Croatia did what they were supposed to against the Irish, and with a win over Italy on Thursday, will clinch a quarterfinal berth at Euro 2012. However, Italy is no Ireland and adjustments must be made to ensure victory. Or do they?
Coach Slaven Bilić opted to slot captain Darijo Srna at right back for the Ireland game, opening up a spot in the midfield for Ivan Rakitić on the right side, alongside Ivan Perišić and Croatian ventriloquist Luka Modrić. The team looked fluid with Srna and left back Ivan Strinić overlapping in the midfield, putting numerous crosses onto the heads of strikers Mario Mandžukić and Nikica Jelavić. The whole team looked to be firing on all cylinders. But what was most impressive of Croatia’s play in the Ireland match, although it did not lead to a goal, was the outside shooting from the Vatreni. Perišić, Modrić and Rakitić all had blasts with pace on them while Darijo Srna tried to emulate Arjen Robben’s goal for Bayern Munich at Old Trafford in 2010, volleying a corner kick from outside the box.
We can all agree that Croatia played without fear against Ireland, but how will that performance translate against the Italians? Will coach Cesare Prandelli keep only three defenders at the back like he did against Spain, trying to maintain ball possession in the midfield? This means Croatia need a plan to be in counterattack mode. Mandžukić is sure to keep receiving service in the air after his two-goal performance vs. Ireland but what will the Croatian defense have to deal with? Prandelli is sure to start Antonio Di Natale after his goal against Spain instead of the ever-absent Mario Balotelli, who was booked and then subbed off against Spain on Sunday. Will Bilić keep Srna at right back, even though Italy has much more firepower than Ireland?
The assignment is an easy one for Croatia if they don’t want to deal with Spain in the group C finale: beat Italy. And with the energy they played with earlier in the week, this very well might be something they can accomplish.
CRO 2 – ITA 1
some english links: http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/714793.shtml
Toronto Cro…..I disagree about treating this as a championship game. It’s not. It’s one of three group games. You approach each the same or at least you do everything you can in approaching the three games in the same manner. You don’t get too low after a loss and you dont get oo high after win. As a coach, you can not create a championship game atmosphere for the italy match. If we lose, than what. We might be emotionally done before we even play the Spain game.
some better ladies:
links in case html doesn’t work:
We know we CAN beat Italy. Our confidence and ability is there. There is no reason to think that we can’t
The boys just need to actually do it.
Bilic should be treating this like the championship game.
Because honestly, after getting out of the group stage we can be proud…..and from there, just see how far we can go.
eeewww I don’t how how he put his mouth on those two bush pigs tits they look like there either from Zagreb or Slavonci for suuuuuure -U-
I’ve never seen such ugly Croatian women. They must be from Zagreb or the mountains/inland because on the coast and in the islands the ladies are much better looking
Looks like those two ugly topless Croatian broads are getting more exposure than they thought:
One of them might get canned from work, but she says she doesn’t care, lol:
If my uk.eurosport link doesn’t work anymore here is another version:
unlike Denis I am getting more optimistic as Thursday approaches I think we have a much better team than Italy and I think Italy just got Lucky against Spain first game jitters things of that nature yes our camp has been jovial after Ireland win but I think Bilic will quickly bring them back to earth with tough practice and motivational speech.-U-
hit me up private… where are you? im long time in schutzhund… bred 14 working line shepherd litters… very little ipo in croatia…
dobermans… well your almost there:)
Looks like the same line-up for Italy as we had for Ireland:
Bulletin board material and giving another team motivation is strictly an American only cultural phenomenan. Europeans boast their chances against opponenets to motivate their own players, shake the other teams confidence, and is used by coaches to show how good of a job they’ve done..to protest their jobs – and if the team loses, it must be the players’ fault Look at what Dick Advocaat said about his Russian team today. What coach in any American sport would say that?
As the days go by, I get more pessimistic and more pessimistic about the Italy game.
History states that Italy have never won against Croatia
History states that Croatia have never lost the second game in a tournament.
