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Euro 2020 Preview - Croatia


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🇭🇷 Croatia 🇭🇷

 A new wave of talented players have emerged to cause England problems, including Nikola Vlasic, Josip Brekalo, Filip Uremovic, Bruno Petkovic, Borna Barisic, Dominik Livakovic, Mario Pasalic, Domagoj Bradaric and Duje Caleta-Car

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Road to Euro 2020
The World Cup finalists were effective in qualification without being exceptional as they recorded five wins, two draws and one loss as they qualified for the Euros.

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What to Expect
The Vatreni appear to switch from a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-3-3 depending on the quality of the opposition. This allows the likes of Luka Modric and Marcelo Brozovic to dominate possession until an opportunity presents itself for a defence splitting pass to occur.

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Possible Lineup
Dominik Livakovic's position in goal looks assured as he looks to impress suitors ahead of a summer move.

In defence it appears that Sime Vrsaljko is still preferred to Josip Juranovic at right back, whilst at left back Borna Barisic should recover in time from his recent injury in the Old Firm derby to start ahead ahead of Dario Melnjak. The position in the centre however appears less clear, world's greatest defender Dejan Lovren position appears secure and we believe Duje Caleta-Car has played well enough to start ahead of Domagoj Vida alongside him.

A potential headache over who should play in the cental midfield position was eases in September when Ivan Rakitic announced his retirement from international football. As a result we expect to see a midfield three of Luka Modric, Marcelo Brozovic and Mateo Kovacic barring any injuries with Marko Rog and Milan Badelj as backup options.

Further forward there has been more experimentation as Zaltko Dalic appears to have less faith in his striking options than he does with the other positions. Previously he has experimented with Ivan Perisic in a central forward position but we believe he will start on the left side of midfield ahead of Miroslav Orsic and Ante Rebic.

There appears to be more competition on the right side of the attacking three where we expect Nikola Vlasic to be favoured ahead of Mario Pasalic and Josip Brekalo.

Ante Budimir appears to be the most trusted striker ahead of Bruno Petkovic and Andrej Kramaric.

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Key Player
Ivan Perisic was key to Croatia’s domination of Group E. He was often the benefactor of Luka Modric's brilliant long range passing and his finishing at times was ruthless. Given Croatia's issues with replacing Milan Mandzukic, their will be a level of expectancy on Ivan Perisic to carry the burden in front of goal to ensure Croatia can have a successful campaign.

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Prediction
Croatia still have a core group of world class players with some outstanding individual quality. The England fixture has the potential to be one of the biggest games at this stage of the competition as both sides have looked very good heading in to this tournament. Whoever impresses the most in that fixture could go on to have a very good tournament.

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Croatia has made me realise winning international major tournaments is not that difficult. Somehow scrap through the group stages like Portugal 2016 then your intuition on the day can win you the game. 

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4 hours ago, McAzeem said:

Croatia has made me realise winning international major tournaments is not that difficult. Somehow scrap through the group stages like Portugal 2016 then your intuition on the day can win you the game. 

Pakistan for the World Cup next year then?

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