Euro 2012 Qualifier Preview: Bosnia-Herzegovina vs Portugal

by Punter's Hero on November 11, 2011

in Football, Latest News

Portugal will be strengthened by the return of Pepe, Hugo Almeida, Fabio Coentrao, and Danny for their two-game Euro 2012 playoff matchup against Bosnia-Herzegovina on Nov 11th and 15th. All four players missed the final two Group H games against Iceland and Denmark. However, Chelsea defender Jose Bosingwa won’t be joining the 23-man roster as he was left out of the team by manager Paulo Bento.

Bosnia has a few personnel problems as Mensur Mujdza will miss the series due to an injury and two players, Boris Pandza and Sasa Papac are suspended for the first leg. Muhamed Besic and Sanel Jahic have been recalled to give the team some cover.

The first game takes place on Friday at the Olympic stadium in Bosnia and the second game will be played four days later in Lisbon at Dr. Magalhaes Pessoa Stadium. These two teams have met each other before in a two-game playoff series when they were battling it out for a berth in the 2010 World Cup. Portugal was without Cristiano Ronaldo, but still managed to win both games by scores of 1-0.

That series took place two years ago and Bosnia has improved quite a bit since then. They almost qualified automatically for Euro 2012 by winning group D when they had a 1-0 lead over France in Paris in the final qualifying game. However, France’s Samir Nasri scored on a penalty with just 12 minutes to go to earn a 1-1 draw. This was enough for France to clinch the group with 21 points and they finished just one point in front of Bosnia.

Portugal finished behind Denmark in Group H after losing to them in Copenhagen 2-1 on the last day of qualifying. A win would have seen Portugal take the group and earn an automatic entry to next year’s championships. Denmark’s 19 points were good enough to top the group and Portugal and Norway each finished behind them with 16.

The two teams also had identical won, lost, tied records at 5-2-1 and their two games against each other in the group stage ended up 1-1. However Portugal took second place due to their superior goal difference of plus nine compared to Norway’s plus three.

Bosnia manager Safet Susic said he thinks it’s better to be playing the first game at home because they could take the lead back to Lisbon instead of going in and chasing the game like they had to the last time they met Portugal in the playoffs.

Bento said his squad is stronger with the return of his four injured players, but it only means he has more options when it comes to naming the team. He said they’re all important players, but just because they have returned it doesn’t mean Portugal should expect to win the series without working hard for it. He added that they’ve been preparing for Bosnia and aren’t kicking themselves for blowing their chance to win the group over Denmark. He said the team needs to look forward not backward.

Bosnia manager Miroslav Blazevic said his team aren’t looking to avenge their previous playoff loss to Portugal, but hopes his players have learned something from the defeat two years ago. Portugal is a team that runs hot and cold while Bosnia seems to be more consistent. They’ll be missing some good players for the first leg though and a draw will be the likely result in it.

Bosnia-Herzegovina


Goalkeepers: Kenan Hasagic (Istanbul B.B./Turkey), Asmir Begovic (Stoke City/England), Asmir Avdukic (Borac Banja Luka)


Defenders: Boris Pandza (Mechelen/Belgium), Emir Spahic (Sevilla/Spain), Adnan Mravac (Mattersburg/Austria), Sasa Papac (Rangers/Scotland), Muhamed Besic (Hamburg/Germany), Sanel Jahic (APOEL Nicosia/Cyprus)


Midfielders: Adnan Zahirovic (Spartak Nalchik/Russia), Elvir Rahimic (CSKA Moscow/Russia), Haris Medunjanin (Maccabi Tel-Aviv/Israel), Sejad Salihovic (Hoffenheim/Germany), Senad Lulic (Lazio/Italy), Zvjezdan Misimovic (Dynamo Moscow/Russia), Miralem Pjanic (AS Roma/Italy), Senijad Ibricic (Lokomotiv Moscow/Russia), Semir Stilic (Lech Poznan/Poland), Darko Maletic (Aktobe/Kazakhstan)


Strikers: Vedad Ibisevic (Hoffenheim/Germany), Edin Dzeko (Manchester City/England), Ermin Zec (Genclerbirligi/Turkey), Zlatan Muslimovic (unattached)



Portugal

Goalkeepers: Beto (CFR 1907 Cluj), Eduardo (SL Benfica), Rui Patrício (Sporting Clube de Portugal)


Defenders: Bruno Alves (FC Zenit St Petersburg), Fábio Coentrão (Real Madrid CF), Sereno (1. FC Köln), João Pereira (Sporting Clube de Portugal), Pepe (Real Madrid CF), Rolando (FC Porto), Sílvio (Club Atlético de Madrid)


Midfielders: Carlos Martins (Granada CF), João Moutinho (FC Porto), Miguel Veloso (Genoa CFC), Raul Meireles (Chelsea FC), Ruben Amorim (SL Benfica), Rúben Micael (Real Zaragoza)


Strikers: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid CF), Danny (FC Zenit St Petersburg), Hugo Almeida (Beşiktaş JK), Hélder Postiga (Real Zaragoza), Nani (Manchester United FC), Nuno Gomes (SC Braga), Ricardo Quaresma (Beşiktaş JK)

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