Our prediction for this World Cup 2022 match:
Al Bayt Stadium will host Group F clash between Morocco and Croatia, the two teams who meet for the first time at the World Cup finals. Morocco booked their place at the showpiece tournament thanks to a thrilling 4-1 win over D.R. Congo, but they will have a big fish to fry in Wednesday’s showdown. A man to watch in the home team will be Chelsea ace Hakim Ziyech, who was refusing to play for the national team under Vahid Halilhodzic, while in-form Hatayspor attacker Ayoub El Kaabi has been omitted.
Meanwhile, the Croats did well to beat Saudi Arabia in their last warm-up game despite the fact that boss Zlatko Dalic rested key players. All Ivan Perisic, Luka Modric, and Mateo Kovacic return to the starting XI, and given Croatia’s abundant experience at major tournaments, away win should definitely be considered. The good news for the European side is that Inter midfielder Marcelo Brozovic has overcome his injury.
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.