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from yahoo!
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Goalkeeper Drazen Ladic plays his last game for Croatia against France on Sunday and revenge for a bitter World Cup defeat will be uppermost in his mind.

France beat Croatia in the semifinals of the 1998 World Cup and added salt to the wound by beating them 3-0 in another friendly last year.

``But that defeat was a mishap,'' said Arsenal's French midfielder Emmanuel Petit. ``And I'm sure that Sunday it's going to be a totally different match...It could be a very tough and good game.''

His caution is shared by many in the squad, including coach Roger Lemerre.

``It's a warm-up game and we must take it as such,'' Lemerre said. ``But we must be wary even though the Croats did not make it to the Euro finals.''

Croatian coach Miroslav Blazevic agreed. ``It is not going to be easy for us, but neither is it for them. It is the biggest possible challenge ahead of the World Cup qualifications,'' he said.

The French squad should be complete for the match in Zagreb although striker Nicolas Anelka who helped Real Madrid to Eurpean Cup victory on Wednesday is almost certain to be rested.

Anelka's absence will leave room for Monaco's David Trezeguet up front. He could start alongside former team mate Thierry Henry as Bordeaux's Christophe Dugarry is still recovering from a thigh injury.

Lemerre is also likely to leave out sweeper Laurent Blanc and defender Lilian Thuram, who took part in Italian play-off matches on Tuesday.

Chelsea's Frank Leboeuf and Marcel Desailly should start in central defence, while Thuram could be replaced by AS Roma's Vincent Candel, back after a lay-off through injury.

``The match in Zagreb is part of a wider schedule including a game in Morocco next month, which must help me have a good picture of the players' shape before the European championship,'' Lemerre said.

CROATIA WITH A FACE LIFT

Blazevic has started building a new team after dismal performances in the Euro qualifications and the departure of captain and playmaker Zvonimir Boban.

Another key figure in the team that made it to the final stages of two big competitions in two years, 37-year old Dinamo Zagreb goalkeeper Drazen Ladic, will play his last game for the national squad before making way for young Zeljko Pavlovic.

Blazevic has been increasingly relying on the Kovac brothers -- midfielder Niko and defender Robert -- and another Germany-based player, Robert Zivkovic, who added some Bundesliga speed and toughness to an otherwise technically refined team.

Zivkovic is out through injury but the rest of the team is fit, including Inter Milan defender Dario Simic. Simic missed friendlies against Spain and Germany, which Croatia managed to draw to somewhat restore their shaken self-confidence.

Davor Suker and Alen Boksic will team up in the attack, with Aljosa Asanovic and Parma's Mario Stanic in support roles.

Probable teams:

Croatia - Drazen Ladic (Zeljko Pavlovic); Igor Stimac, Dario Simic, Robert Kovac; Zvonimir Soldo, Niko Kovac, Robert Jarni, Aljosa Asanovic, Mario Stanic; Davor Suker, Alen Boksic.

France - Fabien Barthez; Vincent Candela, Frank Leboeuf, Marcel Desailly, Bixente Lizarazu; Didier Deschamps, Patrick Vieira, Emmanuel Petit, Zinedine Zidane, Thierry Henry, David Trezeguet.

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without boban, i doubt that croatia can make a revenge!
i think France will win!!!
 
D

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I actually think that Croatia isn't that motivated for this game. The players have just finished a hard season, they didn't qualify for Euro 2000, and now have to play a team they lost to in the WC and who did qualify for Euro 2000.

Maybe I'm wrong, but however motivated or un-motivated the Croatian players are, I think France will win, they have such a strong team.
 

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We won 2-0 in a very convincing prestation!
WOW!
ZIdane rocked like usual and if they play like that during the Euro, well you can say for sure that they will be the new European Champions after being the World Champions!
Simply the best!

Allez les Bleus!

Forza Magico Milan!
Allez Les Bleus!

The world will be...Bleu Blanc Rouge...again!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
arrgghh, you frenchmen!!! ;)
i hope they can keep up their good performace til the euro and i want to see how good they are in meeting holland and germany!
 

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Germany will be a REAL BIG TIME JOKE!And they won't even get past the first round as Portugal and Roumania will be the teams going through that group.
And Holland we'll show them why are the World Champion tough it will be a tought game

Forza Magico Milan!
Hala Madrid!
Allez Les Bleus!
Arriba Espana!

The World will be...Rossonero...again!
The world will be...Bleu Blanc Rouge...Again!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
never underestimate the power of germany!
they always make a good performance when people think they are nothing...
 

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I know Bodat and perfectly agree with you on that!NEVER UNDERESTIMATE GERMANY!WE French have paid twice BIG TIME that error in the WC86 and 82 when we were largely superior but made the mistake of underestimating them and they beat us!
But i can tell you Bodat and others:NOT THIS TIME MY FRIEND!


Forza Magico Milan!
Hala Madrid!
Allez Les Bleus!
Arriba Espana!

The world will be...Bleu Blanc Rouge...once more!
 
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So sure you are France will win, so sure you are Germany will fail miserably, only time will tell.

Mind you, France are in a very tough group, and we know the Dutch are just as talented as they are, they have home advantage, and with Bergkamp in good shape, the Dutch may have the upper hand over France.

The Czech Republic are no easy beats either, the meeting between them and France should eventually decide who will finish 2nd in the group. And Denmark, their coach sees them as darkhorses, his predicition may even be right.

Germany's mentality hasn't changed, its still stronger than that of other teams. The talents is there to go far, and with the inclusion of Hassler, might just have been the right move. NEVER write-off Germany. They will always be among the favourites, when or where ever a Euro or WC may be held.
Bet against them at your peril.
 

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Yeah, Germany, what a joke, they couldn't even win the Swiss in Germany...

Right, right, the Germans are really strong, the way they were in WC 98 I presume hahahahaha

Bet on Germany, a sure way to lose your money!!!

During a survey conducted in Germany about a month ago, only the 16% (or round there) of the Germans thought their team have a chance for Euro 2000! Let's see if they can pass Portugal and Romania at the Group stage first...
 
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