Our prediction for this match:
Croatia take on Saudi Arabia at MRSOOL Park in their last warm-up game before the 2022 World Cup finals. The Croats must be high on confidence following four consecutive wins in the UEFA Nations League, but they will have to prove their worth on the field. As always, a man to watch in Zlatko Dalic’s team will be Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric, while Osasuna striker Ante Budimir is widely expected to lead the line for the nominal visitors.
The good news for the away side is that Inter midfielder Marcelo Brozovic has overcome his injury. Herve Renard’s troops, on the other hand, are preparing for their World Cup opener against star-studded Argentina. Anyhow, we predict that Croatia are going to emerge triumphant in their first ever meeting with Saudi Arabia as Zlatko Dalic has a number of high-profile players to choose from. A man to keep an eye on in the Asian side will be Salem Al-Dawsari, who has netted 17 goals in 70 caps for the national team.
Highlighted Player (Luka Modric):
Luka Modric is regarded as one of the best central midfielders in world football. The Croatian ace is a product of Dinamo Zagreb’s youth school and it has to be noted that he played 94 league games for the Modri between 2003 and 2008. In 2008 he signed a six-year deal with Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of £16.5 million.
Luka made his Tottenham debut on 16 August, 2008 in a 2-1 loss to Middlesbrough at Riverside Stadium. The Croatian star scored only 13 goals in 127 league appearances for the Spurs, but he is well known for his brilliant passing. In 2012 he signed for Real Madrid for a fee of £30 million and he made his debut against Barcelona in the 2012 Spanish Super Cup, return leg.
Modric quickly established himself as a first-team regular and, no doubt, he helped the capital club win two Champions League trophies (2013/2014, 2015/2016). You should bear in mind that he was named Croatian Footballer of the Year in 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2014.
Highlighted Team (Croatia):
While the national football team of Croatia also played international matches between 1940 and 1944, they only resumed their duties in 1990 after the country gained independence from Yugoslavia. Vatreni enjoyed a remarkable start on the international stage, winning the third place on their first ever World Cup appearance in France in 1998, while crashing out in the group stage at the 2002, 2006 and 2014 tournaments.
Croatia also reached the quarter-finals at the 1996 and 2008 European Championships, proving they are rightly considered one of Europe’s top sides at the start of the 21st century. Long-serving captain Darijo Srna is their most capped player with over 130 appearances for the national team, whereas former Real Madrid striker Davor Suker is one of their most famous players and top scorer with 45 goals.
Other notable footballers to have played for Croatia include Luka Modric, Zvonimir Boban, Robert Prosinecki, Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic. Miroslav Blazevic and Slaven Bilic are the coaches that have been behind team’s biggest success stories up to date.