History states “Italy are winless in their second match at their last five major tournaments…
records were made to be broken.
Teams are known for a let down after a win.
Turkey in istanbul and turkey in zagreb.
Mandzukic looked at as if he’s the next van basten.
Croatian players talking about record verses Italy. Croatian players acting and talking confident.
This is a recipe for disaster.
Hopefully, I am wrong.
A draw might not be enough. We dont want to go into the Spain game needing a draw.
I believe in our boys and will forever support them. Even at this point, everything is extra. So there really shouldnt be any pressure on Croatia. However, the players need to put on a similar performance or they will quickly be brought back down to earth.
Ovako, ja mislim da ce Hrvatska bez problema pobjediti Italiju ali u isto vrijeme moraju biti oprezni. Italijanci jesu dobro ali su naj opasniji kada glume i lagano mogu dobiti penal tu moramo biti oprezni.
Ako damo jedan gol protiv njih 1-0 biti cemo ok.
example…Mandzukic said we have a winning record against Italy today…
“Italija ima negativan skor s nama, vjerujem da će tako ostati i nakon naše utakmice”, za kraj je rekao Mandža”
I know its good to be confident but I’d hate to give our opponents a greater motivation!
Ana , chuti
Happy Birthday HNS! 100 years young!
Now let’s go celebrate with a victory over Italy on Thursday!
@Slavonac, why would the players live in the past? This makes no sense to me.Thursday is Thursday.
The boys on the field this Thursday will decide the outcome of THEIR game that day. All I hope is that they number one play for themselves, and country.
Right on and what group coulda weve been in if we woulda beat turkey in ZG. -U-
I’m not going against anything I said earlier in this thread but I really hope our players dont live on the past and believe the game is won based on previous stats…Italy is no joke…so if we want to come out on top I think we need to base our opinions on today’s rosters and playing styles…Italy isn’t looking at history I guarantee if they are they want to change it!
Italy hasn’t won any of their last 4 matches. Thrashed in 3 and a draw with one goal courtesy of bad spanish tactics and finishing. Never beaten croatia.Psychologically speaking I know where I’d be. Italy will play for a draw. If we score first italians are done. If they score first they will close shop and defend.
Here’s a nice little tidbit:
Italy are winless in their second match at their last five major tournaments.
Croatia have never lost a second match at any of the major tournaments they’ve played in.
@Martin my family is from Kvarner islands off Istria and has Italian influence for sure. We go to Istra Club and Rudar as well. We wear the chex, and we will be rooting for HRVATSKA! Go Vatreni!
@nizic rob is correct, but I would add that winning our group keeps us in Poland rather than the further trip in the tourney to way east Donetsk As the runner up so even more reason to root for the full 9 points
As for whooping Italia 3-0 etc, I would love nothing more (my wife is Italian and I have been talking trash for months leading up to this game, and years now about never beating us, etc)… The only problem with that scenario is Buffon.
I like the idea of keeping Mario on if we use Jela up front alone. Italy looked very weak at the back once asked to defend vs striker and wide.
I will say this, Italy v Spain might as well be called The Draw Heard Round The World because so much BS has been said on that game and Italys redemption. It was all on Spain and the false 9 BS that was weak in comparison to the last 15 when they had Navas and Torres on, even if Torres sucks and couldn’t score on his may chances. If Italy plays that shitty against us in defense, it will definitely taken a few more impressive saves and defending from Buffon to earn them anything from the match
@ Rob, thanks man, I know remember the interesting way they do it.
@JM I’m with you, but I think this group is really up in the air still. I’m a firm believer that the best defense is a strong offense. I think Ireland can go 1 – 1 with Spain and we spank Italy. But it’s just speculation.
Obviously if we win on Thursday, the game against Spain is mute. Our week point is going to be through balls. I suspect we’re going to allow Italy to come at us, because they need the points which I think is the wrong approach..
