England to clash with Croatia

England needs a draw to reach the last eight of the Euro 2004 in their match against Croatia today.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:07 IST
  • Total Shares


England needs a draw to reach the last eight of the Euro 2004 in their match against Croatia today. However, a defeat would send Sven-Goran Eriksson's side crashing out at the group stage itself. England head into their final Group B game knowing very well that history somehow has a tendency to repeat itself. Four years back at Euro 2000, England after 3 points from their opening 2 games against Portugal and Germany only needed a draw in last group game against Romania. But crashed out of the tournament after they conceded a last minute penalty to lose 3-2, a fact that's not lost on captain David Beckham. "We can't afford to get carried away by the position we're in now because all we need to do is draw against Croatia. We've been in this position before where in the last championships where we beat Germany and we ended up losing," said Beckham. Meanwhile, England will also have to do without Bayern Munich's Owen Hargreaves who has been ruled out of Monday's game because of a stomach upset. But there was some good news as Manchester United's Nicky Butt could be back if England do make it to the semi-finals. Dissent could mar Croatia's prospects Croatia's preparations for the game are in slight disarray with Ivica Olic testing positive for a banned substance although UEFA have confirmed that the player was not at fault and can play against England. There's also talk of internal dissent in the Croatian camp with some players unhappy with the playing time they have got. They have even gone to the extent of saying that Croatia would not win Monday's game. France to clash with Switzerland In another match, France will have to tighten up their defence against Switzerland. The Swiss are yet to score a goal in the tournament so far. France needs a draw against the Swiss to make it to the last eight. French coach Jacques Santini is expected to make quite a few changes to the team that faced Croatia with either Mikael Silvestre or Marcel Desailly losing their place in defence.