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  Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 21:57 GMT
Euro 2004 Group 9
Euro 2004 qualifying Group 1
BBC Sport Online looks at the countries drawn in qualifying Group 9 for Euro 2004.


Italy
Coach: Giovanni Trappatoni
A footballing heavyweight, Italy can draw from a vast and experienced squad.

Under Dino Zoff, Italy were unlucky to lose to France in the Euro 2000 final as David Trezeguet hit the golden goal.

Again luck eluded them when they were knocked out by an Ahn Jung-hwan golden goal in the second round of the World Cup.

Star forwards Francesco Totti and Christian Vieri continue to light up their domestic league, Serie A.

Since returning from injury, Vieri has scored 11 goals in 13 Serie A appearances.

Group 9 fixtures
2002
Sept 7: Azerbaijan v Italy, Finland v Wales
Oct 12: Italy v Yugoslavia, Finland v Azerbaijan
Oct 16: Wales v Italy
Nov 20: Azerbaijan v Wales
2003
Mar 29: Wales v Azerbaijan, Italy v Finland
Apr 2: Yugoslavia v Wales
Apr 30: Azerbaijan v Yugoslavia
June 7: Finland v Yugoslavia
June 11: Finland v Italy, Yugoslavia v Azerbaijan
Sept 6: Azerbaijan v Finland, Italy v Wales
Sept 10: Wales v Finland, Yugoslavia v Italy
Oct 11: Italy v Azerbaijan, Wales v Yugoslavia
Expect them to qualify for Portugal, after serving up another strong World Cup performance in 2002.


Yugoslavia
Coach: Dejan Savicevic
Qualification is the key for new coach Dejan Savicevic, appointed at the end of 2001.

Savicevic has an exciting crop of young talent coming through at international level but believes his rising stars, including the highly-rated Mateja Kezman, are not yet ready.

Instead, he will rely on the old guard of players including Sinisa Mihajlovic, Pedrag Mijatovic and Slavisa Jokanovic in the hope that his fledgling talents will be ready by 2004.


Finland
Coach: Antti Muurinen
Finland will hope to cap their improvement in international football by qualifying for Euro 2004.

They have found relative success by building their team around the likes of Sami Hyypia and Jari Litmanen, both of Liverpool, and Chelsea's Mikael Forssell.

Ironically, the team showed their best form when all hope of qualification for World Cup 2002 had gone, thrashing Greece 5-1 and holding Germany to a 0-0 draw, to the delight of England.


Wales
Coach: Mark Hughes
Hughes' initial target in his first full qualifying campaign as a coach will be to improve on Wales' Euro 2000 showing.

That should not be too tall an order after Wales managed just one win in 10 qualifying matches last time round.

But qualification will remain a tall order, with Wales boasting only one truly world-class player in the shape of Ryan Giggs.

Realistically, Hughes will settle for a step in the right direction.


Azerbaijan
Coach: Igor Ponomarev
Going into qualifying for Euro 2000, the least Azerbaijan would have expected was a win over fellow minnows Liechtenstein.

But they could not avoid handing Liechtenstein their first ever win in a qualification competition.

Things could only get better and so they did, culminating in a 1-1 draw against Portugal and a 4-0 return against Liechtenstein.

A point from a 0-0 draw in Macedonia was all the side could muster in qualifying for the 2002 World Cup, although it was still their most successful campaign.

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Portugal welcome Euro 2004
All the build-up to Euro 2004

How the groups line up

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