Switzerland take on Portugal and the Czechs battle Turkey in the last two Group A games. Click below the cut for managerial comment, analysis, match reports and previews.

How to vote: Pick the track you prefer from each pairing and vote – these polls close next Monday. You will need to click “submit” separately on each one. If you download the tracks please also vote! (We’re getting around twice as many downloads as votes currently).

Switzerland v Portugal: Which Track Do You Prefer? [ballot]

  • Portugal: Metricks 52%
  • Switzerland: Moonraisers 48%

Total Voters: 25

Poll closes: 19 May 2008 @ 11:06

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Czech Republic v Turkey: Which Track Do You Prefer? [ballot]

  • Turkey: Cartel 71%
  • Czech Republic: Darina Rolincova 29%

Total Voters: 24

Poll closes: 19 May 2008 @ 12:07

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SWITZERLAND: Moonraisers – “Puppet Master”

The manager says: “Switzerland, as befits its melting pot culture, is very open to melting pot musical genres. The Moonraisers could have been the Swiss answer to UB40, but their reggae has always been open to other influences. Their reggae Hotel California tries too hard – and substitutes Weed for Wine, which makes it tough to rhyme with 1969. However they get their stuff together for Puppet Master – which melds Metallica, the Chipmunks and a cut scene from World Of Warcraft into an infectious bouncy reggae track. After the solid work of the previous two games, this was going to be substituted, but you stick with a winning team even if they are more erratic, so GO MOONRAISERS!”

Our analyst says: With qualification almost assured, there’s a danger that the Swiss might have relaxed a little too early. There’s a carnival atmosphere in the stands and it looks to have spread to the pitch, with the team throwing caution to the wind. The showboating in midfield and up front disguises a back four that’s as solid as ever, though, and they should see the Swiss through.

PORTUGAL: Metricks – “Postcard To Outerspace”

The manager says: “Natural of Portugal and son of freedom, Metricks is active at the electronic music scene since 1993.  Now, in the path of discovery, a fusion of emotions and melting feelings, that are always expressed in the strange tunes, and divergent beat strokes, of somehow familiar reminds.  Space is still cool. It’s 1988, forever.”

Our analyst says: In complete contrast to the Swiss, Portugal are keeping it tight and professional, playing an unusual compact formation based on short passing and holding on to the ball. Their decision to rest their recognised strikers is sending a message of quiet confidence to potential quarter-final opponents and a win here might cement their position as tournament favourites.

CZECH REPUBLIC: Dalina Rolincova – “Anjelik Moj”

The manager says: “To say that my dear Czechs are in a dreadful fix is to put it very mildly indeed, but footy being a game of two halves in which the ball is round, it’s safe to assume that it ain’t over ’til it’s over. Our Hail Mary? Meet Darina Rolincová, 80s Czechoslovakia’s favourite teeny-bopper, who still enjoys widespread popularity in eastern Europe under the moniker “Dara Rolins”. This song originally featured in a 1990 Czech musical by the slightly unwieldy name of “Témer ružový príbeh”, and judging by the wealth of covers available, it already seems to have become something of a Czech standard. The production is pretty-pretty in typical 80s fashion — with Babyface-style electric piano chords, and even those beastliest of things: PAN FLUTES! — but somehow the bombast of it all ends up an appropriate fit for Darina’s expression of pubescent longing.”

Our analyst says: After a woeful opening the Czechs have given their all in this tournament and I think most neutrals will be sorry to see them depart. The open, expressive play they’re showing here will win them more fans but I can’t see it producing the thumping victory the side needs.

TURKEY: Cartel – “Cartel”

The manager says: “”The Turkish management has been reluctant to fire its biggest guns so far this tournament, but with nothing left to lose we present to you CARTEL, a meeting of collective minds from far-flung corners centred on Istanbul and more importantly, being banned from the otherwise wholesome Turkish charts thanks to their radical notion of ‘racism = bad’. This is their theme song, sung with FISTS.”

Our analyst says: Turkey are desperate for a win – they’ve been unlucky this tournament in many ways and the strain is showing, with rash tackles and distance shots the order of the day here. Nobody can doubt their effort but they’re looking more likely to pick up cards than goals right now.

MATCH REPORT: Greece 1 Russia 1 – With ten minutes to go here Greece were on the verge of an unlikely qualification, before a Russian equaliser left Group D still tantalisingly open. In truth, neither side deserved to take three points here – both sides played quite pretty football but neither showed much hunger or cutting edge, and after taking the lead the Greeks seemed happy to defend. They need a point from their final game against Spain to qualify: Russia will be looking anxiously at Sweden’s fortunes as a showdown looms.

COMING SOON: The Group B deciders see leaders Poland take on Croatia, with Austria playing Germany in what might be a niggly atmosphere. Poland can qualify with a draw, but the three other sides need a win to be sure of their place. Expect joy, heartbreak, and teams giving their all for the shirt!