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Turkey poised to settle old score with Croatia

Croatia and Turkey go head-to-head for the third time at a UEFA European Championship finals, eight years after an unforgettable knockout encounter in Basel, Switzerland.

Background: Turkey v Croatia ©Getty Images

Memories of a dramatic 2008 quarter-final and 2012 play-off tie will come flooding back for fans of Croatia and Turkey when the teams meet in their UEFA EURO 2016 Group D opener.

Previous meetings
• Turkey have yet to defeat Croatia in regulation or extra time: W0 D4 L2.

• Croatia and Turkey made their UEFA European Championship finals debut at EURO '96 and were paired in the opening round of games. Croatia won the match in Nottingham 1-0 with a late breakaway goal from Goran Vlaović. Then, as now, Fatih Terim was Turkey's coach.

• They met again in Vienna in an eventful UEFA EURO 2008 quarter-final, Turkey going through on penalties after a 1-1 draw in which both sides scored late in extra time. Semih Şentürk cancelled out Ivan Klasnić's 119th-minute strike to force the shoot-out.

• Croatia gained some revenge by defeating Turkey 3-0 away – and by the same aggregate score – in the play-offs for UEFA EURO 2012. Vedran Ćorluka, Mario Mandžukić and Ivica Olić scored the goals.

• The nations have been drawn together in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying competition.

Turkey's best qualifying goals

EURO facts – Turkey
• Turkey reached the quarter-finals of UEFA EURO 2000 and the last four of UEFA EURO 2008 but missed out on the 2004 and 2012 tournaments. Thus, they have advanced to the knockout phase in their last two appearances.

• That 2008 semi-final against Germany in Basel, Switzerland, matched Turkey's greatest international achievement, Şenol Güneş's side having received bronze medals at the 2002 FIFA World Cup after defeating co-hosts South Korea in the third-place play-off.

• Turkey qualified as the best third-placed team in the nine UEFA EURO 2016 groups, taking 18 points with the record W5 D3 L2.

• Turkey arrive at the finals unbeaten in eight competitive games (W5 D3) and having not conceded in their last three matches.

• Turkey lost 4-0 to France in a friendly on their only previous visit to the Parc des Princes, in October 1996.

The pick of Croatia's qualifying campaign

EURO facts – Croatia
• This is Croatia's fifth EURO final tournament – they have failed to qualify only once since independence, for UEFA EURO 2000, and this is their fourth successive finals. They have twice reached the last eight and twice bowed out at the group stage.

• Croatia's greatest achievement in international football to date is picking up a bronze medal at the 1998 FIFA World Cup – the last major tournament to be staged in France.

• Croatia's record in qualifying was W6 D3 L1. They come into the finals having won both of their competitive fixtures under coach Ante Čačić, who replaced Niko Kovač in September 2015.

Coach and player links
• Dario Srna has played in four of Croatia's six games against Turkey and won the 2009 UEFA Cup with Shakhtar Donetsk at the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium in Istanbul, his side overcoming Werder Bremen 2-1 after extra time at the home of Fenerbahçe.

• Croatia defender Gordon Schildenfeld made nine league appearances for Turkish club Beşiktaş in 2008.

• Play together:
Arda Turan (Turkey) and Ivan Rakitić (Croatia) – Barcelona
Hakan Çalhanoğlu (Turkey) and Tin Jedvaj (Croatia) – Bayer Leverkusen

• Have played together:
Hakan Çalhanoğlu (Turkey) and Milan Badelj (Croatia) – Hamburg, 2013–14

Olcay Şahan (Turkey) and Gordon Schildenfeld (Croatia) – Duisburg, 2008–09

Arda Turan (Turkey) and Mario Mandžukić (Croatia) – Atlético Madrid, 2014–15