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Preview: Austria – Poland

SoccerNews in European Championships 11 Jun 2008

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After losing their opening matches at Euro 2008, both co-hosts Austria and Poland will be more than motivated to show a better display in their second game.

Austria were defeated by Croatia thanks to an early spot kick and Poland couldn’t compete with the much stronger Germans.

The Austrians will probably start with Roland Linz. The striker declared himself fit in time after damaging his right ankle ligaments against Croatia.

Emanuel Pogatetz didn’t get out of that match unhurt either, but has already recovered from bruising to his left foot.

Poland will not be able to field their captain, Maciej Zurawski. The skipper injured his thigh muscle and will surely miss out on Poland’s remaining matches in the group phase.

Mariusz Lewandowski, who injured his ankle, should be ready to face the Austrians.

Poland coach Leo Beenhakker told his team to be more focused after a disappointing display against Germany:

“The only way to reduce personal mistakes is to go back to the training ground and for each player to bring his personal mistakes from 30 to 20 to ten. If you make five mistakes in a match you are a top team, if you make 50 in a match you are a bad team, and that’s what football is about.

“The Germany game is history now and we cannot change the result; we can only learn from the mistakes we made and reduce the amount of mistakes we will make against Austria.”

The two teams last met in the qualification for the 2006 World Cup, in which Poland won both matches.

Englishman Howard Webb will be the match’s referee, helped by Darren Cann and Michael Mullarkey as linesmen and Hungarian Viktor Kassai as fourth official.

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