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Monday, June 16, 2008

Croatia vs Poland Preview and Live Score: Euro 2008

If you are interested to get the online live score and updates of Austria vs Germany and Croatia vs Poland matches of Euro 2008 with live text commentary then visit the following two links:

Austria vs Germany Live Score and Updates

Croatia vs Poland Live Score and Updates

Poland is going to face Croatia in a significant match of Group B tonight at Wörthersee, Klagenfurt. The match is not similarly important for both the sides. With Croatia already through to the quarter final of Euro 2008, this match does not have much for Croatia to achieve, but for Poland, it is like a ‘do or die’ match. Poland is still in the quarter final race along with Germany and Austria in the group. After accumulating only 1 point from their first two matches, Poland has got to win tonight’s match against Croatia, who are thinking of playing a seemingly second eleven in the match because of card problem.

Match: Croatia vs Poland, Group B, Euro 2008
16 June 2008
Venue: Wörthersee, Klagenfurt

Well, Croatia has the liberty to rest a number regular player in the match as they have already reached the last eight of Euro 2008. On the other hand, even a victory for Poland over Croatia might not ensure a place for Poland in the quarter final; they also require the result of the Austria vs Germany match to go their way, meaning Austria has to win over Germany. If Germany wins or at least ends up with a draw against Austria, Poland will not be able to reach the last eight, no matter whether they win over Croatia or not, because then Germany’s victory over Poland 2-0 in the group match brings a head to head advantage for Germany. However, even an Austrian victory over Germany would not ensure a quarter final spot for Poland in the tournament. If Austria and Poland both win their respective matches tonight, both teams will have four points to their credit. As their head to head meeting was ended in a 1-1 draw, goal difference would come first to break the tie and at this moment Austria has better goal difference than what Poland has. So, Poland also has to win over Croatia by a bigger margin. That means: Poland can get into the quarter final if:

Poland wins over Croatia by a bigger margin that what Austria does over Germany. That means, Poland hast to win at least b two goals against Croatia
Austria has to win over Germany in the other match.

I mentioned earlier that Croatia has nothing to achieve from this match. Even if they lose tonight’s match, it would not mar their confidence because they are going to play a second eleven against Poland. So, there is no pressure on the Croats, while Polish side is no alternative of winning the match. However, it is also true that Croatia’s reserve players will try their level best to impress the coach looking to win a regular place in the starting line up, which could be lethal for Poland in the match.

Croatia will come into the match full of confidence thanks to their triumph over Germany in the previous match. Croatia started the tournament defeating Austria 1-0 in the opening match, though they did not look as impressive as they appeared against Germany in the second match where they defeated the three times Euro winners Germany 2-1. That was enough for the Slaven Bilic’s side to book a place in the last eight. Croatia will take on Turkey in Vienna on 20 June 2008 in the quarter final.

You know that Croatia got into the tournament coming through a group which included England, who failed to qualify in the tournament. So, you can guess how much confident the Croats are at this moment. You could not simply write off Croatia only because they are resting a number of players for the match against Poland.

For Poland, they did not have a good start in the tournament being lost to Germany 2-0 in the first match. Then in the second match, Poland could manage to win a point against Austria thanks to a first half goal from Guerreiro. They were unlucky as a late equalizer for Austria snatched away a seemingly Polish victory. So, Poland may not find anything inspirational from their last two matches, but Poland could take their mission of reaching the quarter final as a challenge in what they might find inspiration for themselves, despite the truth that it is not at their hand fully.

Croatia vs Poland: Head to Head Record and Recent Form
The two sides faced each other on four occasions so far, with Croatia winning twice and Poland winning once in the match. Last time the two sides met each other was in 2006 when Poland defeated Croatia 1-0 in a friendly match.
When it comes to recent performance of Croatia and Poland, Croatia seems to be ahead of Poland. Croatia won four out of their last seven outings with two draws and a defeat to Netherlands in a friendly match in February this year. On the other hand, Poland does not have anything impressive in the recent past. They won only two matches against two defeats and three draws in their last seven matches.

Croatia vs Poland: Poland coach Leo Beenhakker Not Optimistic about Poland’s Chance
Even a die-heart fan of Poland can not deny that it would be very tough for Poland to get into the last eight of the tournament. Poland’s Dutch coach Leo Beenhakker is no different as he admitted that it was not at their hand. He added that his side could only focus on their own game. However, he also said that his side was also focused on the match. The coach is also considering some chances ahead of the match in order to being the maximum success from this game.

BBC reported:

"That match is not in our hands, we only have the result of our own game, so we
are focused on that," he said.
"That match is not in our hands, we only have
the result of our own game, so we are focused on that," he said.
"I have
some changes in mind in case it's necessary to force the game," he said.
a coach that's what you do - you prepare to try and win the game or get
something extra when you are losing."

Croatia vs Poland: Croatia Coach Slaven Bilic to Rest Players on Yellow Card
As I have already mentioned that Croatia has the liberty to rest some of the regular members of the side for the match against Poland. The Croats can afford to a defeat at this stage of the group standing because they already ensured their place in the quarter final. According to the report out in the media, there are as many as eight regular players on yellow cards and they all might sit out for the match against Poland. The players on yellow card are: Robert Kovac, Josip Simunic, Darijo Srna and Luka Mod, Niko Kranjcar, Ivica Olic, Vedran Corluka and Niko Kovac.

Sky Sports reported:

"Players with yellow cards will not play against Poland," said Bilic
"I am
quite happy that we avoided mighty Portugal," Bilic continued.
"We are
satisfied but both the Czechs and Turkey have their own strengths and
"We have followed closely both teams but at the moment our next
game against Poland is the priority."

Slaven Bilic also confirmed that Croatia would not play for Austria or Germany in the match; rather they would play for themselves. He also added that his side would play for win in the match and he had complete faith on experimental side.

Croatia vs Poland: Online Live Score and Updates
If you are a Croatia fan, you would be interested about this match because you can get to see a new Croatia tonight without a number of regular players in the starting line up. However, if you are a Poland fan, then it is a must-watch match for you. So, I do not see any reason by which you can afford to miss the match. However, still if you can not watch the match on your television set due to your personal or professional work, then you can get the online live score and updates of the Croatia vs Poland match from different online live score websites. Some of the links of online live score sites are given below:

Live Score
Euro 2008
Sky Sports
Live Score.cz

It is a bit difficult to pick up a favorite from the match. With Croatia resting some of the regular players, you might think that Poland is favorite on pen and paper. However, you can not ignore the inspiration and guile of Croatia's reserve players to prove their ability and win a regular place in the squad impressing Coach Slaven Bilic ahead of the quarter final match. In the same way, Polish players will also be determined for a victory in their quest to reach the last eight of the tournament. So, you can see that players of both sides have something to achieve from this match and I think, players will not leave any stone unturned to achieve their goal in the match. That is where I find an indication of an exciting match at Wörthersee, Klagenfurt.
What do you think about the match?

Related article:
Sky Sports

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