UEFA Under-19 Championship Preview: Croatia - Italy

Both sides badly need a win in Group B.....
Kick-Off: July 21, 2010, 16:00 CET.
Stade Michel Farre, Mondeville, France.

Bouncing Back

Croatia won all their six matches en route to the finals but suffered a 2-1 defeat to Spain in their opening match of Group B. As a matter of fact, they had taken the lead in the first half but conceded two quick goals in the second session to go down 2-1.

However, coach Ivica Grnja is confident that his boys can bounce back against Italy on Wednesday evening. He has been quoted by UEFA.com as saying: "We won't try to change a lot in terms of style against Italy. We will give our players the task of being as organised as they were in the first half against Spain.

"We still have two games left and we want to achieve our objective of qualifying for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup."

Croatia captain Renato Kelic added: "Our morale is still high. We didn't expect a lot from that match and we know we have two games to go."

Seeking A Win

Like the senior side at the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa, the Italy Under-19 team are staring at group stage exit. The Azzurrini went down 2-0 to Portugal in their opening match of the competition and need a win on Wednesday to maintain a good chance of reaching the semi-finals.

Coach Massimo Piscedda knows that his side have to improve in order to bag maximum points against the Croats. UEFA.com quotes him as saying: "It's not over for us; there are two matches left and we're still hoping to get through the group.

"We have to improve everything against Croatia − physically, technically and psychologically − but we'll look to do that and hope to get a better performance and result."

Italy captain Fabio Borini said: "We need to go out with a very proactive approach in order to win that match. Portugal were a good team but we're also very good and can get into advanced positions. We need to focus on winning and from there we'll take it as it comes."

The good news for Italy is that Luca Tremolada will be available for the match. He sat out the game against Portugal because of a ban.

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