We pick Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic and Hannes Halldorsson as the three players to watch in Iceland vs Croatia in the FIFA World Cup 2018 Group D game.
Croatia have already booked their place in the Round of 16 phase of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. But, there is a niggling matter of them topping the group while their performance against Iceland could have repercussions for Argentina or Nigeria, depending on who emerges on top in that game.
Iceland, on the other hand, will need a win here to have any hopes of qualification. Their performance against Nigeria was disappointing and left a lot to be desired. But, the Viking spirit could come to the fore in their time of need and we should see a spirited performance from the Icelandic nation.
While Zlatko Dalic will be looking to rest some of the key players, Luka Modric’s public statement of intent to beat Iceland could see the Real Madrid man ask himself to be included in the starting eleven. But, there will be other changes in the offing, which could affect the rhythm of the squad.
We pick three players who could have an influence on the result of the match.
After a brilliant performance against Argentina, the film director was unable to cut the two goals from Nigeria’s end, with the second from Ahmed Musa serving as humiliation, as the speedster rounded the goalkeeper and several Iceland stars before putting the ball in the back of the net.
With qualification at stake against Croatia, Halldorsson will be expected to be at his best. People will be looking forward to a performance quite similar to the one against Argentina.
Zlatko Dalic will mostly be benching Luka Modric in order to rest his talisman before the knockouts. But, Modric could convince the manager to start him, with a case being made for the rhythm that might be lost.
As witnessed in the games in the 3rd matchday so far, the qualified teams have chosen to rest players and the same should be the case with Croatia.
But, we expect Modric to either start or be brought on from the bench to have an impact, should the need arise. Needless to say, the Real Madrid superstar will have more weight on his shoulders should he start, with others being given a rest.
If there is one player who needs minutes on the pitch, it is Ivan Perisic. The player has failed to live up to the expectations so far and Dalic will be looking to retain him in the starting eleven, with hopes that the former Manchester United target is able to capture his old form.
Perisic should fancy his chances against an Iceland side that will be looking to attack in order to land some shots on target in hopes of a win. This will leave space for Perisic to exploit and as he has shown at club level, he can be dangerous if left to be in attack.