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All to play for at the top of Group H

Published: Tuesday 30 August 2011, 12.09CET
It is wide open at the top of UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying Group H with Portugal, Denmark and Norway all locked on ten points at the summit with just three games remaining.
All to play for at the top of Group H
Portugal boss Paulo Bento is confident of a positive result against Cyprus ©Getty Images
 
Published: Tuesday 30 August 2011, 12.09CET

All to play for at the top of Group H

It is wide open at the top of UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying Group H with Portugal, Denmark and Norway all locked on ten points at the summit with just three games remaining.

It is all to play for at the top of UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying Group H with Portugal, Denmark and Norway each on ten points at the summit. Paulo Bento's men travel to Cyprus while Norway host Iceland before a key clash against Scandinavian rivals Denmark. The two countries drew 1-1 in Oslo in March but, with games running out, their encounter in Copenhagen could prove decisive.

2 September: Norway v Iceland, Cyprus v Portugal

6 September: Denmark v Norway, Iceland v Cyprus

Latest standings

Portugal (10 points)
Paulo Bento is confident his side can claim maximum points from their trip to Cyprus and has recalled Rolando, Miguel Veloso, Eliseu and Paulo Machado, with Nuno Gomes missing out having been an unused substitute in the 5-0 friendly defeat of Luxembourg. "If we are organised, I am sure we will beat these opponents, although they made life difficult for us during the first game in Guimaraes," said the coach. "We don't want to lose any more points despite the respect we have for the Cyprus team."

Goalkeepers: Eduardo (SL Benfica), Quim (SC Braga), Rui Patrício (Sporting Clube de Portugal).

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

Midfielders: André Santos (Sporting Clube de Portugal), Eliseu (Málaga CF), João Moutinho (FC Porto), Miguel Veloso (Genoa CFC), Paulo Machado (Toulouse FC), Raul Meireles (Liverpool FC), Ruben Micael (Real Zaragoza).

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid CF), Danny (FC Zenit St Petersburg), Hugo Almeida (Beşiktaş JK), Hélder Postiga (Sporting Clube de Portugal), Nani (Manchester United FC), Varela (FC Porto).

Denmark (10 pts)
Coach Morten Olsen has left captain Christian Poulsen out of his initial 18-man squad and the Liverpool FC midfielder is not expected to be among the four additional players who will be added over the weekend. "We hope that Christian can find a good club, where he can get some match practice, so that he can come back for the deciding matches against Cyprus and Portugal," said Olsen. "Right now he needs some peace and quiet as he has been under a lot of pressure due to his situation." The captain's armband has been passed on to Poulsen's club team-mate Daniel Agger.

Goalkeepers: Thomas Sørensen (Stoke City FC) Anders Lindegaard (Manchester United FC), Stephan Andersen (Evian Thonon Gaillard).

Defenders: Bo Svensson (1. FSV Mainz 05), Lars Jacobsen (free agent), Nicolai Boilesen (AFC Ajax), Simon Kjær (VfL Wolfsburg), Daniel Agger (Liverpool FC).

Midfielders: Christian Eriksen (AFC Ajax), Jakob Poulsen (FC Midtjylland), Michael Silberbauer (BSC Young Boys), Niki Zimling (Club Brugge KV), William Kvist (VfB Stuttgart), Michael Krohn-Dehli (Brøndby IF).

Forwards: Dennis Rommedahl (Olympiacos FC) Lasse Schøne (NEC Nijmegen), Nicklas Bendtner (Arsenal FC), Nicklas Pedersen (FC Groningen).

Norway (10 pts)
Prior to Morten Gamst Pedersen's late withdrawnal with a thigh injury there was only one change to Egil Olsen's 21-man squad to face Iceland and qualification rivals Denmark. VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach defender Håvard Nordtveit has been drafted in to help a team hopeful of bouncing back from June's 1-0 defeat at the hands of joint section leaders Portugal. John Arne Riise will miss the Iceland game through injury but hopes to return for the Denmark trip and Olsen, who recently signed a contract extension which keeps him in charge until after the 2014 FIFA World Cup, declared himself happy with his squad: "The team has done well of late, so I saw no reason to change it too much."

Goalkeepers: Rune Jarstein (Viking FK), Jon Knudsen (Stabæk Fotball), Espen Bugge Pettersen (Molde FK).

Defenders: Vadim Demidov (Real Sociedad de Fútbol), Brede Hangeland (Fulham FC) , Tom Høgli (Club Brugge KV), Håvard Nordtveit (VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach), Jonathan Parr (Crystal Palace FC), John Arne Riise (Fulham FC), Espen Ruud (Odense BK), Kjetil Wæhler (Aalborg BK).