We need to GO AT THEM for 90 minutes.
agreed with the posts that we still have a tough time qualifying mathematically as we will probably need another win against either italy or spain. not easy tasks. i agreed that spain tying hurts us. I was hoping for them to win and to isolate the number 2 spot to just us and italy. now us, italy, and spain are all in the race. the main problem with this is we had a major advantage if spain was up 2-0 headed into our game and played their B team against us. Still a tough bout perhaps, but much more likely for us to be able to get points if we needed them. That obviously can no longer happen as spain will have to play it out to the end. 2 big positives for us: 1) Even if we lose vs italy, we can still win vs spain and advance! i hope we beat italy, and i think beating spain would be incredibly tough, but its nice to know that regardless of thursdays result, we still control our own destiny 2) Lets hope for an irish surprise. As i’ve mentioned before, the Irish hadn’t lost in 14 matches and many of those matches were against some decent opponents including a 2-1 victory over Italy. Furthermore, they hadn’t conceded more than 1 goal during that whole stretch. Despite being expected to lose, there is a pretty fair chance that Ireland can emerge from its next two games with a point somewhere in there. And also importantly, with their usual stingy defense (except against Croatia), they could ideally do us some goal differential favors by keeping it close even if they do lose. So there are some positives. That being said, it would be amazingly awesome if we can just beat Italy! I would love to just kick back and watch our B team play against Spain for fun on Monday
Winner of Group C faces runner up in group D, runner up in Group C faces winner in Group D.
For the semifinals, I believe there is a cross-over into the other Groups, meaning it is conceivable for Croatia to face someone from their own group (Group C) in a hypothetical final.
@Nizic, I think the winners of group C play the winners of group B and group A plays group D. This is just a guess.
what groups does group c play in quarters and so on? ?? -U-
Borrow Dukic’s mustache and you have all the ingredients for a Magnum PI episode.
@Hrvat thanks for the compliment. Like everything in life, it’s two things, constant training/practice and genetics.
Genetics is everything, without it you don’t a base to start from. Unfortunately having that same conversation concerning humans is considered racist and politically incorrect, which is a shame because it’s true.
@Mali HRVAT, his work is scent based. If you were to track a human being that escaped from a prison or something like that.
Back to the topic. The key to our success is going to be finding the weakness with their defense, and controlling the middle.
If you watch the Greece game, their two central defenders gave the Czechs the game. Way to far apart, lack of communication, just a slew of mistakes.
For us against Italy it’s going to be about pressure. We need to come at them like a Spider Monkey hopped up on Mountain Dew. I think that Webb knows he’s fucked us in the past and might actually ref the game honestly.
My gut tells me we’re going to score 3 on Italy and the fake Italian gets ejected.
How did u train her so well
@mishko that dog is sick
Can Enzo find truffles?
Just like I said right after the Spain/Italy draw before Croatia even played, BAD result for us. It makes a tie favour the Italians, not us (assuming they get a result against Ireland and we fail to do the same against Spain).
@ Mate, I think some of the posters on CSR like to stir the pot so don’t take shit like that personal.
My family are mostly country folk from Bjelovar-Bilogora County and I’ll tell you this much. If I can work it out, assuming the EU collapses so there’s not EU for Croatia to join, I’m going to move to Istra,
Start a Schutzhund club, maybe have some conversations with people in the technology industry because that’s what I do and spend the rest of my life living in God’s country.
And for those that don’t know what Schutzhund is, it’s protection, tracking and obediance for working dogs. Police dogs are generally washouts from Schutzhund.
Funny thing, there’s been an influx of Dobermans coming from Serbia that are said to be of “working” lines “champions” etc and they’re nothing close to that.
Here’s a training session with my boy Enzo. A lot of this is just obedience, but without obedience you don’t have control. But wouldn’t it be awesome to have just over the top amazing Dobermans coming out of Croatia.
Bevanda fueled predictions for the Italy game:
Howard Webb allows a physical game.
If Balotelli plays, he is carded for typical stuff that Webb cards for.
Croatia win 3-0.
Goals from Jelavic, Perisic and Srna.
