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Croatia - World Cup 2018

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With their best generation of players since 1998 -when they captured 3rd at that year's World Cup- Croatia is eager to accomplish something great in Russia 2018.

This same group has been inconsistent, however, as they finished second in their qualifying group behind Iceland.

A powerful midfield though, with talents such as captain Luka Modric of Real Madrid and Barcelona FC’s Ivan Rakitic, can control the flow of games with authority.

Under new manager, Zlatko Dalic, who was appointed two days before the final qualifier, Croatia will need to come together quickly if they hope to have success in a difficult group.

A Successful Yet Short World Cup History

Croatia has a short but considerably successful history at the World Cup.

Though prior to 1992 Croatia was part of the former Yugoslavia and not eligible to participate in the 1994 World Cup, by 1996 they had put together a team that qualified for the Euro Cup.

In their first World Cup appearance ever, in 1998, they finished third after a loss to France in the semis. They defeated the Netherlands 2-1 for third place.

From then on, Croatia has qualified for every World Cup Tournament except that of 2010 but has not advanced past the group stage.

Croatia Road To The 2018 World Cup

Croatia's campaign to qualify for the 2018 World Cup was a frustrating affair as they lost twice to Turkey and once to Finland, who finished last in their group.

Croatia nabbed the second place spot behind Iceland and was forced to a playoff game against Greece. With Manager Ante Cacic fired shortly before the game with Greece, the team went on to a 4-1 victory and earned a berth for Russia 2018.

Croatia World Cup 2018 Squad

Croatia has sufficient talent in the Midfield to frustrate any opponent. Modric and Rakitic will be counted on to get this team through the group stage along with Everton youngster Nicola Vlasic, who made his debut in a friendly match against Mexico in March of this year.

The duo of Modric and Rakitic was responsible for allowing only 5 goals in 11 games in the qualifying stage. Offensively, Croatia has a diverse attack with scoring spread out among players and no one player netting more than two goals through 10 games in the first round of qualifying.

Croatia Odds To Win World Cup 2018

While unreliable, Croatia does have good odds to ride out any low scoring game, and could very easily frustrate some of the teams in their group.

Argentina is arguably their toughest opponent in group D; should Croatia come into the group stage firing on all cylinders, look for them to cause trouble in the knockout round.

However, if they hit any kind of road bump along their way, odds are they will falter and not live up to expectations.

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Croatia World Cup 2018

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