World Cup 2018 Predictions Group D – Croatia
Since introducing themselves at the 1998 World Cup as one of the brightest emerging prospects on the European scene, Croatia have seemingly flattered to deceive at every subsequent World Cup tournament with little to show for their efforts.
But could the 2018 World Cup in Russia provide some renewed fortunes for Zlatko Dalic’s side? Will the likes of Modric and Rakitic really come to the forefront this summer? And just how far can Croatia go with the pressure likely to mount among their opening Group D fixtures?
Will Croatia qualify from Group D?
Croatia have every reason to remain confident ahead of their upcoming group-stage ties. Whilst Group D could prove a particularly tough test for each of the three nations operating alongside Croatia this summer, there is no reason why this team shouldn’t be aiming to book a place among the knock-out stages of the competition.
With some of Europe’s most widely recognised and respected stars ready and raring to go for Zlatko Dalic’s side, Croatia should be able to rely upon enough attacking intent to see them successfully advance from Group D. Their slightly cumbersome back-line may become something of a minor concern as the tournament progresses however.
Who will be Croatia’s star man at the World Cup?
It is difficult to look past Real Madrid’s Luka Modric when it comes to carefully selecting Croatia’s proposed star man for the 2018 World Cup. Put in no uncertain terms, the 32-year-old play-maker remains one of the most talented midfielders in the whole of world football.
Granted, Modric is yet to truly prove his worth upon the international scene with his native Croatia, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that 2018 won’t become a rather fruitful year for the former Tottenham Hotspur favourite.
Of course, Modric isn’t the only star name who could help Croatia seal themselves a place among the knock-out stages of the competition. Each of Ivan Rakitic, Mario Mandzukic and Ivan Perisic offer more than enough fire-power for the determined Croats to contend with this summer.
With Luka Modric pulling all the strings in the middle of the park for Zlatko Dalic’s side, each of Croatia’s Group D opposition must be wary of what this team are capable of with the ball at their feet and the goal locked firmly in their sights.
What are Croatia’s Group D fixtures?
Nigeria – If Croatia lose their opening World Cup Group D fixture to Nigeria, they may as well give up on their dreams of advancing to those all-important knock-out stages. The African outfit are a tough team with plenty of attacking options, but Croatia should nonetheless prove superior with their all-round intelligence and technicality.
Argentina – Even if Croatia put in an excellent shift against Argentina this summer, expect Lionel Messi and co. to prove victorious in the end. This particular fixture is likely to prove a hard-fought affair until the final whistle, yet the South Americans should still come out on top when push eventually comes to shove.
Iceland – Croatia’s final Group D opponents could potentially throw a few crucial spanners in the works for Zlatko Dalic’s side. Although Croatia remain the stronger outfit on paper, they must be at the very best of their game in order to strive past Iceland’s notoriously effective work ethic.
Croatia’s World Cup Predictions
Croatia should be expecting to see themselves progress from Group D unequivocally and earnestly, yet their previous record among major international tournaments is far from incredible.
If 2018 is to transpire into a positive year for the Croats, they must simply brush aside their past mistakes and book a well-earned place among the quarter-finals. Failure to do so could discredit the once highly rated Croatian national team for quite some time to come.
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