@malihrvat I missed that to but that’s funny lol
I agree with your opinion most. As most of the time, you use some strong logic to come to these conclusions, i can dig it
To anyone that wrote Ireland will play backups….why? what do they gain by playing backups, no one getting hurt?…i know me personally, I would rather get hurt playing for my country, then have 2 months to heal in time for the start of the season….in no way is ireland sitting anybody, if anything they need tournament experience….a lot more likely occurrence is them being demoralized as all hell and playing poorly because of it…sitting damien duff, hells no
To whoever said that they don’t know who the istriani will be cheering for, will all do respect, piss off, I’ve met some of the best croatians i know in istra…sure, a lot of italians live there because of boundary shifts etc and i dont even want to talk about that trash lady with the cooking show on tv, i think it’s lidia right, anyway, forget her, she makes all other istriani look very very bad…..no istrian that does not directly trace their roots to italy will everrrrrrrr calm themselves italian, there’s no pride in that
I must have missed this collision during the game.
mali HRVAT, I just turned it on, I went to go let my dogs out of their kennels and they had already scored two goals. WOW.
BTW – Is this over the top as a costume? hehehehe
Just caught the Czech game. Holy through balls Batman.
The Greek defense looked like Swiss cheese. I think there were 3 through balls in the first 9 minutes.
true…..hell, anything to avoid being the third team in a 3-way tie.
@ Ziva Istina
One more thing, If Italy and Spain, both beat Ireland 2-0 (+2). Still not enough for them. As the rules favor Croatia’s 3-1 (+2) result, there is a preference for more goals scored.
The math can get more complicated than this. We will have a better idea of the permutations after the 2nd matches.
I’m not convinced Ireland will play backups. They are old and I think some will retire after this tournament possibly although they may wait to take a crack at World Cup 2014. I just don’t see Ireland laying down even if there playing for nothing. Will see I could be wrong, but let’s just focus on Thursday.
Blaszczykowski took over the spot as goal of the tournament so far today. I’m enjoying Poland right now and I hope they get 2nd place over the dull Czechs.
Hopefully Howard Webb dislikes the Italians more than Hrvati…
@ Ziva Istina
Ok let’s look at your scenario which results in Croatia, Italy, and Spain all having 5 pts. at the end of the 3rd match.
For Spain and Italy to be ahead of us, they have to beat Ireland by a goal differential of +3. This means scoring a minumum of 3 goals and conceding none. I highly doubt that both sides will achieve this. Besides Ireland learned their lesson from Croatia, they will be more organized against Spain and Italy.
All in all, I think Croatia will qualify. Even in a scenario in which the 3 sides have 5 pts.
A win vs Italy will not be easy to come by. I think Bilic will start the game a little more conservative and probably start with a 4231. It is really hard to drop either Jelavic or Mandzukic after last game so he may opt to play Mandzukic on the wing. I like the attacking ability we showed BUT when it comes down to it this game is important not lose! A win puts us through…yes! But a loss would be really deflating know its a MUST win vs Spain.
We have to play organized in the first 60 minutes vs Italy they will be on the attack far more and we have to counter them. We can pull all 3 points from Italy but we must worry about 1 point before anything. I don’t care if this isn’t the prettiest game I have watched as long as the job is done. I don’t care who plays who in the 3rd game because Italy is only thing that matters and the group is in our hands currently so WE control our destiny!
Ireland may play backups in game 3…that would make Italy favorites but lets not act like these players are not professional and are still trying to make names for themselves on the world stage. I won’t worry about things like this until we have to but I can’t name you a competitor who does not play to win.
We don’t have pressure on us even if we don’t go through while it may be disappointing we were nobodies favorites to make it through. We are playing as the underdog and I prefer that over being expected to go through. We did the important part 1st by beating Ireland convincingly now comes the hard part but its doable!
Like I said the other day I wouldn’t want anyone but Bilic coaching this team right now and I have all my faith in him.
Like the wolf said in Pulp Fiction – “let’s not start sucking each other’s dicks just yet”…
Long way to go. The Ireland win was a must just to keep us in the tournament.
