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Classic encounter to set Group A standard

Group A leaders Portugal and Spain meet on Friday in a game both coaches agree will be a stern test for their sides. Hosts Estonia, meanwhile, will be hoping there are no nerves as they look to collect their first ever points at a UEFA finals tournament against a Greece team also looking to kick-start their campaign.

Portugal opened their account here with a bright 3-0 defeat of Estonia but coach Edgar Borges is demanding better when they meet five-time UEFA European Under-19 Championship winners Spain in Tallinn on Friday. “Both teams are filled with quality and play beautiful football,” he said. “I saw Spain’s [2-1] victory in their first match against Greece and thought they were deserved winners. It will be a difficult match but we will look to argue our case against them and hopefully we’ll prevail.”

Opposite number Julen Lopetegui, too, is expecting a real test of his side’s title credentials. “Whoever comes out on will be on course to achieving an important goal,” he said. “Both teams will look to impose themselves on a game in which I am expecting difficulties. Portugal are very compact and have a wealth of talent in every position.” He draws parallels with his own charges, though Borges points out: “Both teams like to hold onto the ball and control the game, but there are specific differences in terms of the footballing cultures.”

Hosts Estonia – who lost 3-0 to Portugal on matchday one – are in a similar position to Greece in that they will both want to avoid a second defeat in the section and the host’s coach Arno Pijpers said he was anticipating another difficult encounter at Tallinn’s Kadriorg Stadium. “I expect we will be facing the same type of strength,” he said. “I’ve seen Greece and they could be considered as decent outsiders for the competition. In our last game we expended a lot of energy but hopefully the players will be ready.”

Kostas Tsanas’s Greece came very close to a dramatic comeback against Spain but ultimately fell short and are looking for a better outcome this time around, with duo Dimitris Kourmpelis and Kostas Stafylidis back from suspension to help the cause. “Estonia are a very athletic team, they are well organised defensively but are maybe not that strong in attack,” Tsanas said. “We have been working on correcting the mistakes we made in the first half of our first game and will be looking to play as we did in the second 45 minutes of that match.”

Source Article from http://www.uefa.com/under19/news/newsid=1839258.html?rss=1839258+Classic+encounter+to+set+Group+A+standard

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