Sudden death

Kuranyi likely starter

FRANKFURT: Kevin Kuranyi and Mario Gomez are expected to start as forwards when Germany play Serbia on Saturday in their final warm-up before the European Championship. Germany captain Michael Ballack has urged coach Joachim Loew not to experiment in Saturday’s game and to use the same starting 11 that the coach has in mind for the tournament that kicks off next week. “We are not that far apart with Michael,” assistant coach Hansi Flick said today. “Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski started against Belarus, this time another pair is likely to start.” — AP

Goian doubtful

BUCHAREST: Romanian defender Dorin Goian is in doubt for the European championships after picking up a left leg injury in training, national coach Victor Piturca revealed on Friday. “He feels pain in the tendon and has to undergo a medical test,” Piturca said. The 23-year-old defender has three international caps. Romania have already been hit by injuries to midfielder Ovidiu Petre and second goalkeeper Danut Coman. — AFP

Lehmann complains

BERLIN: Germany goalkeeper Jens Lehmann admitted he has problems with the official Euro 2008 football on the eve of he tournament. “I have had a few problems with the official balls, I only started working with them a week ago, but they are very different from the ones used for the 2006 World Cup,” he said. Lehmann leaked two goals on Tuesday when Belarus held Germany to a 2-2 draw in a Euro 2008 warm-up match and admitted he had problems with the balls’ trajectory during the match. — AFP

Landreau shocked

PARIS: Goalkeeper Mickael Landreau admitted that being axed from France’s squad was the biggest setback of his career. Landreau, who until recently was clear number two to Gregory Coupet, confessed he had not expected to be one of the seven players cut by coach Raymond Domenech, even if he had had a traumatic season with Paris Saint Germain which saw him commit several dreadful and costly errors. “Being excluded is the biggest disappointment of my career, and at the same time the biggest setback I have experienced,” he said. — AFP

Ronaldo not unsettled

LISBON: Cristiano Ronaldo has a chance to show his European Championship preparations are not being unsettled by speculation about his club future when Portugal meets Georgia in a friendly on Saturday. The standout striker is his country’s main hope as it looks to repeat their appearance in the tournament final four years ago. The player got eight goals in the qualifying campaign - more than double the next-best Portuguese scorers. — AP