They played well…but it was against Ireland. The bigger result of the day was Italy and Spain playing to a draw. That hurt our chances of advancing more than us beating Ireland helped our chances.
@ Nepoznat and Kruno
Where is everybody? Hiding. Waiting to exhale.
We know that anything can happen now. Italy is not as bad as everybody was saying, and Spain is not as good as everybody thinks (I know they missing players).There is chance that Croatia loose against Italy (I would hate that), and there is chance that we can beat Spain (I said it, now I feel better). Now, I hear my heart saying we can beat both of them. I see them go to the final and I, somehow, will go there to watch them.
Basically, my heart is taking over and I cannot be objective and give any intelligent predictions. That is the reason that everybody is quiet: we are all praying for a miracle and feel that it has a good chance to happen in the next two to three weeks.
@ jarac & ziva
i have to agree with jarac. i think even if spain beat the irish thursday, they will come out and play hard against italy. every nation has pride and they don’t want to be the team that goes home 0-3. even earning a draw against italy will be a “victory” of sorts for them. plus add in the trapattoni factor of wanting to ruin italy’s chances of advancing and i say the irish can give the italians a great game…..let’s hope
its a shame spain could not defeat italy. then, a draw thursday would have put us comfortably in the driver’s seat for advancing. now, anything less than a win and we will have to go out and chase a result against spain.
that being said, its going to be a damn good game.
congrats to the czechs…..not going to shed a tear, seeing the greeks flame out in the group stage.
There was so much negativity before the ireland gaem not on this site but from alot of croats were aying we will draw against irska and italija i spanjolska will crush us Bilic is an idiot Mandzukic Strinic Scifo were getting bashed i guess takvi smo when we are low we are low when we are high everything i good,
To the game we need to tweek some thing in regard to the back 4 and what will the back 4 and middle 4 be for the game, i think Bilic will change tactics depending on what Italija bring on thursday 3-5-2 or 4-4-2 All the bet to Us and i really hope we win i hate Italian Americans and Those Italians who come to Dalmatia on vacation in August and eat pizza and spageti those are tourists cheap bastards! FORZA HRVATSKA! Who will the people from the Istria Club in Astoria root for lol?
I think this may be the only time I am ever going to say this.
Howard Webb may prove to be good for us during this match.
Ante B – yup…totally…covjek je skroz otkacen…I’d like to spend 3 minutes inside his head…or maybe not! His time will run out if he continues to piss off everyone that has ever given him the benefit of the doubt!
Was that a Forrest Gump reference for Balotelli? Impressive.
@AllenOutraged – again…just my opinion.
I felt Italy were gifted something they didnt expect and therefore the result against Spain ended in Italy’s favor! Del Bosque should be hung by his nuts for that idiotic formation and the fact he started a player that has never been a pure out and out striker…he started a player in place that plays behind the striker…wtf was he thinking? when you play a team that is so defensively sound you need to instill fear into them…not give them a holiday!!!! Torres…regardless of his form would have and DID stretch out the Italian defenders….played the offside trap beautifully and that created a whole new level of uncertainty for the Italian defense…Spain didnt threaten any through balls or long passes before Torres came in…and trust me…its necessary to feel like it can happen at any moment…otherwise defending a team that wants to walk the ball into the net becomes a whole lot easier! Italy gained momentum from Spains lack of succes penetrating…and then Spain was caught second guessing and playing defensive for some long spells…and i think it was all because Del Bosque…very much like Redknapp has in this recent past…let their dementia infested ego’s get in front of reality! Coaches can seriously cripple and limit their teams by making poor judgement calls!
Italy is defenitely a dangerous team, but not as many teams in their past…so if we manage to hold them off with discipline I think we can expose them!
Congrats to the Czech Republic for today’s win over our qualifying nemesis, Greece.
Ya where is everyone?!?
@Mihovil & @Tom Franciskovic
That peresic quote is hilariouse. I would love to see him slam home a gorgeous goal against the I-talians. I would also like to see Rakatic or even Modric spank in a goal as well. They have it in them.
Can’t wait for Thursday!!!
