A place in the final awaits the winners of each match: Switzerland and Portugal previously drew, and France thumped Italy in their group match, but form counts for nothing now: ONLY THE WILL TO WIN (and a good track). Listen to the tracks, vote in the games, click below the cut for track info, managerial comment etc.

How to vote: just pick the track you prefer in each game. You’ll need to press vote separately on each poll. Polls open until Monday lunchtime.

Switzerland v Portugal: Which track do you prefer? [ballot]

  • Switzerland: Yves Larock 68%
  • Portugal: Expander and Thinkfreak 32%

Total Voters: 25

Poll closes: 23 Jun 2008 @ 12:26

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France v Italy: Which track do you prefer? [ballot]

  • Italy: Jovanotti 52%
  • France: Sofia Essaldi 48%

Total Voters: 27

Poll closes: 23 Jun 2008 @ 12:27

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SWITZERLAND: Yves Larock – “Zookey”

The manager says: “Switzerland are chuffed to have gotten this far, and hope to trounce tournament favourites Portugal much like their football team did last week. However the bench is looking a bit empty, and this manager refuses to call up Shaggy on the pretext that at least one of Trix and Flix (the Euro 2008 mascots) must be Swiss. (Also the Shaggy track isn’t great). The Swiss charts are dominated by footballing songs, none of which have the class to perform at this level. So we venture to the clubs, where the Swiss are happily blending the sounds of the mountains with house music. Er, if those mountains are in Africa and Jamaica. You have to remember that Switzerland is the home of the United Nations, and suddenly it all makes sense. Zookey is my favourite of their collaborations, and hopefully if you have your transglobal underground head on too it will see us through to the finals!”

Our analyst says: Switzerland have got this far through entertaining high-tempo play and they’re not changing a winning formula. The multiracial composition of this side will gladden the hearts of those who believe music is a universal language. Whether they can do a job on the pitch is another matter.”

PORTUGAL: Expander and Thinkfreak – “Trackum”

The manager says: “Here’s how it was supposed to work: get the Swiss guessing and floundering, at right angles, twisting away from their natural game. Get in their heads, make europop seem an impossibility. Then hit them with the smoothest cut, rock solid r’n’b – win the negative votes, fifty-seven percent, and through.

Then this. It made me dance, the first time I heard it, late at night, standing and moving and clicking, hands in the air. I just remember feeling thrilled – all of the pink and blue of its latent possibilities, furiously coming to life all at once, under and through each other. I’m no good at talking about this sort of thing – I just think it’s the most amazing minimal piece I’ve ever heard.”

Our analyst says: A surprising tactical shift from the Portugese manager, who is using slow-build tactics reminiscent of Germany’s play in this tournament, without a recognised striker. It’s a bold move and certainly his men have the technical ability to pull it off but you wonder if these endless passing triangles will ever lead to an end product.

FRANCE: Sofia Essaidi – “Femme D’Aujourd’hui”

The manager says: “After a run that has left mind, fingers and ears hurting, the last push for glory begins! The young striker is lithe, taut, slightly tempremental, and loves the umbrella formation of football. With a firm grasp of the modern day tactics, and her football history, her training ground performances have impressed. But will they impress you? They better! I’m the bloody favourite! Eek! Vive La France!”

Our analyst says: France continue to impress – here they have a seasoned striker fitting neatly into a more modern formation, but the secret to this tactic’s success is surely those fluting overlapping runs from the full-backs.

ITALY: Jovanotti – “Penso Positivo (Fargetta Remix)”

The manager says: “It has taken every ounce of restraint in Italy not to play this one earlier in the tournament, but it’s finally time to wheel out this almighty clash of two of the biggest names in Italian pop. Jovanotti is an enduringly successful and mostly rubbish singer-songwriter and occasional rapper, Mario Fargetta is an equally durable Italian rave producer who took a turn into hi-NRG chart dance in the mid-90s and was one half of The Tamperer. Here Fargetta takes on one of Jovanotti’s rap efforts and beefs it up with expiring Beach Boys and hyperactive scat samples, enormous synth chords, call and response action and a minute or so of utterly unnecessary double-speed boshing at the end for good measure. HO!”

Our analyst says: Italy have made their mark on this tournament with attacking play and for this game they’re sacrificing caution entirely, hurling men forward, shooting from distance, and looking to outpace and outmuscle the opposition. We’ve seen Switzerland play this kind of game and thrive – we’ve also seen Turkey try it and crash out. Whatever happens, this is two teams giving their all: there will surely be goals.


France 4 Russia 0: Russia were better than this scoreline suggests, getting forward and attacking even when the cause was lost, but they were simply no match for a French side with this kind of form and momentum. France brushed aside the humiliating performances of their footballing side to put Russia to the sword and confirm their status as tournament favourites.

Italy 4 Greece 2 (aet): A brace of goals in the second period of extra-time ended Greece’s challenge and put Italy through: for most of the game these sides were evenly matched, Greek pace and Italian strength battling it out in a thrilling game.

COMING NEXT… The final! Next Thursday, only on Freaky Trigger :)