Croatia opened their Euro 2016 account on Sunday with a win over Turkey. That victory went some way to avenging that dramatic Euro 2008 defeat when they were seconds away from the Semi Finals only to end losing on Penalties
Luka Modric was one of the two players who missed their spot kick that night so he would have taken some personal solace at the fact that it was his incredible 30 yard volley that was the difference on Sunday Afternoon
An early contender for Goal of the Tournament and if Real Madrid’s Modric can turn on the style again this evening then Croatia could very well have qualification for the Round of 16 wrapped up with one game left to play
But to do so they are going to have to get past a Czech Republic side who were moments away from claiming a draw against holders Spain. Monday Afternoon saw heartbreak for the Czech’s as Gerard Pique’s 87th minute header was enough for Spain to snatch a late winner and consign Pavel Vrba’s side to defeat
Petr Cech was a very busy man that afternoon making a string of saves to keep the scores at 0-0 but with the Czech backline getting deeper and deeper even he was powerless to the inch perfect pass from Andes Iniesta which led to the eventual Spanish winner
Once again Tomas Rosicky will look to sell himself to future employers, he looked solid against Spain but him and his teammates are going to have to show a bit more attacking guile this time around if they are going to get anything out of this game
As for Croatia they may have only won 1-0 but their performance warranted for more goals, it was only a mixture of some errant finishing and acrobatics by the Turkish Goalkeeper that kept the score down on Sunday afternoon.
Mario Mandzukic will be once again charged with leading the line for Croatia this evening. He’ll be hoping to open his tournament account after being guilty of missing opportunities against Turkey while Vedran Corluka will just hope that he doesn’t lose any more blood
After their opening game win on Sunday, Croatia will go into this game as favourites and rightfully so in my opinion. I think it will be a keenly contested encounter but I think the Croats just have that extra bit of quality which should see them secure qualification from the groups. A Croatia win for me.