Modric inspired Croatia look useful bet to progress from Group A at 13/10

Croatia have failed to get out of a World Cup group since they recorded their best ever result back in 1998, with their odds of 200/1 reflecting their chances in the tournament, but their odds of 13/10 to qualify from the Group could offer some appeal.

Manager: Niko Kovac
World Cup best:
Third place (1998)
How they qualified:
European Play-offs

At the half way stage in their World Cup qualification group, they were on the same points as Belgium, before falling away towards the end.

They still managed to qualify for the play-offs, although they dismissed manager Igor Stimac following a loss to Scotland and appointed Niko Kovac for their two games with Iceland.

A 0-0 draw in Reykjavik meant Croatia needed to win at home, which they did 2-0, despite the red card shown to Mario Mandzukic.

Star player: Luka Modric (Real Madrid)

Luka Modric has had a superb season for Real Madrid, with his level of performances increasing since the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti.

The former Spurs midfielder is a genuine world-class act and his nation will look to get him on the ball as much as they can. A partnership with Nikica Jelavic has potential to make an impact.

One to watch: Alen Halilovic (Dinamo Zargreb)

Alen Halilovic became Croatia’s youngest ever player when he made his debut for the nation against Portugal last year.

He has already secured a move to Barcelona and the world will be watching to see what all the hype is about!

Realistically he probably won’t feature much and will be one to come off the bench, although Croatia aren’t taking the youngster just for experience.


Croatia’s strength lay in their creative midfield options, with the duo of Modric and Ivan Rakitic as good as any at the tournament.
How the duo supply Mandzukic could define how well they do in the group, although the big Bayern forward is suspended for the first game against the hosts Brazil.


Croatia began to concede ‘stupid’ goals towards the end of their World Cup qualifying group, losing twice to Scotland!
Robert Snodgrass was excellent at Hampden Park down causing their defence all manor of problems, even beating the reliable Dejan Lovren in the air for the opening goal.

How far can they go?

Croatia will be disappointed if they don’t qualify from a favourable group alongside the hosts, although much will depend on Luka Modric and Hull City star Nikica Jelavic.

They probably will be bottom after the first game and it’s how they bounce back from that will be the key, they must beat Cameroon in their second match.

Group A



Thursday 12th June: Brazil vs. Croatia 21:00

Wednesday 18th June: Cameroon vs. Croatia 23:00

Monday 23rd June: Croatia vs. Mexico 21:00

Lewis Jones has over 5 years experience in web publishing, having worked at a number of well known UK facing sports websites. He can be reached at Google+ for more information.

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