Favourites Brazil have enough quality to field two teams, say Croatians

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
More
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Favourites Brazil have enough quality to field two teams, say Croatians

Kovacic and Lovren fronted up to the media in the lead-up to the match
Kovacic and Lovren fronted up to the media in the lead-up to the matchReuters
Croatia's World Cup quarter-final opponents ooze quality and could field two starting 11s in the tournament but despite the respect they feel, the small Balkan nation can play even better than they have so far, defender Dejan Lovren (33) and midfielder Mateo Kovacic (28) said.

The 2018 World Cup finalists, aiming to make it two semi-final appearances in a row, have a mountain to climb with pre-tournament favourites Brazil confirming their status with a 4-1 round of 16 demolition of South Korea.

"Brazil were favourites before the tournament. They have two teams that can play at this level," Lovren said on Wednesday. "Any of their substitutes can come on and make an instant impact. We respect everybody and that is how we work."

Croatia, whose coach Zlatko Dalic described Brazil as "terrifying", have had a tougher road to the last eight, needing penalties to oust Japan after a 1-1 draw over 120 minutes, but fitness is no issue.

"We showed that we are in great physical shape," Kovacic said. "We worked a lot during these World Cup games. The Japanese team were very disciplined and it was difficult to break them down."

"But we showed a lot of physical fitness and I believe we can play even better."

What will be key for Croatia is to manage to keep possession against the Brazilians, no easy feat with Brazil coach Tite ready to field his first-choice team for the first time in this tournament.

With talisman Neymar (30) and key defender Danilo (31) returning against South Korea after missing two games to injuries and due to ankle problems, coach Tite could also have Alex Sandro (31) back for the game on Friday.

"How we can stop them?," Lovren said. "It is simple. Our goal is to try and stop the whole team. It will be a very difficult fight."

As for Brazil's exuberant celebrations when they score, which some have said are disrespectful to their opponents, Lovren said he had no problem with them.

"Honestly, everybody can celebrate however they want. I have no issues with that," he said. "I don't think it is disrespectful."

"There are boundaries for everything, but Brazilians were born singing and dancing and I have no problem with that."

Follow the match between Croatia and Brazil on Flashscore.

21+ | COMPETENT REGULATOR EEEP | RISK OF ADDICTION & LOSS OF PROPERTY | KETHEA HELPLINE: 210 9237777 | PLAY RESPONSIBLY & SAFELY |

France gouvernement

Les jeux d’argent et de hasard peuvent être dangereux : pertes d’argent, conflits familiaux, addiction…

Retrouvez nos conseils sur joueurs-info-service.fr (09-74-75-13-13, appel non surtaxé)

Do you want to withdraw your consent to display betting ads?
Yes, change settings