Mandzukic return a huge boost to Croatia, says Pranjic

The Bayern Munich centre forward returns from suspension for his side's all-or-nothing clash with Cameroon in Manaus on Wednesday after they lost to Brazil in their opener
Croatia midfielder Danijel Pranjic expects his side to pose more of an attacking threat against Cameroon following star striker Mario Mandzukic's return from suspension.

The Bayern Munich forward missed his country's defeat to Brazil in their Group A opener on Thursday after being sent off in the second leg of their qualification play-off victory over Iceland.

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However, he has now served his ban, meaning that coach Niko Kovac will be able to unleash him in Croatia's crucial clash with Cameroon, who were beaten 1-0 by Mexico in their first game, and Pranjic, who also missed out against Brazil due to injury, believes that his team will be better off with Mandzukic leading the line.

"Mandzukic definitely makes us stronger and you can't replace him like-for-like," the 32-year-old told Fifa's official website. "He's prepared to go out and die for the cause.

"Nikica Jelavic did really well against Brazil but Mario is Mario. We need him. We're a totally different team without him."

Kovac's side will be desperate to get off the mark following their 3-1 defeat against, suffered in controversial fashion with complaints that a number of key refereeing decisions went against them, and Pranjic warned his team-mates that it is now win-or-bust.

"It's all-or-nothing for both teams," he declared. The losers will pack their bags and go home.

"We have to be ready for everything and play like it was our last match."