Factbox: Italy v Croatia

Reuters, Thursday 14 Jun 2012

Facts and figures ahead of Thursday's Euro 2012 Group C match between Italy and Croatia at Poznan (1600 GMT)

* Italy's only victory over Croatia came in a long-forgotten wartime international in 1942. Since the break-up of Yugoslavia, Italy have failed to beat the Croatians in five matches, three of them competitive internationals.                    

* Antonio Di Natale's goal for Italy in the 1-1 draw with Spain in the opening game of Group C was the first for his country in almost two years. Di Natale, top scorer in Serie A in two of the last three seasons, last scored for Italy against Slovakia in their last World Cup group game in South Africa.

 * Italy's very creditable draw with Spain cannot mask the fact they have not won any of their last five matches at major, tournaments. After losing on penalties to Spain in the Euro 2008 quarter-finals, Italy surprisingly failed to win any of their three group games at the World Cup against relatively modest opponents in Paraguay, New Zealand and Slovakia.

* Croatia have not lost in regulation time in any of their last seven matches at major tournaments. They missed the 2010 World Cup but topped their group with three wins out of three at Euro 2008 and lost only on penalties to Turkey in the quarter-finals. At the 2006 World Cup finals, they lost their opening match to Brazil but followed with draws against Japan and Australia.

* Since losing 5-1 to England in a World Cup qualifier in September 2009, Croatia have lost a mere three of their 28 international matches.

* Croatia striker Nikica Jelavic scored his first goal in a competitive match for Croatia in the 3-1 win over Ireland on Sunday and his first for his country in almost two years.

Previous meetings:

5/04/42 Fr Italy 4 Croatia 0 Genoa            

16/11/94 ECQ Italy 1 Croatia 2 Palermo  

8/10/95 ECQ Croatia 1 Italy 1 Split             

28/04/99 Fr Croatia 0 Italy 0 Zagreb          

8/06/02 WCF Croatia 2 Italy 1 Ibaraki       

16/08/06 Fr Italy   0 Croatia 2 Livorno       

Head to Head

Played: 6

Croatia 3 wins           

Italy   1 win                

Draws   2

Key: WCF = World Cup finals, ECQ = European Championship qualifier,Fr = Friendly

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