Croatia vs Denmark Preview: Spurs the key to unlocking tie

Croatia vs Denmark Preview: Spurs the key to unlocking tie

The Croats take on Denmark at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in the 2018 World Cup on Sunday evening.

Dominic Scott-Bone

Croatia and Denmark will complete the fourth game of the last 16 at the 2018 Russia World Cup at 7pm GMT.

Luka Modric's side will be hoping they can make it four wins out of four in order to progress to the quarter-finals.

Denmark too are unbeaten so far, coming second in Group C with one win and two draws.

Battle between the midfield maestro's

Whilst Modric has been exemplary for Croatia throughout the group stages, his opposite number Christian Eriksen has been just as impressive.

As the Danish's go to man, the 26-year-old provided the assist for the solitary goal in the 1-0 victory over Peru, scored a superb goal in the 1-1 draw with Australia and according to Reuters has also covered the most distance by any single player in the competition's group stages, 36 kilometres.

The former Tottenham now Real Madrid magician has too been in exquisite form and has proven why he is widely regarded as the best midfielder on the planet.

Croatia's captain has been at the heart of all things good for his nation so far and epitomised his class with an optimistic yet brilliant curling strike that flew into the bottom corner of Willy Caballero's net.

It will be a battle between the former Spurs midfielder and the current assist king of North London, but we will have to wait and see who comes out on top until Sunday evening...

What the players are saying

Los Blancos and Vatreni compatriot Mateo Kovacic has spoke ahead of the tie. “Christian Eriksen is a great player," he said.

"He proved himself at Tottenham. We are aware of his quality—for example, he has an excellent shot. We must be very careful. But we stopped Lionel Messi in the game against Argentina, so we can do it again.”

The Danish dictator of play, Eriksen, too commented post-match.

“It will bring together the whole country if we move on against Croatia. It will lift the national spirit in the country. Had we gone home after the group matches, it would have been a scandal. Croatia are perhaps small favourites if you look at the clubs where the players come from. But I think we can settle it within 90 minutes.”

Possible line-ups

Croatia: Danijel Subasic; Sime Vrsaljko, Dejan Lovren, Domagoj Vida, Ivan Strinic; Ivan Rakitic, Milan Badelj; Ante Rebic, Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic; Mario Mandzukic​

Denmark: Kasper Schmeichel; Jens Stryger Larsen, Andreas Christensen, Simon Kjaer, Henrik Dalsgaard; Lasse Schone, Thomas Delaney; Pione Sisto, Christian Eriksen, Yussuf Yurary Poulsen; Nicolai Jorgensen