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The Boys Are Back For 3 Games This Week

October 5, 2020

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…well, most of the boys in this picture

 

 

It’s a big international break week for Croatia.

 

 

Three games. Another France rematch. And Luka Modrić is back!

 

 

After being embarrassed 4-1 by Portugal and 4-2 by France last month, Croatia look to rebound against Sweden and France with Luka Modrić returning to the lineup.

 

 

First, the Vatreni will face Switzerland in a friendly this Wednesday from St. Gallen. The match kicks off at 2:45PM (ET) and can be streamed on ESPN3. This will be a nice warm-up for the boys in front of their two upcoming UEFA Nations League matches. On Sunday, Croatia host Sweden at Noon (ET) in Nations League from Maksimir with limited fans. Sweden lost both of their matches last month to Portugal and France as well, so this game will determine who will have sole possession of third place in the group. Next Wednesday, it will be another World Cup Finals rematch as the French come to Maksimir at 2:45PM (ET).

 

 

The last two matches Croatia and France have played in ended 4-2 in the Frenchie’s favor. Hopefully, things will change this time around on Croatian soil.

 

 

More on all three games of these matches throughout the week, but three things have to happen:

 

 

1. Beat Sweden at all costs

2. Don’t get blown out by anyone

3. Look like a team that wants to win

 

 

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Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 43 comments





  1. LAknat says:

    Dear Dalic

    If you want to try some players . . .
    Don’t try like a Shiit. Try like Me with this >

    ……………………Kramaric……….Petkovic……………………
    …….Rebic………………….Pasalic………………..Vlasic..……
    …………………Modric………………Brozovic………….………
    ……………..Caleta Car……Vida…..D Lovren…………………
    ……………………………..Livakovic……………………………



  2. Andrej L says:

    Really disappointing that Benkovic (hip) and Pongracic (mono) aren’t available for the Sweden game. I’m sure we’ll get to see Uremovic get another look at RB. Orsic scored some bombs over the weekend; maybe him and Petkovic can make something happen on Wednesday.



  3. Andrej L says:

    @LAKnat
    Rebic has an elbow injury and is out. Interesting look w/ Vlasic and Rebic as wingbacks or attacking wingers.

    At this point, without seeing what goes on in practice or the Swiss game I’d go with this line up for the Sweden game;
    ——- Livakovic
    Uremovic – Lovren – Caleta-Car – Bradaric
    ——- Modric – Brozo
    Perisic – Vlasic – Brekalo
    ——— Krama



  4. Bobby V says:

    Croatia will find out who will join their group next summer in a few days.

    Serbia-Norway, Scotland-Israel play in the semi-finals this Thursday. The winners will meet to determine who will join us.

    To show how absurd this Nations League is, all 16 teams trying to qualify for Euro2021 will have to send their B teams to play their Nations League matchups this same week.

    On top of this weekend’s situation putting these teams at a disadvantage, how can you keep standings in such a tournament when some countries are not taking it as seriously as others?

    Ridiculous- very frustrating for fans.



  5. Anonymous says:

    We know one country that doesn’t take it seriously….Croatia.
    Mono should have cleared by by now WTF
    Stay away from that German pussy



  6. Maminjo says:

    @Andrej

    Your lineup is the likeliest and safest lineup to play.

    Dalić is totally going to go with that one.

    I don’t mind it.

    If we have trouble scoring, I would love to see him sub in Petković and see how he pairs with Kramarić up top.



  7. Maminjo says:

    Dalić does look nervous.
    Hmm, makes me wonder how close Dalić gets to being canned if we lose our friendly and both Nations League games this week?

    I’d guess that would initiate the ‘fire Dalic’ talk, but not enough to actually get him fired unless we go 0 for 6 in Nations League.

    We are pretty consistent at firing coaches right before major tournaments. We could keep our tradition alive.



  8. Pero says:

    Curious as to what reasonable expectations are for us in the Euro’s …nobody talks about Lady Luck on here,which we had a bit of in 18..do we ride that lady again or does she put on a 10” strap on and give it to us like the last euro against Portugal or Turkey many moons ago.
    I would be very happy with a place in the semi’s but honestly don’t expect it.



  9. Maminjo says:

    I don’t think we had lady luck on our side when we were drawn into the Group of Death at the last World Cup (which crossed us over with France in the next round).

    We earned that first place finish, avoiding France in the Round of 16. We were actually very unlucky in our knockout games too, hitting the post and woodwork multiple times after heavily outshooting our opponents.
    We obviously do not need to mention our luck in the final too.



  10. Maminjo says:

    As a top-10 team in the World, I would expect no less than quarterfinals.

    It all really comes down to the draw.