Midfielders: Simen Brenne (Odd Grenland), Christian Grindheim (FC København), Henning Hauger (Hannover 96), Ruben Yttergård Jenssen (Tromsø IL), Morten Gamst Pedersen (Blackburn Rovers FC)*, Alexander Tettey (Stade Rennais FC), Bjørn Helge Riise (Fulham FC)**.

Forwards: Mohammed Abdellaoue (Hannover 96), Daniel Braaten (Toulouse FC), John Carew (West Ham United FC), Erik Huseklepp (Portsmouth FC), Tarik Elyounoussi (Fredrikstad FK)**.

*Withdrawn
**Called up

Cyprus (2 pts)
Nikos Nioplias has asked his charges to "play with their hearts on their sleeves" as he prepares for his first competitive match in charge against Portugal. The Greek coach replaced compatriot Angelos Anastasiadis in the summer and watched his side recover from 2-1 down to beat Moldova in a friendly earlier this month. He hopes that determination is a sign of things to come for a side all but out of the EURO reckoning. "Whether or not we can still qualify is irrelevant," he said. "We will be aiming for the best possible results in our remaining group games to win back our fans and stand us in good stead for [2014] World Cup qualifying."

Goalkeepers: Antonis Georgallides (AC Omonia), Tasos Kissas (APOEL FC).

Defenders: Stelios Parpas (AEL Limassol FC), Paraskevas Christou (Alki Larnaca FC), Marios Nikolaou (AEL Limassol FC), Savvas Poursaitides (APOEL FC), Georgios Merkis (Apollon Limassol FC), Siniša Dobrašinović (Alki Larnaca FC), Anthos Solomou (APOEL FC), Andreas Avraam (AC Omonia).

Midfielders: Jason Demetriou (AEK Larnaca FC), Antonis Katsis (Alki FC), Christos Marangos (Anorthosis Famagusta FC), Anthos Solomou (APOEL FC), Konstantinos Makridis (AC Omonia), Andreas Stavrou (Apollon Limassol FC), Georgios Efrem (AC Omonia), Konstantinos Charalambides (APOEL FC), Nectarios Alexandrou (APOEL FC).

Forwards: Kyriakos Pavlou (AEK Larnaca FC), Georgios Tofas (Anagennisis Derynia FC), Yiannis Okkas (Anorthosis Famagusta FC), Michalis Konstantinou (AC Omonia), Demetris Christofi (AC Omonia).

Iceland (1 pt)
Vålerenga Fotball striker Veigar Gunnarsson has returned to the international fold after 11 months in the wilderness to face adopted home Norway on 2 September and Cyprus four days later. The news has been somewhat overshadowed by the announcement that the Football Association of Iceland (KSÍ) have decided not to extend coach Ólafur Jóhannesson's contract, however, meaning October's game against Portugal will be his last. Iceland have also been hit by several withdrawals.

Goalkeepers: Gunnleifur Gunnleifsson (FH Hafnarfjördur), Stefán Magnússon (Lilleström SK), Hannes Thór Halldórsson (KR Reykjavík)**.

Defenders: Hermann Hreidarsson (Portsmouth FC)*, Indridi Sigurdsson (Viking FK), Kristján Sigurdsson (Hønefoss BK), Birkir Saevarsson (SK Brann), Sölvi Ottesen (FC Köbenhavn), Arnór Adalsteinsson (Hønefoss BK), Jón Gudni Fjóluson (K. Beerschot AC), Hjörtur Valgardsson (IFK Göteborg), Hallgrímur Jónasson (SønderjyskE)**.

Midfielders: Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City FC)*, Helgi Daníelsson (AIK Solna), Rúrik Gíslason (Odense BK), Johann Gudmundsson (AZ Alkmaar), Eggert Jónsson (Heart of Midlothian FC), Birkir Bjarnason (Viking FK), Gylfi Sigurdsson (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim)*, Steinthór Freyr Thorsteinsson (Sandnes Ulf)**, Matthías Vilhjálmsson (FH Hafnarfjörður)**

Forwards: Eidur Gudjohnsen (AEK Athens FC), Heidar Helguson (Queens Park Rangers FC)*, Veigar Gunnarsson (Vålerenga Fotball), Kolbeinn Sigthórsson (AFC Ajax), Alfred Finnbogason (KSC Lokeren OV).

*Withdrawn
**Called up

Last updated: 02/09/11 2.12CET

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