Today is part two of my 16-part series examining the 16 teams that will meet in Austria and Switzerland in the summer. So, today we will be looking at another Group B team in Croatia.
On June 7, 2008, Croatia will participate in their 3rd European Championship. The reason the number is so low is not because of lack of talent, but because they were formerly other countries like Yugoslavia. So without and more background, here are some of the people and things to watch out for when you see them walk on the pitch.
Strength- The Croatians will come into the tourney with a very strong and underrated midfield. To me, the Croatians have one of the better midfields due to their experience in big games such as World Cups and Euros. With Dario Srna (Shaktar Donestk), Niko Kranjcar (Portsmouth), and captain Niko Kovac (Red Bull Salzburg), they are very dangerous. Some of their players may not play with big clubs, but this really doesn't matter. The rest of the team is pretty good, but watch out for the midfield.
Weakness- If I had to give this side a weakness, it would be their total lack of depth. I really think they are a very good, all-around squad, but this may be an issue for them. If the right players end up injured, Croatia could have a long tourney and not a very good one.
Player to Watch- Ivan Klasnic. The 28 year-old Werder Bremen striker may just break out and show how good he can be. If his health holds up, he will be a big asset to his team. Whether or not he plays, I still believe he will be an inspiration to his team.
Prediction- In a very Central European Group B, I see this side finishing in second and advancing to the Quarter-final stages.
*Once again, thanks and I hope you liked it. Tomorrow, I will be taking a look at the Cech, I mean Czech Republic. It's been Keeper and I'm out.