Croatia were dark horses at the start but are now firm favourites to go deep into the tournament. Their scintillating group stage performance surprised many fans across the world. They topped the group with 3 wins including a thumping 3-0 win against Argentina. They have the luxury of being on the easy side of the draw with Spain, the only big fish to overcome en route to final.
Standing in Croatia’s path is a resilient Denmark who have quietly made a mark in the tournament. They are yet to lose a game. They won the opener against Peru and followed it with two consecutive draws. Denmark will be eager to spoil the Croatian party after their coach promised a more entertaining style of football in the knockouts to aid their star man Christian Eriksen.
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Croatia: Subasic, Strinic, Vida, Lovren, Vrsaljko, Brozovic, Rebic, Modric, Rakitic, Perisic, Mandzukic
Denmark: Schmeichel, Larsen, Christensen, Kjaer, Dalsgaard, Kvist, Delaney, Poulsen, Sisto, Eriksen, N.Jorgensen
Croatia: Dalic rested few of his key players against Iceland. He made 9 changes to the side that defeated Argentina but is expected to resort to his best players against the Danes. However, Badlej shined against Iceland and could start or make an appearance from the bench.
Denmark: Poulsen was suspended for their final group game and is once again available for selection. Denmark also took the chance to rest their star players and played defender Christensen in midfield against France. In the Round of 16, there is no room for experiments and Denmark will have their best team to stop the Croats.
Top Funtasy Picks
Ivan Perisic: The Inter Milan winger finally got on the score sheet for Croatia in this World Cup in their final group game. Denmark have not conceded a goal from open play so far and Perisic’s pace down the wings will be the key to breaking them down. The creative supply line of Modric and Rakitic will keep supplying him with chances to make a mark in this knockout game.
Luka Modric: His sublime strike in the group stage sent an entire nation into euphoria. There was a sense of inevitability when the Real Madrid midfielder got on the ball to curve it past the Argentinean goalkeeper. Having been given a more advanced role as number 10 under Dalic, Modric is thriving in this World Cup and could be the key for Croatia to go all the way.
Christian Eriksen: The Tottenham midfielder has scored 13 goals and delivered 5 assists in his last 16 games for his country. The battle between him and the former Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric could be the decisive factor in this tie. Hareide indicated that his side will look to play a style that would suit Eriksen and he is certain to get you points in Funtasy11.