Slaven Bilic: Croatia v Nigeria will be toughest game

Slaven Bilic: Croatia v Nigeria will be toughest game
Nigeria's head coach, German Gernot Rohr reacts, during the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifying soccer match between Algeria and Nigeria at Chahid-Hamlaoui stadium in Constantine, Algeria, 10 November 2017.

by Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Dec 20, 2017. 11:30

Former Croatia manager Slaven Bilic has admitted that the European nation faces a tough group at the 2018 World Cup, especially in their opener against Nigeria.

The Croatians have been pooled in Group D alongside the Super Eagles, Argentina and Iceland.

“It seems to me that it is not sufficiently recognised the weight of our group and especially the negativity of the schedule. We have a difficult group and the worst possible match schedule,” Bilić told Sportske Novosti.

“Nigeria at the start when it is, by tradition, the strongest and most difficult. Argentina have a decisive squad, and it would be better if it was in the third when we might have already settled the placement.

“The Icelanders are the third rival, but they have a mentality that even if they have already crashed out, and perhaps just because of that, playing as if their life depends on that encounter.”

Nigeria and Croatia will meet in their Group D opener at Kaliningrad Stadium on June 16.

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