Omonia Nicosia of Cyprus forward, Theophilus Solomon has disclosed that Croatia will rely heavily on Real Madrid’s midfield duo of Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic to make a difference for their national team when they battle Nigeria at the World Cup.
Solomon, who is on loan at his current base from HNK Rijeka of Croatia, disclosed that he got an inside view of the Croatians’ pans before he left, and stressed that they are warming up for their June 16 opening group battle against Nigeria.
Solomon, who has lived in Croatia for four years, said his friends in their national team and others clubs told him much about their World Cup plans, as he exchanged views with them during the draw for the 2018 Mundial.
Croatia are grouped alongside Nigeria, Argentina and Iceland in Group D, and ahead of the first ever meeting between both nations since their split from Yugoslavia, which the Eagles once played in a friendly, Solomon has revealed some secrets about the Croatians.
Solomon went on to reveal that the Croatians are also wary of Nigeria’s players, as he says they respect Super Eagles captain, John Mikel Obi a lot, but believe that the bigger threat in midfield would come from Wilfred Onyinyen Ndidi.
He recounted: ”I was with some players of the Croatian national team when the draws were made and although they admit they are in a straight battle with Nigeria to qualify alongside Argentina. They are still confident of their chances.
”I listened to them talk about how Nigeria are unpredictable and sometimes unorganised in defence, but overall they agree that Nigeria have an attack that can wreck any team on a good day.
”Based on the fact that Croatia rely heavily on their key midfielders in Mateo Kovacic and Luka Modric, both of Real Madrid, their emphasis was more on how the duo will function against Nigeria.
”Mikel Obi is one player they respect a lot in Croatia, but Wilfred Ndidi is the threat according to most of them.
“They feel he could be the reason why Modric and Kovacic click as a pair or not. They are really scared of Ndidi.”