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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 November 2007, 12:19 GMT
Suker backs England to go through
By David Ornstein

Davor Suker
Suker was part of the only previous Croatia team to play at Wembley
England v Croatia
Wembley, London
Wednesday 21 November
Kick-off: 2000 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One & BBC Radio 5 Live (commentary on BBC Sport website for UK users only); Coverage on BBC Sport website

Former Croatia striker Davor Suker is convinced England will gain the point they need to qualify for Euro 2008.

Steve McClaren's men must avoid defeat against already-qualified Croatia at Wembley on Wednesday to book their place at next summer's finals.

Suker, Croatia's all-time record goalscorer, insists his compatriots will play to win but that England will join them in Austria and Switzerland.

"Croatia and England will make it to the championship," he told BBC Sport.

"It's not easy to beat England at Wembley. They've been a little bit up and down this year but that's normal when you have a lot of changes in the dressing room and on the pitch.


"I think England will qualify and be very strong at the finals in Austria and Switzerland."

Croatia sit top of group E on 26 points and with qualification guaranteed following Russia's defeat in Israel.

Slaven Bilic's side can be ousted from top spot if England beat them by two clear goals but otherwise there is nothing riding on the match for them.

Suker, nonetheless, rejects the idea that Croatia will play for a draw.

"No one in the world would play for a draw, no one," he said. "Everyone will go out to win the game, it's in their nature.

"Of course a draw is easy for England and easy for Croatia but I think we will have a beautiful game and if it happens to be a draw that's good for both sides."

As players you know it's at Wembley. When you know it's at Wembley you give 130%

Ex-Croatia striker Davor Suker

Suker, 39, was a member of the Croatia team on their only previous visit to Wembley - a 0-0 draw at the old stadium in 1996 - and the ex-Arsenal forward predicts that the current crop of players will be galvanised by the occasion.

"It's a very important game for us. It's not about the points - it's about the history," he said. "All sportsmen like to play at Wembley, it's a historic stadium.

"I remember my first time playing at Wembley, It's always a huge game.

"This is what may make it difficult for England, everyone will give 20-30% more. As players you know it's at Wembley. When you know it's at Wembley you give 130%.

"I would pay my money just to go and see the pitch, the beautiful stadium. For many it's not possible.

"Many big, big players never touch Wembley Stadium old or new. In football you have to work hard but this is the game to enjoy."

Arsenal's Eduardo da Silva is set to lead Croatia's attack and Suker pinpoints the 24-year-old as the key weapon in their armoury.

Eduardo netted Croatia's second against England at the Maximir Stadion in October 2006 and is the second top scorer in qualifying with 10 goals, three behind David Healy.

Croatia will look to counter-attack whenever possible and bombard England from set-pieces, according to Suker.

He also believes the game will be won and lost in "the midfield war", with Portsmouth's Niko Kranjcar providing the attacking impetus.

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