Luka Modric hails

Luka Modric hails "world class" Christian Eriksen ahead of last-16 tie

Javier Howell
July 2, 2018

Three quick thoughts from Croatia's 3-2 penalty shootout win over Denmark, after the pair finished 120 minutes level at 1-1 in their round-of-16 tie.

Four years with Iniesta at Barcelona and 11 alongside Modric for Croatia leaves Rakitic in a privileged position to judge two of the finest playmakers of the modern era.

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After the interval, the chances were even more sparse although Croatia did up the tempo towards the end of regulation time only to run into a resolute Denmark defense. I was nine years old watching those games and dreaming about being in a similar situation.

Croatia were passing the ball around nicely in the opening stages of the second half but the Scandinavians were a threat on the transition. "We can beat that, definitely, but we need luck".

"It was a very hard game". His fellow defenders are expected to be Domagoj Vida, Sime Vrsaljko, Ivan Strinic - all were rested during the game against Iceland.

Croatia's plan at the moment seems to be the following: Hold possession, get the ball into the wide areas, cross in for Mandzukic. Rakitic and Modric have been fantastic, but Rebic is also one to watch. Croatia have impressed with their attacking abilities whereas Denmark have been a ideal mix of creative play and a pragmatic approach.

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Marcelo Brozovic can provide stability at the base of midfield, Ivan Perisic is unsafe on the flank and Hoffenheim's Andrej Kramaric is an effective playmaker. Croatia equalise through Mario Mandzukic's goal.

Croatia topped their group, winning all three of their group games.

Group D victor Croatia will be favourites against Group C runner-up Denmark when the two teams clash in FIFA World Cup 2018 pre-quarterfinal.

Croatia's Luka Modric and Denmark's Christian Eriksen will be the dangermen on Sunday and it's a midfield head-to-head that Age Hareide is looking forward to.

Instead the player who created most chances was Knudsen with his long throws. We're going to penalty kicks.

"We've played fantastically in the group stage, we must be proud of that, but this new game makes us forget all that went before and try to translate what we've already done to Sunday's game".

Denmark have a strong defence with a centre-back pairing of captain Simon Kjaer, Andreas Cristensen and Mathias Jorgensen.