Austria vs Croatia

Vienna, Austria 05.23.2006

Although Austria did not qualify for the FIFA World Cup in Germany, the National Team is still playing friendly matches to give continuity to the National squad and give opportunity to young players to demonstrate their skills in the international scenario.

One of those friendly matches will take place on May 23rd when they face Croatia in home soil, as part of the programmed FIFA dates for the teams to prepare for the World Cup.

Austria was in group 6 of the European zone, a very hard group that counted with the presence of England and Poland, which were the two, teams that qualified to Germany 2006.

Austria has a great canter of young players that given the continuity needed might accomplish great things in the future for their country.

Now other story awaits for Croatia a team that is qualified to the World Cup and will use this match up against Austria to give the final tune up to their squad before the World Cup Starts.

This will be their third successive appearance to the final stage of the tournament since they are an independent country. Croatia finished on top of the qualifying round in group 8 from the Europe zone.

In teams news Croatia's coach Zlatko Kranjcar announced on Friday an expected 24-man squad for the FIFA World Cup in Germany next month where he said he hoped his team would reach the second round at least.
"I earlier said I would pick the players who carried the burden of qualifying so I've had a pretty clear picture of who to choose for some time," Kranjcar told a news conference.
In the group stage Croatia faces Brazil, Australia and Japan and Kranjcar said he saw his team progressing. "I can feel a great team spirit in the squad and I think we're well capable of doing it," he said. As we see the Croatian team is very motivated toward the start of the World Cup and is a team that can give big surprises if they keep playing like they did in the qualifying round.

Most sports books will have lines for these friendly matches that might not be as exciting as the World Cup matches but still is a chance for the sports betting fans to track the progress of their favorite teams.

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. Contributing Writer . .


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