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Page last updated at 22:40 GMT, Tuesday, 9 September 2008 23:40 UK

Bilic belief in upsetting England

WORLD CUP 2010 QUALIFYING GROUP SIX
Croatia v England Venue: Maksimir Stadium, Zagreb Date: Wednesday, 10 September Kick-off: 2000 BST Coverage: Setanta Sports 1 (highlights free to air on Setanta Sports 1) and live on BBC Radio 5 Live & online

Slaven Bilic
Bilic's side beat Kazakhstan 3-0 in their World Cup qualifying opener

Croatia coach Slaven Bilic is confident his side can maintain their impressive record against England when they meet in Wednesday's World Cup qualifier.

England lost twice to Croatia during the Euro 2008 qualifiers, two defeats that contributed to their failure to reach last summer's finals.

"They have world-class players, who have been key for their clubs week-in and week-out for 10 years," said Bilic.

"It's going to be hard and we're full of respect - but we're very confident."

We are full of respect for this England team

Croatia coach Slaven Bilic
And Bilic insists his team, now ranked as the fifth best team in the world, will relish the pressure they will be under at the Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb.

He also suggested England boss Fabio Capello is trying to lure Croatia's players into a false sense of security similar to the tactic the Italian used when he masterminded AC Milan's 4-0 win over Barcelona in the 1994 European Cup final.

PHIL MCNULTY BLOG
"There is more expectation and pressure on us this time," added Bilic. "We are always under pressure. We don't want to run away from this pressure.

"We are Croatia and, of course, you are under pressure. If you want to be in the top five or so in the world rankings and compete with the best and qualify for the World Cup, you have to cope with the pressure.

"The way England are approaching this game is that we are favourites and that England don't stand a chance and it reminds me of the 1994 European Cup final, Barcelona v Milan.

"Barcelona had a lot of star players and Capello was in charge of Milan and two weeks before everyone was saying Barcelona were going to kill them - and it finished 4-0 for AC Milan.

"I don't know if Barcelona were approaching that game like it was a jolly-up and was too easy but we are not like that. We are full of respect for this England team."


see also
Defoe happy to settle for a draw
09 Sep 08 |  Internationals
Capello angry with Cole & Rooney
07 Sep 08 |  Internationals
England role frustrates Gerrard
07 Sep 08 |  Internationals
England must raise game in Zagreb
07 Sep 08 |  Internationals
Andorra coach hits out at Capello
07 Sep 08 |  Internationals
Ferdinand fit for Croatia clash
09 Sep 08 |  Internationals
Andorra 0-2 England
06 Sep 08 |  Internationals
Pick your England XI
31 Aug 07 |  Internationals
England 2-3 Croatia
21 Nov 07 |  Internationals
Croatia 2-0 England
11 Oct 06 |  Internationals


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