Croatia’s Ivan Rakitić is wary of the Nigeria team ahead of their World Cup opener in Kaliningrad on Saturday evening.
Croatia are in the same situation as the Super Eagles as they have not won an opening game at the World Cup since 1998, but the Barcelona midfielder is hoping they improve on their opening day fixtures when they face the three-time African champions.
”We know how important it is to have a good tournament, and we have to do everything to beat Nigeria, even though nothing has been resolved,” Rakitic said.
”We know they’re a dangerous team with good players, we have to be ready. We know that everyone is expecting to be right, we first, I’m confident we will be ready.”
Meanwhile, Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić plans to field four strikers against Nigeria in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with four strikers expected to be named in the starting lineup.
Juventus star Mandzukic is expected to play as the top striker and he’ll be supported by Hoffenheim’s Kramaric, Eintracht Frankfurt’s Rebić and Inter Milan’s Perisic.