Croatia can qualify for its fourth straight European Championship with a win in Greece on Friday, and Croatia coach Slaven Bilic is making no secret of his ambitions in Athens.

''We have two qualifiers left, and it's our plan to return from Greece ... with our place secured at the tournament in Poland and Ukraine,'' Bilic said. ''We will be under less pressure because we don't have to chase victory.''

Croatia leads Group F with 19 points, one more than Greece. Both teams have two matches remaining. In Friday's other group match, Latvia hosts Malta.

But the qualifying spot has come down to Croatia and Greece, with the runner-up guaranteed of at least a playoff berth.

''It won't be easy at all,'' Bilic said of the Euro 2004 champions. ''Greece has been at a high level in European football for a decade and we are aware of their quality.''

Croatia overtook Greece as leader of the group after a 3-1 win in Israel on Sept. 6, while the Greeks were held to a 1-1 draw in Latvia and slipped a point behind.

Bilic left out Bayern Munich striker Ivica Olic, who has not fully recovered from a hip injury, while Bundesliga teammate Danijel Pranjic was dropped due to his recent lack of match time.

Bilic's biggest worry is the absence of captain Darijo Srna, who will miss the Greece game through suspension. Midfielder Josip Simunic is likely to replace him.

Rangers striker Nikica Jelavic has scored four goals in the Scottish Premier League this season, but has yet to find the net for his country in five qualifiers.

Croatia was held to a 0-0 draw by Greece in Zagreb last year, keeping the balanced record between the two countries.

Greece coach Fernando Santos is missing talented midfielder Sotiris Ninis, who is expected to be out for up to six months with a knee injury he picked up after scoring the winning away goal against Israel on Sept. 2.

Yiannis Fetfatzidis, an emerging talent and attacking midfielder, is also injured.

Last week, Santos recalled veteran strikers Angelos Charisteas and Fanis Gekas, after the latter publicly apologized for quitting the national team a year ago when he cited animosity with teammates.

Santos - unbeaten in the Euro 2012 qualifying - said he was has happy to have more experienced players for Friday's big game.

''We'd always said that the two qualifiers against Croatia would be our most important games, and this will definitely not be an easy game,'' the 56-year-old Portuguese coach said. ''But the only result we are looking for is a win. We don't want to place our fate in Croatia's hands in the last game.''

Santos also expressed confidence in Celtic striker Georgios Samaras, who has been mired in a scoring drought for his club and country.

''Samaras has never really displayed all the talent he has. It would be good to see this happen because he is a gifted player,'' Santos said. ''This would be a great moment for Samaras to show us what he's got. He has goals saved up that he hasn't scored.''

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