Croatia National Football Team

A tactical preview for Croatia National Football Team playing in EURO 2024

The Croatia National Football Team has one of the most unique rosters among teams participating in Euro 2024. Most of the group have represented the national team for the better part of a decade and have become very accustomed to playing with each other.

Under manager Zlatko Dalic, the team has developed into a closely-knit group of young and experienced players, with the latter still leading the pack with their performances. Having reached the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Croatia will look to put their best foot forward this time as well. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the core starting group.

Predicted lineup of the Croatia National Football Team playing in EUROs

While the Croatia National Football Team has several talented and experienced players, their only drawback is that most of them are either in the starting XI. They have limited options coming off the bench, which could prove costly.

Dominik Livakovic will retain his spot as the first-choice goalkeeper, with Nediljko Labrovic and Ivica Ivusic as the backups. In defense, all eyes will be on exciting 22-year-old Josko Gvardiol, who has shone since being called up to the national team. Alongside him will be veteran Domagoj Vida, along with Josip Stanisic and Josip Juranovic.

Midfield is where Croatia’s true qualities come to play as they are stacked with quality options. Veterans Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic and Marcelo Brozovic will be the mainstays, and will be complemented by youngsters Luka Sucic, Martin Baturina and Lovro Majer.

Up front, Andrej Kramaric and Ivan Perisic will be the go-to options for creating and scoring goals. Marko Pjaca, Ante Budimir, and Bruno Petkovic make up the rest of the group.

Croatia Starting XI In UEFA Euro 2024
Croatia Starting XI In UEFA Euro 2024 (Credit: Buildlineup.com)

Predicted Starting XI: Dominik Livakovic (GK); Josip Stanisic, Josip Sutalo, Marin Pongracic, Josko Gvardiol; Luka Modric (C), Marcelo Brozovic, Mateo Kovacic; Lovro Majer, Ante Budimir, Andrej Kramaric.

Also Read: A tactical preview for Netherlands National Football Team playing in EURO 2024

Team Strengths

The Croatia National Football Team is one of the strongest at the upcoming Euro 2024, so without further ado, here are some of their biggest strengths.

  • Midfield Depth – Croatia has a stacked midfield. Besides Modric, Brozovic and Kovacic as the starting three, they also have the likes of Nikola Vlasic, Mario Pasalic and Luka Sucic in their ranks. Should a certain tactic not bore fruit, manager Dalic can instantly change one or two personnel and turn their gameplan around.
  • Veteran Presence – The team has capable leaders in Modric, Kovacic and Brozovic. The trio have played at the highest level for nearly two decades now, and have won major trophies everywhere they have played. Their mindset and temperament would be crucial for the team.
  • Common Cause – National team hero Modric will likely be featuring in his last major tournament for Croatia aged 38, giving his teammates an extra reason to give it their all and give their skipper a good farewell.
  • Squad Harmony – This group of players has played together for about 6-7 years now and have good chemistry on and off the pitch.

Team Weaknesses

Like with every good team, having strengths also means the team has some weaknesses which opponents can look to take advantage of. Here are some of Croatia’s:

  • Lack of Strikers – While their defence and midfield have several options, Croatia have limited options up front and could be in hot water should Kramaric or Budimir suffer an injury.
  • Mentality – Having never won a major international trophy before, Croatia could come under tremendous pressure to deliver should they progress to the latter stages of Euro 2024.

Croatia EURO 2024 Key Players to Watch Out For

  • Luka Modric – Modric is arguably the greatest-ever Croatian footballer, and is now on a slow and steady decline into retirement as he nears 40. He has represented Real Madrid at the club level for the last decade or so and has won over 25 major trophies with them. Now, the midfield maestro will look to end his national team career with a trophy.
Luka Modric has been a stalwart for Croatia National Football Team
Luka Modric has been a stalwart for Croatia National Football Team. (Getty Images)
  • Dominik Livakovic – Croatia’s shot-stopper has been one of the most important players in the team for the last couple of years. He has made some incredible saves in key moments to keep his team alive and will look to do the same.
Livakovic has been a key player for Croatia
Livakovic has been a key player for Croatia. (Getty Images)
  • Josko Gvardiol – Still only 22, Gvardiol has a long road ahead of him. However, the highly-talented defender is already a mainstay for Croatia as well as Manchester City, and will be for years to come.
Gvardiol has shown great promise for Croatia
Gvardiol has shown great promise for Croatia. (Getty Images)

Conclusion

While the Croatian national football team is strong with decent experience, they could suffer due to a lack of options off the bench. As a result, making it to the last eight would be a decent result for them.

Also Read: A tactical preview for France National Football Team playing in EURO 2024

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