Italy defied the doubters with an impressive display against world and European champions Spain, but defeating Croatia could be a tall order for Cesare Prandelli's side. The Azzurri have never beaten the Croats and are at a significant height disadvantage - Slaven Bilic's men are the tallest side at Euro 2012 with an average height of 6ft 1in (186cm).
The vertically-challenged Italians are the joint-third smallest squad (behind Spain & France), and possess the tournament's tiniest player - 5ft 5in Sebastian Giovinco, dubbed the "Atomic Ant" in Italy.
The Azzurri's three-man defence coped well with striker-less Spain, but a very different test awaits in Poznan. Croatia's aerial threat was clearly evident in their 3-1 win against Ireland, when Mario Mandzukic headed in two of their three goals, with strike partner Nikica Jelavic also causing problems. The Irish should have been forewarned - 43% of Croatia's qualifying goals were headers (nine of 23), the highest percentage of any side that made it to Euro 2012.
While dealing with the heavy artillery is critical for Italy, the most telling contest could be the duel between midfield generals Luka Modric and Andrea Pirlo.
Modric has appeared jaded at times for Tottenham in recent months, but he looked sharp against Ireland, and even managed to earn a booking for an uncharacteristically meaty challenge. Pirlo, seemingly reinvigorated by a move to Juventus, rolled back the years against Spain, beautifully creating the opening goal with a slaloming run and slide-rule pass for Antonio Di Natale.
In the build-up to their opener the Azzurri were able to take heart from their excellent record against Spain, who have not beaten them in a competitive game since 1920 (without the aid of penalties). But it's a different story against their Adriatic neighbours, who are unbeaten in five previous meetings, including Bilic's first match as Croatia coach, a 2-0 win in 2006.
Prandelli deserves credit for his bold decision-making against Spain, when he used an untested 3-5-2 formation, deploying Daniele De Rossi as a makeshift centre-back and handing left-wing back Emanuele Giaccherini, previously uncapped, a baptism of fire.
The Italians are slow starters, or so the cliché goes, but actually it's at this stage where they tend to come unstuck. They have failed to win their second group match at the last five major tournaments (D4, L1), including defeat to Croatia at the 2002 World Cup. Another Croatian win would guarantee their place in the quarter-finals.