Etxeberria to miss Portugal date
By Mark Kendall. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Joseba Etxeberria looks certain to miss Spain's crucial Euro 2004 showdown with Portugal on Sunday.
The Athletic Bilbao winger sustained a thigh muscle injury during the 1-1 draw with Greece and was substituted at half time to be replaced by Joaquin.
Spain boss Inaki Saez has now admitted it is highly unlikely Etxeberria will be risked in the clash with Portugal which will decide who progresses to the quarter finals.
"In a game as important as this I don't think Etxeberria is going to make it," Saez stated.
Defenders Carles Puyol and Raul Bravo also picked up minor knocks in Wednesday's game, but both are expected to be ready to face neighbours Portugal.
Spain team doctor Genaro Borras added: "The Etxeberria injury is the only one I'm really worried about.
"The area is inflamed and at the very least, he's a serious doubt for the game."
If, as expected, Etxeberria fails to prove his fitness, Real Betis star Joaquin will continue in his absence - although following his excellent second half display against the Greeks he was arguably pushing for a starting spot anyway.
One player who will definitely not play against Portugal is defender Carlos Marchena who received his second caution of the tournament on Wednesday, his place is likely to go to Deportivo La Coruna's Cesar.
|Spain 13/8 Draw 21/10 Portugal 7/4 - |
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