    We were unlucky having to play a contender in the Round of 16 at the last Euros (and narrowly lost in extra time). That was our reward for beating one of the favorites in Spain with our B squad and topping our group.

    The same thing almost happened to us at the World Cup when the draw had us going against France in the Round of 16 (had we not slaughtered Argentina).

    For these upcoming Euros, again, we are pretty unlucky as I believe we are going to be crossing over with the France/Portugal/Germany group in the Round of 16 (if we finish second)…and I believe the top team in that group plays us in the quarters (if we finish first).

    This stupid Euro format makes it easier for third place teams to get a favorable path to the Final (like Portugal did at Euro2016).
    Where we finish in group standing in the first round almost makes no difference lol.



  11. Mile says:

    We actually won’t know Croatia’s third opponent in the Euros until November 12. The winners of Thursday’s Norway/Serbia and Scotland/Israel matches play on November 12.



  12. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Dalic did a great job steering the ship right before the World Cup and he then established a healthy environment within the camp. I’d say Dalic was very lucky to have several veterans that were ripe and ready for the tournament. with that being said, I feel in some cases he’s looked out of his league and even irrational at times.



  13. Crotown says:

    Find the best coach possible- time to pull the plug on Dalić and bring an outsider – this Croatian coach only is nuts- we definitely have good motivators who understand Croatian mentality and fight but not good tactical coaching- what is the hangup with having an Italian guy hypothetically? It’s bloody close to us and their coaching is very strong through history

    Who would accept a non Croatian coach? Anyone?



  14. elcroato says:

    When Dalic blows games that matter lets talk about the coach. Had we beaten France this topic wouldn’t be broached.



  15. CroatianPerson85 says:

    Sorry should have mentioned, in the same token, these nations’ league games effect seeding as well if I am not mistaken which does effect seeding so it’s a balancing act.



  16. ARMADA87 says:

    @ Mile

    Would be fun to see Croatia v. Serbia at the groups of a major tournament. Sounds weird, but I hope they get through just so we can beat that ass again on a big stage.

    @ regarding the upcoming games

    Not hoping for too much; I just hope we’re competitive in them and like others have mentioned, its not a blow out. I’m not sure it matters in the grand scheme of things what happens in these games (outside of affecting our world ranking and pots for the next WC) but I think it would be a shot to the team psyche to lose the way we did in 2018 to France, get blown out by Portugal, get decisively beat by France again and then potentially lose stinkers to Sweden and France again. If we lose, let them be close games like 2-1, 3-2, etc. We shouldn’t be losing by a 2-4 goal margin to anyone.

    The games ‘don’t count’ but its never a good feeling as a team to be a ‘big boy’ NT and lose a number of games to other big boy NT’s…



  17. Slavonac from Canada says:

    I hate playing horribly and then to make matters worse, we play horrible and the coach gets it all wrong…from lineups to strategy!

    I like Dalic and will always respect and love what he did for us but that team was ready for it…he just set the stage and did a very good job not deviating from the obvious decisions he had to make!



  18. Pero says:

    You are all smoking crack if you think we will even make it to the semis.
    I doubt even final 8.Who the F is our keeper.?Domonic leave my cock in your mouth ?
    Our defense is flawed weak and will screw us ,you can book it!!!!
    Remember this post MOFO’s



  19. Maminjo says:

    We always play terribly in qualifying and we step up in tournaments.

    I expect it to be no different this time around.

    However, I do get upset at the pointless experimenting in these Nations League games (since these games are not meaningless and are tied to seeding and qualification).

    We haven’t been using these Nations League games to play our youth, nor are we playing formations that we would actually try in a tournament…AND we are playing poorly.
    So these past two UNL tournaments have been a pointless endeavor for us.

    I expect us to be a lot better in these next two Nations League games, simply because we probably won’t be experimenting at all (other than playing a couple of new faces like Uremovic and Bradaric).



  20. crnkovic says:

    I expect us to win the euro’s. We are world cup finalists. we now have vlasic. we have a new style of play which is harder to defend. Our best players are still there and will have lost nothing. Brozovic is now better. Lovren will be calmer and more assured after a season in russia. petkovic is the element of surprise. rebic is more mature. we have brekalo. livakovic will have got over his current crisis by then.

    we have a point to prove. that we are not some flash in the pan. AND most crucially. we have got rid of the mental midget syndrome which held us back since 1998, by getting to a world cup final



  21. Ričard says:

    Dalic thanks for 2018 but its time to move on its a rebuild time imo just like after 1998. The modric generation with some older players lasted 10 years 08 to 18. Now the next 4 tournaments need to build foundation try players and see who fits. Need a right back need a cb partnership and create a midfield again that can play without modric just like when boban left we cant let that happen when modric leaves we have young talent but they need to befome more than talente

