

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The tournament kicks off at 5.00pm today with Switzerland v Czech Republic

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The Swiss mascot will have been polishing his cow bells.

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You can't feel the excitement just yet, but it might grow on you. Just sit back with a beer and enjoy the beautiful game.

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Edited by Diego_Sideburns
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It's Day Two and this is when things really get going.

 

The Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna is ready:

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The football shirt shop has done roaring trade:

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The Croat fans have had their daily Hopp to help them work, rest and play:

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The Team bus will be winging its way round those mountain passes:

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Sadly I won't get to see much of it as most of the games will kick off in the middle of the night. I did watch last night's opener as none of the Thai channels were showing Bahrain v Thailand (11:30pm k.o. local time) but two of them featured Switzerland v Czech Republic.

 

What's the coverage been like in England?

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Sadly I won't get to see much of it as most of the games will kick off in the middle of the night. I did watch last night's opener as none of the Thai channels were showing Bahrain v Thailand (11:30pm k.o. local time) but two of them featured Switzerland v Czech Republic.

 

What's the coverage been like in England?

Every game is on free TV (either the beeb or ITV). As for the quality of the coverage, see rummy's thread here!

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The beers are on Podolski tonight!

 

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They will be if he carries on that way and ends up top scorer and win's me some money. His 2nd was a quality strike! Dunno why i've backed him to be top scorer but not had him in the team for the owtb thing. Opted for the donkey Koller from the Czech's instead. :unsure:

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Lu-kas-Po-dol-ski!

 

also backed him for top scorer...despite the fac that his club form is pants, every time i see him play for Germany he scores.

How much did you get on him, dave??

 

Only available at 11/4 now. Great pick. I got 22's. Wonder if he was available at bigger odds anywhere else. Surely he must be. 0-0's everygame for the rest of the tournament. :grin:

Edited by Rocky_Latic
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How much did you get on him, dave??

 

Only available at 11/4 now. Great pick. I got 22's. Wonder if he was available at bigger odds anywhere else. Surely he must be. 0-0's everygame for the rest of the tournament. :grin:

 

 

I got him at 25/1 just before the games kicked off yesterday.

 

He is in the lead now and has 2 in the bag so his odds will be very short. He is 3/1 on Ladbrokes at the moment.

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Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon said:

"I want to apologize for this performance on behalf of the whole team to the Italian people. I don't think anyone expected this from us, including ourselves. It's easily the worst defeat I've experienced in 10 years with the national team.

The first goal? It was probably offside, but we can't use this as an excuse for the defeat. We just didn't play well enough.

We showed some resilience in the second half, when we had a few chances, but it wasn't enough. It just wasn't our night."

 

Maybe his girlfriend, Alena Seredova, will take his place between the posts in the next game.

 

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