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After breaking new ground in qualifying for their first UEFA European Championship finals, Poland will go into their opening Group B game against Germany seeking another first in the form of a long-awaited victory against their neighbours.
• Germany will doubtless have other ideas, though, as they look to improve on their third-place finish at the 2006 FIFA World Cup – and a record of eleven wins and four draws from the countries' 15 past meetings certainly augurs well for Joachim Löw's side.
• Germany got the better of Poland when the teams met at the group stage of the World Cup although they left it late to record a 1-0 win in Dortmund, substitute Oliver Neuville scoring a minute into added time at the end of the game.
• The teams for that meeting on 14 June 2006 were:
Germany: Jens Lehmann, Arne Friedrich (David Odonkor 63), Per Mertesacker, Christoph Metzelder, Philipp Lahm, Bernd Schneider, Torsten Frings, Michael Ballack, Bastian Schweinsteiger (Tim Borowski 77), Miroslav Klose, Lukas Podolski (Oliver Neuville 71).
Poland: Artur Boruc, Jacek Bąk, Marcin Baszczyński, Bartosz Bosacki, Michał Żewłakow (Dariusz Dudka 83), Arkadiusz Radomski, Radosław Sobolewski, Ireneusz Jeleń (Pawel Brozek 90), Maciej Żurawski, Jacek Krzynówek (Mariusz Lewandowski 77), Euzebiusz Smolarek.
• The sides' two other encounters at major tournaments came in the 1970s. West Germany's 1-0 win against Poland in the second group stage of the 1974 World Cup took them into the final at the Poles' expense. The countries met again in the first round at Argentina 1978 where a goalless draw helped both into the second round.
• Poland reached UEFA EURO 2008™ as winners of Group A with a record of eight wins, four draws and two defeats from 14 matches. They qualified with a game to spare by beating Belgium 2-0 in Chorzow on 17 November through two Smolarek goals.
• Germany became the first team to qualify for UEFA EURO 2008™ when they drew 0-0 in the Republic of Ireland on 13 October last year. They eventually finished runners-up in Group D behind the Czech Republic, having recorded eight wins, three draws and just one defeat.
• In their last major tournament, Germany took third place at the 2006 World Cup on home soil. Poland fell at the first hurdle, however, finishing third in their group behind the Germans and Ecuador.
• Germany's most recent UEFA European Championship finals appearance brought a disappointing first-round exit in Portugal four years ago following draws with the Netherlands and Latvia and defeat by the Czech Republic.
• Germany were European champions last in 1996 having earlier lifted the continental crown as West Germany in 1972 and 1980. Runners-up in 1976 and 1992, they have appeared in every edition of the UEFA European Championship since the inception of the final round in 1980.
• This is Joachim Low's first tournament as Germany coach although he was assistant to Jürgen Klinsmann during the 2006 World Cup.
• Like Poland, coach Leo Beenhakker has never been to a UEFA European Championship before although he oversaw the World Cup campaigns of the Netherlands in 1990 and Trinidad & Tobago in 2006.
• Beenhakker's Netherlands team were eliminated by Germany at Italia '90, going down 2-1 in the second round.
• Germany trio Miroslav Klose, Lukas Podolski and Piotr Trochowski were all born in Poland and strikers Klose and Podolski have been known to communicate in Polish during matches.
• This fixture pits against each other a large number of club colleagues present and past. Germany's Simon Rolfes and Clemens Fritz both played with Poland's Jacek Krzynówek during his spell at Bayer 04 Leverkusen.
• Poland's Smolarek partnered David Odonkor in the BV Borussia Dortmund attack between 2004 and 2006, and also played alongside defender Metzelder.
• Poland's late call-up Łukasz Piszczek plays with Arne Friedrich at Hertha BSC Berlin, and Friedrich used to play alongside Tomasz Kuszczak. Kamil Kosowski and Klose played together at 1. FC Kaiserslautern.
• This is the 13th edition of the UEFA European Championship and the eighth edition that features a final tournament with a group phase.
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