Croatians wary of Germany

ZAGREB - Croatian newspapers yesterday trembled with anticipation but were concerned in equal measure ahead of the crucial Euro Group A match against Germany tonight.

ZAGREB - Croatian newspapers yesterday trembled with anticipation but were concerned in equal measure ahead of the crucial Euro Group A match against Germany tonight.

Daily 24sata asked: "Has [coach] Slaven Bilic found the formula?"

Croatia defeated co-hosts Austria 1-0 in their opener on Sunday, but failed to raise the spirits at home with what local commentators described as a "tame" performance.

Former Croatia coach Miroslav Blazevic, who led the nation to third place at the 1998 World Cup in France, said Germans play "like a machine, even if without a genius in the team.

"I'm worried, very worried ... we must extract a point from the match, because a point secures passage to the next round," Blazevic said.

Germany defeated Poland 2-0 in their first match.

Coach Josef Hickersberger has told Austria to throw caution to the wind against Poland in a Group B game today that will leave the losers perilously close to a Euro 2008 exit.

l The matches will be live on SuperSport channels. - Sapa-DPA

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