They didn’t manage to go through directly from qualifications, so just before the play-offs Ante Cacic was fired and Zlatko Dalic was given the chance to impress on the big stage.
HHe inspired 4-1 against Greece on aggregate and lead Croatia into the World Cup.
- Croatia applies possession based style of play, relying on technically gifted midfielders to keep the ball and deliver penetrating passes forward. Kalinic/Rebic moves inside to play close to Mandzukic, and each time he moves towards the ball they’ll try to exploit spaces in behind.
Perisic plays by the touchline mostly, attacking crosses on the far post and making runs in behind the defensive line.
- Defensively, they are aggressive side, with pressing being triggered after they direct opponents to play on their left side of the field. Near side players adopt man marking approach, while far sided central midfielder drops deeper to control the space behind the midfield line.
Center-backs and goalkeeper are prone to make individual mistakes, and with Corluka playing at the back that part of the field lacks pace – Lovren was often dragged out of position in order for opponent’s strikers to exploit spaces in behind. ’’