Poland and Croatia hoping for the best
The stakes will likely be high when Poland and Croatia meet for the first time in a competitive international in their final Group B fixture in Klagenfurt.
• After matches against UEFA EURO 2008™ co-hosts Austria and the group favourites Germany, the two teams will hope to still be in contention for qualifying for the last eight.
• For a Poland team making their tournament debut, this would represent another first while Croatia have been quarter-finalists once before, on their own first EURO finals appearance in 1996. Croatia failed to advance from the group stage on their second appearance at UEFA EURO 2004™.
• Euzebiusz Smolarek's 54th-minute goal gave Poland a 1-0 win when the teams last met in a friendly in Wolfsburg, Germany on 3 June 2006 prior to that summer's FIFA World Cup.
• The teams in Wolfsburg were:
Poland: Artur Boruc, Jacek Bąk (Bartosz Bosacki 76), Michał Żewłakow, Marcin Baszczyński, Mariusz Jop, Jacek Krzynówek (Kamil Kosowski 74), Euzebiusz Smolarek (Ireneusz Jeleń 83), Arkadiusz Radomski, Radosław Sobolewski (Mariusz Lewandowski 85), Mirosław Szymkowiak (Sebastian Mila 64), Maciej Żurawski (Grzegorz Rasiak 89).
Croatia: Tomislav Butina, Robert Kovač, Dario Šimić (Mario Tokić 87), Josip Šimunić, Jurica Vranješ (Jerko Leko 64), Marko Babić, Darijo Srna (Marijan Buljat 46), Luka Modrić (Boško Balaban 73), Ivica Olić (Ivan Bošnjak 46), Niko Kranjcar (Ivan Leko 46), Ivan Klasnić.
• That was Poland's only victory in four attempts against Croatia, who won the countries' first two meetings in the 1990s.
• Croatia won 2-1 at home to Poland in a February 1996 friendly in Rijeka and then recorded a 4-1 home success in Osijek in April 1998, in which the current Croatia coach Slaven Bilić and defender Dario Šimić both appeared.
• Poland earned a goalless draw in Split on their third visit to Croatia in February 2003.
• The teams that day were:
Croatia: Stipe Pletikosa, Igor Tudor (Jerko Leko 63), Stjepan Tomas, Boris Živković (Dario Šimić 46), Robert Kovač, Josip Šimunić, Marko Babić (Ivica Mornar 46), Đovani Roso (Miljenko Mumlek 88), Darijo Srna (Anthony Šerić 46), Ivica Olić, Tomislav Marić (Marijo Marić 67).
Poland: Jerzy Dudek, Jacek Bąk, Maciej Stolarczyk, Marcin Baszczyński, Arkadiusz Głowacki, Piotr Świerczewski, Bartosz Karwan (Roman Dąbrowski 56), Radosław Kałużny (Arkadiusz Radomski 70), Kamil Kosowski, Maciej Żurawski (Tomasz Dawidowski 78), Emmanuel Olisadebe.
• As coach of Real Madrid CF, Poland trainer Leo Beenhakker oversaw a narrow away-goals victory over Yugoslavian champions FK Crvena Zvezda in the 1986/87 European Champions Clubs' Cup quarter-finals. Madrid lost the first leg 4-2 but won the return 2-0.
• Croatia coach Bilić scored for German team Karlsruher SC in a 6-1 victory away against Poland's Górnik Zabrze in the UEFA Intertoto Cup in July 1995.
• Darijo Srna scored Croatia's goal in a 1-1 draw with Poland in the final round of the UEFA European Under-16 Championship in 1999.
• Srna plays in the same midfield as Poland's Mariusz Lewandowski at their club side FC Shakhtar Donetsk.
• Poland's Jakub Błaszczykowski is a team-mate of Croatia pair Robert Kovač and Mladen Petrić at German club BV Borussia Dortmund.
• Poland goalkeeper Łukasz Fabiański is a colleague of Croatia forward Eduardo da Silva at Arsenal FC in England.
• This is the 13th edition of the UEFA European Championship and the eighth edition that features a final tournament with a group phase.