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Croatia credibility, FIFA World Cup Russia 2018, Group of death

Russia 2018

FIFA World Cup Russia 2018: Croatia’s credibility test in group of death

Croatia has the best mix of experience and talent in their squad for FIFA World Cup Russia 2018. Their expected playing XI average age is 29 years and their best players have the right experience and talent to prove themselves as a world-renowned team. They are one of the dark horses of the tournament alongside Belgium and Poland, but they’ll have to go through a credibility test in the group of death.

Dark Horses of FIFA World Cup Russia 2018

The Blazers are grouped along with favourite Argentina, Nigeria, and Iceland. It’s not going to be easy for anyone from the group to make it to the knockouts and it will be a credibility test for the Croatians.

Croatia’s experienced defender Vedran Corluka told Croatian Football Association’s official website that Croatia have been “flattering to deceive” at the recent World Cups and it is time for the squad to show their credibility.

He said as Sky Sports reports, “We are tired of being billed as a talented generation which keeps flattering to deceive. We let ourselves and our fans down in every World Cup since the 1998 tournament, especially the last one. We have to focus on our strengths and use the good atmosphere in the dressing room as a platform.”

Croatia has the credibility to topple any side on their given day and they did prove it in their Euro 2016 campaign beating Spain. They were the better side against Portugal in their last 16 round as well, but Cristiano Ronaldo led side had better luck that day.

Their squad boasts quality in every department. Monaco’s Danijel Subasic will be their shot-stopper. Atletico Madrid’s Sime Vrsaljko and Liverpool’s Dejan Lovren will guard their defense, whereas Real Madrid’s pair Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic will lineup in midfield alongside Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic. Juventus’ Mario Mandzukic, Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic, and Schalke’s Marco Pjaca will spearhead their forward department.

You’ll not get the combination of that much of quality and experience in any side participating in the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018, and yet they are far from considering as a team to make an impact. Their best-placed finish was in 1998 on their debut when they finished 3rd in the tournament. Since then, they haven’t been able to get past the group stage in their last three appearances.

It’s pity that such a talented and experienced side is going nowhere together.

Croatia need results to prove their worth. Their credibility will be tested in the group of death but before that, they have a chance to warn their rivals. They will be playing friendly against Brazil and Senegal before the World Cup.

If they get better performances against the both participating nations, the group of death credibility test won’t be difficult for The Blazers. Iceland and Nigeria will challenge them for the second place considering Lionel Messi’s led Argentina clear favorite to go through, but I still see they have an edge over them.

It’s Iceland first World Cup and Nigeria is not the team they used to. Croatia must live up to the expectation and pass the credibility in the group of death.

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