The Vatreni are being regarded as dark horses to win the FIFA World Cup this time around.
As we get to the business end of the FIFA World Cup, Croatia who face spirited Denmark in the Round of 16. The Croats have been very dominant in their group games and apart from Uruguay and Belgium, they are the only team with 100% win record till now. Denmark, on the other hand, was hot and cold at times.
The Danes were under the pump right from the first match against Peru but the Latinos squandered their chances and failed to beat a resilient Kasper Schmeichel on the day. They were also far from convincing in both their games against Australia and France. So the Danes will have to up their game if they want to have a chance against the dominant Croats.
About The Teams
The midfield battle is what people wait to see, with Rakitic and Modric going against Eriksen, it will a spectacle very few people want to miss. Speaking of Denmark’s performance and how unconvincing they have looked the Danes are pretty compact at the back and have conceded only one goal that too a penalty. The Tottenham ace will again be given a free role as he looks to be the fulcrum in Age Hareide’s side. With Thomas Delaney shielding the defense and playing a deeper role it allows Eriksen to move forward and with the like of Yussuf Poulsen, Pione Sisto and Nicolai Jorgensen upfront, they have a formidable frontline.
Although Denmark looks solid in defense, they definitely lack a goalscorer upfront .Coming to an important tie like this, Hereide’s men needs to take each and every chance that comes their way as the dominant Croatians are more likely to make them pay for every missed opportunity.
Zlatko Dalic’s men have been dominant in their group games and the thing that has been impressive from the Croats, that is their adaptability to play various formations. Modric and Rakitic remain key figures in their midfield, whereas Perisic has hit top gear right when it was needed. His winner against Iceland proves that the Inter Milan winger can be a huge threat for any team and with the likes of Mandzukic and Rebic by his side this is probably Croatia’s golden generation coming to the World.
The Round of 16 clash between the two teams will be played in the mesmerizing venue of Nizhny Novgorod. The stadium is located beautifully between the rivers Oka and Volga with great sceneries all around its backdrop. With a capacity of 45,000, the stadium will host 6 matches in total including this as the only Round of 16 tie and a quarterfinal clash.
Croatia: Subasic,Strinic, Vida, Lovren, Vrsaljko, Modric, Rakitic, Rebic, Kramaric, Perisic, Mandzukic.
Denmark: Schmeichel, Larsen, Christensen, Kjaer, Dalsgaard, Delaney, Kvist, Sisto, Eriksen, Poulsen, Jorgensen.
What to expect
Both teams will look to put their best foot forward but Rakitic and Modric’s understanding and chemistry will give them an upper hand in the midfield. Croatia’s high pressing football may also open up spaces for the likes of Sisto and Poulsen on the counters and Eriksen playing a much higher role will mean that there will no shortage of supply for the Danish forwards.
The Danes have lacked a proper goalscorer upfront and hence the manager can also start Cornelius who seems to be a decent poacher. Perisic will be the biggest threat for the Danes as he has the ability to play as an inside forward and on occasion he can even go wide down the flank, going forward he is Croatia biggest weapon and after opening his account against Iceland the Inter winger is all set to take his team to the next round.
Croatia 2-0 Denmark