Football

Croatia target knockout stages in tough World Cup group

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Squad

Goalkeepers: Stipe Pletikosa (Rostov), Danijel Subasic (Monaco), Oliver Zelenika (Dinamo Zagreb)

Defenders: Darijo Srna (Shakhtar Donetsk), Dejan Lovren (Southampton), Vedran Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow), Gordon Schildenfeld, Danijel Pranjic (both Panathinaikos), Domagoj Vida (Dynamo Kiev), Sime Vrsaljko (Genoa)

Midfielders: Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Ivan Rakitic (Sevilla), Ognjen Vukojevic (Dynamo Kiev), Ivan Perisic (Wolfsburg), Mateo Kovacic (Inter Milan), Marcelo Brozovic (Dinamo Zagreb), Sammir (Getafe), Ivan Mocinic (Rijeka)

Forwards: Mario Mandzukic (Bayern Munich), Ivica Olic (Wolfsburg), Eduardo (Shakhtar Donetsk), Nikica Jelavic (Hull City), Ante Rebic (Fiorentina)

Fixtures

12th June v Brasil (Sao Paulo)

17th June v Cameroon (Manaus)

23rd June v Mexico

Strengths

Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic provide a formidable playmaking force for Mario Mandzukic. The Bayern Munich forward has been one of the best strikers in Europe the past couple of year, he can press to win the ball back and has a tremendous aerial ability.

Weaknesses

The defence can be slow and sloppy so they will aim to win the ball high up the pitch to switch on the counter attack. Croatia do not posses much of a wide threat. The boss Niko Kovac is inexperienced but is doing reasonably well since taking the reigns from Igor Stimac.

Key Player

Luka Modric. The little schemer has been the beating heart of the Real Madrid midfield this season. If he is allowed the space and time to dictate the game, Croatia could progress from the group stages.

Prediction

The knockout stage is a realistic target as runners up to Brasil. The last 16 could provide a strong test in the form of the winners of Group B, which could be Spain or Netherlands.

Odds

150/1

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Topics:
World Cup
Football
Internationals

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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