Lakenheath Old Boys

We are all former students at Lakenheath High School and other public schools in East Anglia. We were in school in the 70s and 80s and drank deeply from the well of British culture of those decades - the pints, the telly, and of course the footie!

Monday, May 19, 2014

World Cup Preview - Group A - Croatia

Continuing our discussion of Group A, next up is Croatia:

Nickname: "Vatreni" ("The Blazers")
Absurd FIFA ranking: 20th

Coach: Former national team hardman Niko Kovacs (his brother is his assistant)

Match Schedule:

June 12 – Croatia v. Brazil (Sao Paulo, 4:00 p.m. EST, ESPN)
June 18 – Croatia v. Cameroon (Manaus, 6  p.m., ESPN)
June 23 – Croatia v. Mexico (Recife, 4 p.m., ESPN)

Prospects: Despite a recent renaissance and a top seeded spot in UEFA qualifying, Croatia finished second behind Belgium in a relatively weak group and were forced to defeat minnows Iceland over two qualifying legs in order to join the elite 32 this summer. So, although the Croatian squad is full of skilful and familiar players to those of us who watch the European leagues, it is hard to see their aging squad making much of an impression in this summer's tournament. Croatia are on a hiding to nothing in the Brasil '14 opener against hosts Brazil, so they'll have to rebound quickly against Cameroon and Mexico in order to even get out of what promises to be a competitive group.

Key Player: Real Madrid playmaker Luka Modric makes this side tick; he'll have to be at his best in Brazil if Croatia is to progress beyond the group stage.

Youngster to watch: None; it's hard to see anyone under the age of 25 lining up for Croatia this summer.

Who Will Get the Goals: Bayern striker Mario Mandzukic is the obvious target man up front.

Who Will Get the Cards: Rugged skipper Darijo Srna is fond of the rash challenge.

Prediction: Just edged out in the final group match by a resurgent Mexican team.


Blogger manunitedrules said...

An aging squad that is good enough to qualify for tournaments , but lacks the quality to advance any further. Many of their players are playing in mediocre leagues or are on mediocre teams in the top leagues. It will be between them and Mexico for second place, but I expect them to be edged out by El Tri.

9:32 AM  

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