What did we learn this week?
- Ivica Ivušić is a much better goalie than Dominik Livaković and should be Dalić’s first choice at the moment. Ivušić shows a confidence in the box Livaković simply does not have right now. There was nothing Ivušić could do on the Bulgarian goal as he was left high and dry on a break away.
- Andrej Kramarić is still Croatia’s best striking option. We can give him shit for failed attempts in front of goal (*cough* Spain game) but no one else has stepped up to challenge him for the position. Not Livaja. Not Pašalić. Not Livaja. That was a wonderful and confident goal from Krama in the box today.
- Borna Barišić is ready to ball and send rockets towards the opposing goal. He could have easily scored from long-range in the 1st half but the opportunity simply did not fall. If Croatia can manufacture long-range threats from defense and midfield (Modrić, Oršić, Perišić); that will add another layer of threat heading into the World Cup. Historically, Croatia has never been a “shoot from outside the box” team.
The final friendly of the week for Croatia kicks off at 10AM (ET) Tuesday in Doha, Qatar. The Vatreni will face Bulgaria, who lost 2-1 to Qatar on Saturday. This match means absolutely nothing for Croatia as they have already locked up a Pot 2 seeding for this Friday’s World Cup draw.
Manager, Zlatko Dalić, has already stated publicly that the B-team will play against Bulgaria. Here is the squad that is will take the field Tuesday. Once again all eyes on goalkeeper Ivica Ivušić and striker Marko Livaja, as Croatia’s two biggest holes at this time are in the forward and goalie departments.