Croatia is the new name among the favorites after their beyond-expectations results in the last FIFA World Cup tournament. They became the competition’s runner-up in addition to topping their group which had the presence of the big name, Argentina. The Vatreni hammered them 3-0 in the group fixtures after which they went on to thrash one other favorite at the knockouts, England.
Despite the average results at Euro 2021 (knocked out by Spain in the last 16), Croatia will be looking to pull one more extraordinary performance at yet another big tournament in Qatar 2022.
As for their 26-man squad, the East European side was among the early teams that provided a confirmed list of players that they were taking to Qatar 2022. So what names really made the cut?
Croatia Squad for FIFA World Cup 2022
|Goalkeeper||Dominik Livakovic||Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)||27||33|
|Goalkeeper||Ivo Grbic||Atletico Madrid (SPA)||26||2|
|Goalkeeper||Ivica Ivusic||Osijek (CRO)||27||5|
|Defender||Josip Stanisic||Bayern Munich (GER)||22||6|
|Defender||Borna Barisic||Rangers (SCO)||29||27|
|Defender||Martin Erlic||Sassuolo (ITA)||24||3|
|Defender||Dejan Lovren||Zenit St Petersburg (ITA)||33||71|
|Defender||Borna Sosa||VfB Stuttgart (GER)||24||8|
|Defender||Josko Gvardiol||RB Leipzig (GER)||20||12|
|Defender||Domagoj Vida||AEK Athens (GRE)||33||99|
|Defender||Josip Juranovic||Celtic (SCO)||27||21|
|Defender||Josip Sutalo||Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)||22||3|
|Midfielder||Lovro Majer||Rennes (FRA)||24||10|
|Midfielder||Mateo Kovacic||Chelsea (ENG)||28||83|
|Midfielder||Luka Modric||Real Madrid (SPA)||37||154|
|Midfielder||Luka Sucic||RB Salzburg (AUS)||20||3|
|Midfielder||Marcelo Brozovic||Inter Milan (ITA)||29||76|
|Midfielder||Nikola Vlasic||Torino (ITA)||25||41|
|Midfielder||Mario Pasalic||Atalanta (ITA)||27||42|
|Midfielder||Ivan Perisic||Tottenham Hotspur (ENG)||33||115|
|Midfielder||Kristijan Jakic||Eintracht Frankfurt (GER)||25||4|
|Forward||Andrej Kramaric||Hoffenheim (GER)||31||73|
|Forward||Marko Livaja||Hadjuk Split (CRO)||29||14|
|Forward||Bruno Petkovic||Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)||28||22|
|Forward||Ante Budimir||Osasuna (ENG)||31||15|
|Forward||Mislav Orsic||Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)||29||20|
What Teams Is Croatia Facing At The Group In FIFA World Cup 2022?
They are in Group F set to face Belgium, Canada, and Morocco. While the latter may not give that much of a worry for the 2018 second-place finisher, the first two are the teams that might give a tough fight to Croatia, Belgium more so than Canada. But who knows, Luka Modric and the team did cancel the projection when they finished top ahead of the clear favorite, Argentina in the 2018 World Cup.
Group Fixtures Of Croatia
|Wed, Nov. 23||Morocco vs. Croatia||5 a.m.||Al Bayt|
|Sun, Nov. 27||Croatia vs. Canada||11 a.m.||Khalifa Int’l|
|Thurs, Dec. 1||Croatia vs. Belgium||10 a.m.||Ahmad Bin Ali|
Including the five-time UCL and a Ballondr winner, Luka Modric, Croatia has one of the most experienced squads with the likes of Domagoj Vida, Marcelo Brozovic, Ivan Perisic, and Andrej Kramaric.
Croatia’s midfielders’ creative abilities as well as their attacking threats similar to forwards have been their main feature for several years.
Furthermore, since the Euro disappointment, they kind of have come back to a similar form that they had some time ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. In recent times their only defeat came against Austria. Besides that, they are quite fresh off an excellent win record of 10 out of 14.
Although Croatia might have finely replaced key names in their defensive line, a proper backup is still missing for their ex-power forwards, Mario Manzukic and Rebic. The attacking line is quite inexperienced and likewise is also the case for their defense.
In addition, a reliable shot-stopper is also a concern for Croatia. The current goalkeepers Domagoj Livakovic and Ivica Ivusic do perform the tasks but they might still take some years to hit the level that the team’s ex-goalkeeper, Daniel Subasic showed in the 2018 World Cup.
Expectations From Croatia
Of all the things Croatia has proven they can do in the big tournament, statistically, doing something extraordinary in this world cup, too, seems implausible, like making it once again to the final. However, should they go on to achieve an impressive victory run during their group stage, they definitely will emerge as the legit title contender out of nowhere like they sort of did in the summer of 2018.
Considering their overall stats and squad structure, experts have predicted Croatia to at least make it out of their group stage and projected it would be an achievement beyond expectations if they progress ahead of the quarter-finals and even further.