Croatia and Locomotive Moscow defender, Vedran Corluka, believes that defeating Nigeria in their opening Group D game at the 2018 World Cup will boost their chances of qualifying for the next round of the tournament, Completesportsnige
ria.com (CSN) reports.
Croatia have failed to advance to the knockout stages of the FIFA World Cup competition in their last two appearances. Corluka, 31, a former Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur defender who is a major doubt for the tournament due to his leg injury, however, hopes Croatia’s fortunes will change for the bettee in Russia.
Croatia will face Nigeria in their first Group D game before taking on Argentina and Iceland. They will be bidding to reach the knockout stages of the tournament for the second time, after France 1998, in their fourth appearance at the World Cup.
“I would like to see the Croatian team pay attention to Nigeria because they are the first opponent in Russia, and it will be tough against the tricky team from Africa,” Corluka told sports.ru.
“Getting past Nigeria will be the toughest, but a win over Nigeria can give us a big boost before other games against Argentina and Iceland.
“Hopefully, Argentina can start well with a win and we can take it from there.
“We (Croatia) have a good and strong team for sure, and there are talents. We always say this before every major tournament, but in fact it does not always work out, so I hope that we will fulfill the task in Russia.”