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June 11, 2012 12:15 AM IST
INEA stadion — Poznań
Referee:‬ B. Kuipers‎
Attendance:‬ 39550‎

Republic of Ireland - Croatia Preview: Group C outsiders look for Euro 2012 foothold

With Spain and Italy backed to advance from their pool, the Boys in Green and the 2008 quarter-finalists will be hoping for a victory in Poznan to set them on the right track

By Adam Scime

Euro 2012: Croatian players' celebration


O'Shea, Dunne, St Ledger, Ward
Duff, Whelan, Andrews, McGeady
Long, Keane

Corluka, Schildenfeld, Simunic, Strinic
Srna, Modric, Rakitic, Pranjic
Mandzukic, Jelavic

Republic of Ireland should have two stalwarts back in the line-up for their first match at Euro 2012 in goalkeeper Shay Given and defender John O'Shea.

Given had been struggling with back and calf issues, but has returned to full training and is set to add to his 122 caps on Sunday, while O'Shea proved his fitness in the recent 0-0 friendly draw with Hungary by playing the full 90 minutes.

Danien Duff and Aiden McGeady will look to add width to Ireland's attack from the wings, but youngster James McClean will also be hoping for some minutes after an impressive campaign with Sunderland.

However, coach Giovanni Trapattoni must decide whether to go with five midfielders or add a partner for veteran striker Robbie Keane up front.

Meanwhile, Croatia boss Slaven Bilic will have to do without the services of Bayern Munich striker Ivica Olic, who will miss the duration of the tournament with a thigh injury. His place in attack should be taken by the in-form Nikica Jelavic.

Additionally, Olympique Lyonnais centre-back Dejan Lovren and Hamburg midfielder Ivi Illicevic have also been ruled out of the finals due to injury problems.

Nonetheless, there was some good news for Bilic as defender Vedran Corluka passed a late fitness test and is expected to be in the starting XI, so captain Dario Srna should feature in midfield rather than at right-back.

  • Republic of Ireland have only qualified for the European Championship once before this year's edition, being eliminated from the group stages of Euro '88.
  • Trapattoni's side scored 10 goals from set piece situations during qualifying, more than any other team involved.
  • The Boys in Green are on a 14-match unbeaten streak, last suffering a loss in March 2011 to Uruguay.

  • Keane, who scored seven goals in qualifying, is his country's all-time top scorer with 53 strikes to his name.
  • Croatia have only beaten Ireland once in six attempts, losing twice and drawing the other three times.
  • Coach Bilic will step down from his post after Euro 2012 to take the reins of Russian club Lokomtiv Moscow.
  • Defender Josip Simunic needs five more caps to equal the team record of 100 set by the retired Dario Simic.

  • Croatia are a threat in the air - scoring nine goals during the qualifying campaign, more than any other side.

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Euro 2012 ‎(EC)‎ 11-Jun-2012 Ireland Republic 1 - Croatia 3
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International Friendlies ‎(FR)‎ 11-Aug-2011 Ireland Republic 0 - Croatia 0
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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
-Shay Given
2Sean St LedgerDefender
3Stephen WardDefender
4John O'SheaDefender
5Richard DunneDefender
6Glenn WhelanMidfielder
7Aiden McGeadyMidfielder
-Keith Andrews
-Damien Duff
9Kevin DoyleStriker
10Robbie KeaneStriker
16Keiren WestwoodGoalkeeper
23David FordeGoalkeeper
12Stephen KellyDefender
13Paul McShaneDefender
18Darren O'DeaDefender
15Darron GibsonMidfielder
-Stephen Hunt
21Paul GreenMidfielder
22James McCleanMidfielder
14Jonathan WaltersStriker
19Shane LongStriker
20Simon CoxStriker
1Stipe PletikosaGoalkeeper
2Ivan StrinicDefender
5Vedran CorlukaDefender
11Darijo SrnaDefender
13Gordon SchildenfeldDefender
7Ivan RakiticMidfielder
8Ognjen VukojevicMidfielder
10Luka ModricMidfielder
20Ivan PerisicMidfielder
9Nikica JelavicStriker
17Mario MandzukicMidfielder
-Ivan Kelava
23Danijel SubasicGoalkeeper
3Josip SimunicDefender
-Jurica Buljat
-Sime VrsaljkoDefender
21Domagoj VidaDefender
6Danijel PranjicDefender
14Milan BadeljMidfielder
-Tomislav Dujmovic
19Niko KranjcarMidfielder
16Nikola KalinicStriker
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