Portugal v Turkey
Group A Kick-off: 19:45 (BST)
Beaten finalists four years ago Portugal will be looking to go one better at Euro 2008, but in their opening fixture in Geneva they face a Turkey side enjoying a return to the spotlight after six years in the wilderness.
Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari was in confident mood on the eve of his side’s opening Euro 2008 Group
“We have an extremely talented squad with a midfield which is the envy of almost every team in Europe,” said the Brazilian.” To do well at a tournament like this you have to believe you will be there until the bitter end.
“I know we are good enough to win this tournament, but right now we have to focus on the first match. We lost our first game against Greece four years ago and put a great deal of pressure on ourselves. A victory would be the perfect start to get us in the winning mood.”
However Scolari is taking nothing for granted against Turkey.
“I have a lot of respect for the Turkish team,” he said. “They play like a South American team – fast-flowing football backed by a great coach [Fatih Terim].
“Most people expect us to beat them but they forget Turkey lost very narrowly to my Brazil team in a World Cup semi-final. They are strong starters so we must be careful.”
Portugal’s Jose Bosingwa, who joined Chelsea from Porto last month, is expected to be fit for selection after recovering from a muscle strain.
And Cristiano Ronaldo should also start having recovered from a knock which saw him train with ice strapped to his ankle earlier in the week.
Turkey coach Terim admitted his biggest problem was finding a way to deal with Ronaldo.
“It’s not about just one man marking him,” said Terim. “You defend as a team and I am not going to criticise one player for failing to stop Ronaldo. He is the best player in the world but we have practised a number of systems which will help contain him.”
Terim admitted that there will be no major surprises in his starting lineup.
“We have a number of systems up our sleeve but we will not make any radical changes,” he said.
“We haven’t beaten Portugal since 1955 but we have reversed the tide before and why not this time?”
Turkey’s Hamit Altintop is a doubt for tonight’s encounter. The midfielder is confident of being fit, but his club Bayern Munich said he is struggling with a muscle strain.