A revamped team from 2018 runners-up, Croatia continue to compete at the World Cup in Qatar with global big hitters like Luka Modric.
They may have to rely on goals from midfield and away, and will be hoping Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic can return to full sharpness after suffering a knee problem.
Here’s everything you need to know about Croatia…
Coach: Zlatko Dalic. Experienced and well traveled, and now in his sixth year in the job.
Captain: Luka Modric. Somehow still the driving force and showing no signs of slowing down at 37.
Star Player: Luka Modric. Real Madrid have repeatedly thought about leaving the veteran, and yet he continues to capture their attention with outstanding performances.
One to watch: Josko Gvardiol. One of Europe’s hottest defensive properties, with Chelsea and Manchester City among those jostling for his signature.
World ranking: 12
The best thing about them: Outrageous collection of midfield talent with Modric still majestic.
The worst about them: A natural goalscorer far from a team capable of ultimate glory.
Their perspectives in three words: True puncher’s luck.
Calendar (all times GMT)
- November 23 vs Morocco (10 a.m.)
- November 27 c. Canada (4 p.m.)
- December 1 vs Belgium (3 p.m.)
Guardians: Dominik Livakovic, Ivica Ivusic, Ivo Grbic.
Defenders: Domagoj Vida, Dejan Lovren, Borna Barisic, Josip Juranovic, Josko Gvardiol, Borna Sosa, Josip Stanisic, Martin Erlic, Josip Sutalo.
Midfielders: Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic, Marcelo Brozovic, Mario Pasalic, Nikola Vlasic, Lovro Majer, Kristijan Jakic, Luka Sucic.
Forwards: Ivan Perisic, Andrej Kramaric, Bruno Petkovic, Mislav Orsic, Ante Budimir, Marko Livaja.