Croatia World Cup

Croatia News: Dalic hopes to keep Messi quiet

1 year ago

In the latest Croatia news, coach Zlatko Dalic has revealed he will use midfielder Ivan Rakitic’s knowledge of Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi in an attempt to keep the Argentina star quiet in Thursday’s Group D clash at the World Cup.

Croatia are looking to book their place in the knockout stages by beating the South American giants after they kicked off their campaign with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Nigeria.

Argentina began with a shock 1-1 draw against Iceland so it is set up perfectly for the Nizhny Novgorod clash, with Dalic hoping his side can keep Messi and co quiet.

The Barca superstar missed a penalty on Saturday and was largely frustrated by Iceland as the World Cup debutants defended well against their more illustrious opponents.

Dalic says he plans to speak to Rakitic to get as much information as possible about his club-mate, but he admits stopping one of the best players ever to have graced the game is a tough prospect.

“I will use all the information I can,” he said. “There is no perfect way to stop Lionel Messi. He is the greatest player in the world.”

Dalic says his side’s opening win over Nigeria means there is less pressure on them heading into the game and they will attempt to carve out another three points working together as a team.

Croatia are underdogs with Coral at 29/10 to win, Argentina are 21/20 and the draw is 11/5.

He added: “While one excellent player can make a great result, a great team does the job much better. We will go into the game a little bit more relaxed than them.”

Croatia are available at 28/1 with Coral to win the World Cup and Argentina are 10/1.