    At this point and the next few years plus

    Gks Livakovic Sluga Grbic Kahlina Posavec Pandur Semper Letica Nevistic Kotarski

    Obrana Lovren Vida Vrsaljko Barisic Jedvaj Uremovic Mitrovic Peric Katic Sutalo Caleta Car Pongracic Gvardiol Hrvoj Juranovic Barisic Sosa Colina Vuskovic Kalaica Erlic Soldo

    Vezni red Modric Brozovic Kovacic Vlasic Pasalic Badelj Moro Majer Ivanusec Basic Krovinovic Nejasmic Lepenjica Bistrovic Sunjic

    Napad- Kramaric Petkovic Rebic Perisic Brekalo Vizinger Cuic Kovacevic Kulenovic Perica Marin Musa Raguž(must try steal him)



  22. TUŠO says:

    Livakovic Uremovic Lovren Vida Barisic Modric(Kovacic)Brozovic Vlasic Kramaric Petkovic Perisic. Thats what dalic will vs Sweden

    Vs France Livakovic Uremovic Lovren Vida/Car Barisic/Bradaric
    Modric Brozovic Kovacic Vlasic Perisic Kramaric.



  23. LAknat says:

    ……………………Kramaric……….Petkovic……………………
    ….….Rebic…………………Halilovic……………..Vlasic..…….
    …………..…..Iv Sunjic……………..…..Brozovic.………………
    ……………..Caleta Car……Sutalo…..Uremovic………………
    …….………………………..Livakovic……………………………

    World Cup 2023 _
    leads by Brozovic with the existence of God!



  24. Andrej L says:

    Responding to previous comments; the main goal of Nations League was to make friendlies more competitive. There is incentive if you win the tournament plus you play countries that are your level. Better than playing scrub competition which doesn’t tell you much about your team. Also we avoid playing against countries who have garbage fields like with the Pjaca situation a couple years ago.

    Every year, more and more Croatians are playing in the Champions League. That’s one way to gauge how good a country is and considering a Croat has won the competition for about 8 years in a row means that we’re a pretty good team capable of going far in summer competitions. Dominik is a really good keeper in my books. Needs to work on high balls and crosses but he’ll do just fine imo.



  25. Andrej L says:

    @LAKnat
    Love the Sunjic reference. I thought that I threw out a throwback with Balic but we don’t talk about Sunjic at all anymore. He’s doing well at Birmingham but I think he’s still behind the pecking order of Moro and Basic. I have a feeling Sunjic and Halilovic have a better chance making the Bonsian team at this point hahahha



  26. Franjo says:

    It’s wishful thinking Croatia is going to win the Euros. We are playing horrible and even though we can all say these games are meaningless there’s a lack of wanting to win. We haven’t looked good since the World Cup. We can’t say we’ve accomplished something until we actually win something. For a country of Croatia’s size it’s a huge achievement to finish second or third, but we have to win something to be recognized.



  27. Maminjo says:

    The whole “Croatia being a small country and should be happy with what they’ve achieved” is such loser talk.

    Belgium is also a small country and came third in the World Cup for the first time in their history, and you don’t see them talking about how great it was for them. Many actually consider it a disappointment.

    Yes, we are a superhuman species. That’s been proven time and time again. Now we just need to shake that former Yugo subordinate mentality of being happy with second class.



  28. Franjo says:

    Very good point and I agree with you but don’t forget Belgium has 11.6 million people vs. Croatia’s 4.5 million population. We should treat everything as a disappointment unless we actually win something.



  29. Franjo says:

    We need a strong technical coach who will take the talent of this new generation of players to the next level with the help of the veterans. A coach that can make in game strategic changes that will change a game if things aren’t going well and maybe change the outcome. Either Croatian or foreign.



  30. Maminjo says:

    Vladimir Petković, Nenad Bjelica and Matjaž Kek are all solid candidates after Dalić moves on in his career.

    We have very little chance of snagging Petković, but Bjelica a and Kek are solid.

    Worst case scenario, we always have Zoran Mamić. ;)



  31. Anonymous says:

    I think the Belgians were just disappointed to have lost to France’s anti football in the semi final.

    They were very happy with their 3rd place finish and their city square was packed with thousands when the team flew back to Belgium



  32. Mile says:

    France was, by far, the worst World Cup “winner” in the history of the tournament. Honestly, go back decades to all of the World Cup finals. The winner of the final was always the better team, or at least it was close. In 2018, France was terrible, probably their worst game of the tournament. They needed to be gifted two goals because FIFA knew they were in trouble if Croatia won that game. They would have lost out on millions in revenue in memorabilia, video games, etc.





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