Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic talked about his side’s football philosophy and Nigeria’s strengths ahead of their 2018 FIFA World Cup opener against Nigeria in Kaliningrad.
The Blades are determined to prove themselves at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Croatia beat Germany 3-0 in the quarter-finals and the Netherlands 1-0 in the third-place playoff at France 1998, but suffered group-stage elimination at Korea/Japan 2002, Germany 2006 and Brazil 2014 and failed to qualify for South Africa 2010.
Dalic has the likes of Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool), Andrej Kramaric (TSG Hoffenheim), Sime Vrsaljko (Atletico Madrid), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Marcelo Brozovic and Ivan Perisic (both Inter Milan), Nikola Kalinic (AC Milan) and Mario Mandzukic (Juventus) at his disposal, and he intends to maintain his faith in them rather than gamble on youngsters at Russia 2018.
Croatia face Nigeria, Argentina and Iceland in an examining Group D at Russia 2018, and Dalic says his wards will keep possession against the Super Eagles on Saturday.
“We have our style, we like to have possession and we will be very offensive,” he said.
“We respect Nigeria, we know that they have great young players, and that they can be very fast on pitch.”
They are very dangerous in counter-attacks.”