I got a 2-2 tie right now. I think their goals that will be scored with plenty of weapons on both teams but average defenses. Italy winning 3-1 or 2-1 wouldn’t surprise me, they are the favorite. Italy looked really good against Spain so don’t think this is a cakewalk. I have faith in the Croats and hope they play the same lineup but Italy is going to be difficult.
I’ve calmed down from last night from the whole Diehl incident. I’m likely headed to Scorpios for the game because they usually treat me to a good time and the vibe is off the charts. I got my Corluka jersey in the mail with the current blue jerseys. I’m pumped even though we might be wearing the white jerseys vs Italy. Hopefully Corluka doesn’t fall asleep on free kicks in this game.
Italy – Cro tie….cro lose to spain in final match and italy tie ireland…..cro make it out of the group by fluke and win Euro 2012
Italy are very unpredictable…as much as i cant stand Balotelli, he can be a huge detriment and seld implode…or he can be a hero and score amazing goals…but, he’s like that box of chocolates…you never know what you’re gonna get. the Italians are and always have been a defensively strong and sound team…and this can be scary…not only can they frustrate their opponents but they can also gain momentum and feel inspired by their defensive achievements! Italy is a very emotional team that know how to find praise for each other from the smallest of achievements ie…a defender getting to a ball first…they create an atmosphere of accomplishment which can be infectious and bring the moral of their teammates up…
Croatia are a little different…I think we thrive on possession, attempts and chances…the more we make the more dangerous we become…and patience has become a benefit to us…an area I feel we’ve improved. our key to this game will be patience…defend and close the middle of the field…counter in numbers…and I believe our midfield and forwards are fully capable of creating enough to defeat Italy…BUT…defending with discipline will be a HUGE key to success…otherwise we will be exposed. we can’t afford to leave Cassano or any forward in a position of strength…one thing we did well against Ireland was defend in numbers…doubled up on some one on one situations (which impressed me a lot (ie…Rakitic helped Srna and Srna helped Corluka at certain parts of the game…in Croatia they say dupliraj igraca)…if we can be responsible first defensively…I think we will find our spots and get our chances offensively. Italy are definitely not Ireland…and they are tougher than nails defensively…so we need to outsmart them and battle hard…I expect the Italy defense to block as many shots as possible!
my prediction if we do play like I think we can:
3 – 1
@ Tom Franciskovic
“Perisic, if you’re going to score your first goal for the NT, Thursday would be great!”
Bravo! That would be sweet !!!!!!!!!
I think we can beat Italy! The NT needs to give Italy some respect for sure. Still, with some of that attacking swagger that the NT had against Ireland these guys can beat Italy. Perisic, if you’re going to score your first goal for the NT, Thursday would be great!
Ireland would not sit there player for the final game, this may be there last tournament for another 20 years, I’m sure they will want to win!
Just like Korea 2002, all we need is someone to score a Milan Rapaic and Ivica Olic goal (and no Boris Zivkovic-like moments.)
Now the calculating begins……assuming we draw with Italy that leaves us with 4 points and Italy with 2. We are all assuming Ireland will lose to Spain, leaving Spain with 4 points and IReland with 0.
The irish would have nothing to play for in their last match against Italy and I would assume the Irish would play some of their backups in order to give them minutes. Italy would be the clear favorite to beat Ireland and that would give them 5 points. We would need to tie Spain just to be alive and that would create a three way tie for the top spot.
Even a draw against italy and spain may not be enough to qualify to the next round….what i am worried is that all 3 teams will beat ireland…in the end, all 3 teams have 5 pointsn and goal difference makes a difference then.
My conclusion: we must aim for a win against italy
i think well get a draw vs the italians
Story from the Associated Press:
@jm……I’ve never been a big bulletin board material guy. I think going into a game and thiniking about what was said or using it as motivation can also backfire. I’ve seen plenty of examples of players losing their cool because they couldn’t control their emotions.
As for the Mandzukic-Hajduk story. It’s not that uncommon. You always here about clubs that missed out on a player after that player makes it. Who knows, the kid may have gone to Split and hajduk being hajduk, they would have screwed him up.
