Spain are particularly
wary of forward Mario Mandzukic and playmaker Luka Modric as
they prepare for Monday's Group C decider against Croatia, an
assistant to coach Vicente del Bosque said on Friday.
Mandzukic is the tournament's joint top-scorer with three
goals and Modric sparkled in the Croats' 3-1 win over Ireland in
their opening game and the 1-1 comeback draw with Italy.
"Croatia are playing very well and many of their fans have
come to Poland and that gives them a lift that makes them more
dangerous," Del Bosque's assistant Paco Jimenez said on the
Spanish football federation (RFEF) website.
"They have good players like Modric and Mandzukic and in
defence it has worked out well for them putting [Vedran] Corluka
in central defence," added Jimenez, who puts together the short
films of opponents that the players study before matches.
"Modric has impressed me a great deal, he is a fantastic
footballer and Mandzukic is playing very well.
"He gets up well [to head the ball] he fights for everything
and we are going to have trouble controlling him effectively."
Holders Spain and Croatia top the group on four points ahead
of Italy on two and eliminated Ireland on none.
Even if the Italians beat the Irish they would be knocked
out as long as the other game is a scoring draw of two goals
each or more.
Jimenez said he was spending Friday collating all the
information he could find on Croatia to present to Del Bosque
and the coach's number two Toni Grande.
"I used to do that at Real Madrid, I currently do it for the
national team and after the tournament I will retire," he added.
"Now we enter all the data into the computer so we can
access all the information together, because that makes things a
bit faster now."
Bayern fans snap up 45,000 tickets to watch Champions League final live at Allianz Arena
When Sir Alex wakes up on Monday morning without team to manage, he will not be putting his feet up
Paris Saint-Germain midfielder announces he will be retiring at the end of the current season
Record goal-scorer signs a one-year contract extension with Europa League winners Chelsea
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010