Albiol going well in Spanish sweepstake

Spain reserve centre-back Raul Albiol is unlikely to spend much time on the pitch at Euro 2012 but he is in with a good shout of wininng another competition, the players' tournament sweepstake or "porra".

The squad members predicted all the results at the tournament in Poland and Ukraine, including the winners, before it kicked off and Albiol said he was lying third after two rounds of matches behind Cesc Fabregas and David Silva.

"It's a sweepstake that we have in the team to pass the time here and make it a bit more exciting," Albiol told a news conference at Spain's training base in Gniewino, Poland.

"I am currently third but of course the important thing is that we beat Croatia, top the group and get to the final and become champions of Europe," he added ahead of the holders' Group C decider against the Croats on Monday.

Spain and Croatia lead on four points ahead of Italy on two and eliminated Ireland on none.

Even if the Italians beat the Irish they would be knocked out if the other game is a scoring draw of two goals each or more, a scenario that has prompted concern in Italy that Spain and Croatia might make some sort of pact.

Albiol said he had forecast a 1-0 win for the Spanish which would take them through to the last eight as group winners.

"A 2-2 draw is not one of the predictions," he added with a smile.


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