Sunday, June 15, 2008

UEFA Euro 2008: Day 10 Previews

Group B wraps up with Croatia, who face Poland, already locked into the top slot. Germany, Austria and the Poles all still have a shot at second.

Austria vs. Germany
The venue: Ernst Happel Stadion, Vienna, Austria
The broadcast: ESPN, 2:45 pm ET
The storyline: Germany only need a draw to ensure qualification for the quarterfinals and a date with Portugal. The Austrians will look for a repeat of their finest moment- an upset of West Germany at the 1978 World Cup that knocked the defending champs out of the tournament. If Austria win, they'll advance, provided they maintain their one-goal differential advantage over Poland.
The prediction: There will be no miracles this time. The Germans will advance with an efficient 2-0 victory.

Croatia vs. Poland
The venue: Worthersee Stadion, Klagenfurt, Austria
The broadcast: ESPN Classic, 2:45 pm ET
The storyline: Poland need a lot to go right in order to advance, but they do have the advantage of playing a Croatia squad that will rest key players. To advance to the quarters, Poland need a win, an Austria win over Germany, while overcoming the goal differential tiebreaker that they currently trail by one versus Austria. That's asking a lot.
The prediction: Poland are fighting mad, feeling they were jobbed by a late penalty against Austria. They'll take out their frustrations with a 2-0 win over Croatia's B team, but it won't be enough to advance.

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