If I had a kid who was a top junior in Croatia I would keep him away from Hajduk. that pains me to say as a Hajduk fan, but recent history suggests Hajduk does not do a good job in developing its junior players.
where the hell is everyone? we have 2 days to go and the entire site has gone dead? wtf?
We should be able to win. Ijdemo dalje.
Balotelli isn’t that good do we Need watch out for pirlo mostly and not give him a free kick
We beat them and then lose 3 points by Uefa for racist behavior. I can see it now but if that happens we burn the city down over there.
We can beat them, we’ve done it before, I also predicted big win,that’s what we need to go right threw, I like same formation. Go right at them . With more shots from midfield , maybe bring DaSilva out a little earlier , if we could bring out Kalinic 75 would be even bettter -U-ljubuski 1941 za dom
on another note: here’s a story today in slobodna dalmacija about how hajduk wouldn’t even look at mandzukic as a kid when his mother was trying to get him to play for them
@ ziva . i don’t know. ultimately I don’t think it’s the big decider but I think mindset for a game can play a decent role. i think bullet board material can play a role
bullet board material has no impact on what takes place on the field.
i find it funny that 90 % of people voted for a win vs italy. seems like the optimism is riding high. i voted for a win as well, let’s hope its true. I hope the team hasn’t gotten too high off this win though. I like our mentality much more going with that underdog style like we went into the first game where most people were very down on croatia. i’m also hoping for no stupid bilic quotes along the lines of “italy is not as good as they used to be,” “croatia is much better than italy” etc etc. Although I like Bilic, I think he says some real stupid stuff sometimes that makes for great lockerroom headlines for the other team. Similar to when he started talking overly boastfully prior to the england game a few years ago and saying the english side is no longer as good or as english and similar to how he said the other day that Ireland is a very simple team. Not very talented. Not a top team. I don’t get why he does it. I don’t think it helps to motivate the other team. And I don’t think it’s helpful to our team to get them overly high on themselves
Also Martin Atkinson will be one of the refs at the goal line.
Hopefully the Luka to Man U rumor is really true as then Howard may favor us since he always seems in the bag for them. also our players have more exposure to him as we have had more of our guys playing in EPL than e Italian squad. So the personal relationships and knowledge of our players may ever do slightly influence his decisions in our favor
@mali hrvat…i can see that happening. the irish could very well get a point off of italy i believe. i guess its possible against spain but i say its highly unlikely.
as for our boys, i say we stay with the same starting line-up. italy, like ireland, is a team i believe we can attack and cause damage to. besides, i am a tad superstitious and believe that you don’t tinker with a winning formula! doing so is just asking for the new guy to make a blunder. i say same line-up and i say a win for the good guys!
off topic…..la kings! wow…..the cup goes to the beach!
We have Howard Fucking Webb as the ref
Prandelli is keeping the 3-5-2 according to what I read in the Italian press. must be because of the lack of defenders due to injury and scandal. Obviously another main reason is due to the strength of our midfield
We may likely switch tactics to our more normal counter attacking style of play and yes I can see the lineup being tweaked. Unfortunately I don’t know that we can sub in Tre Giallo (3 Yellow lol, thats what my wife’s relatives in Italia call Big Joe), even though he is more experienced than Schifo he’s slower than Gordon and we need some pace at the back to deal with Di Natale and the quickness of the small Italian side. That being said Schifo isn’t exactly blessed with pace (nor much else) but he is younger so slightly more athletic.
As for offense I agree we need to keep doing what got us here and how we won. We had the most goals in the air during qualifying and the most goals so far in the tourney in the air. Plus against Italy and spain we will have good height advantage over most players so that plus our counter game will play into our normal strengths. I would actually like to stay a possession and pressure team, at least against Italia that is
Does anyone see Ireland scraping a point out of Italy or Spain? If they get the right referee and some luck, I can see it happening.
Where is our referee from for the Italy game? I hope it doesn’t turn into a flop fest by both teams.