World Cup Russia 2018: Croatia – Preview, Squad, and Potential Line-Up
Croatia, a sleeping European giant. Even if the team has been revered as one of the best teams in Europe, the team has not seen much success. Since the liberation from Yugoslavia in the 1990’s, the team has qualified for four world cups, winning bronze in 1998. Even if a bronze medal is a good achievement for a team that is viewed as one of the better teams in Europe, perhaps you could demand more.
The Balkan country ended up in perhaps the most difficult group in the tournament or the group of death. Together with Argentina, Iceland, and Nigeria, the team is going to battle for the two spots that would take them into the knock-out phase. What are the chances for the team to steal one of those spots?
They are rather good actually. Croatia should be seen as favorites in the group after Argentina. Even if Iceland had an amazing run in the 2016 Euros and came in front of Croatia in the qualifying group, the experience possessed by many of the Croatian should be the decisive denominator. Nigeria is an interesting team but competing with these nations, they will not have a chance. Croatia has players like Modric, Rakitic, Perisic, Mandzukic, Kovacic, and Subasic. These are all star players in the top tiers in Europe. Together with the experience of the players mentioned above, the team included many young talented players. Hopefully, some of these players will get the opportunity to play, it would be really interesting to see.
For Croatia, the last game of the group will be critical, the game against Iceland. Most likely, these are the two teams that will be fighting for the second place and Croatia will snatch it.
Croatia to the knock-out stages!
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Below you can find Croatia’s preliminary 25-man squad, the official squad will be released on June 4th:
Danijel Subasic, Lovre Kalinic, Dominik Livakovic
Vedran Corluka, Domagoj Vida, Ivan Strinic, Dejan Lovren, Sime Vrsaljko, Josip Pivaric, Tin Jedvaj, Matej Mitrovic, Duje Caleta-Car, Borna Sosa
Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Mateo Kovacic, Milan Badelj, Marcelo Brozovic, Filip Bradaric
Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Perisic, Nikola Kalinic, Andrej Kramaric, Marko Pjaca, Ante Rebic
Croatia vs Nigeria – 16/06/2018 – 20.00 GMT
Argentina vs Croatia – 21/06/2018 – 19.00 GMT
Croatia vs Iceland – 26/06/2018 – 19.00 GMT
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2,75 Croatia to win group D
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2,25 Croatia not to qualify from group D
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