Croatia World Cup 2022 squad, predicted line-up versus Japan and star players

Croatia World Cup squad Modric Perisic KovacicGOAL

2018 World Cup finalists Croatia will hope to go one step further as they continue their 2022 campaign in the last 16 against Japan.

Having missed out on the trophy last time around, star midfielder and captain Luka Modric will be hoping to come back home with the iconic trophy this time around.

Having graduated from a group consisting of Belgium, Morocco and Canada, they are set to take on Japan in the next round of the tournament on December 5.

Zlatko Dalic's squad feature familiar faces such as Modric, Andrej Kramaric, Ivan Perisic and Mateo Kovacic.

Let see how many of those players will make the starting XI up when they come up against Japan in the first knockout round of the competition.

ALSO READ: World Cup 2022 Group F: Fixtures, results, standings, squads & full details

  • Dominik Livakovic Croatia World Cup 2022Getty

    GOALKEEPERS

    Dominik Livakovic has been Dalic's first-choice so far in the tournament and that's unlikely to change in the last 16.

    He kept clean sheets against Morocco and Belgium, while Canada managed to slip one goal past him as Croatia went through as Group F runners up behind the African nation.

    Ivica Ivusic and Atletico Madrid's Ivo Grbic are also available as the two other options.

    Name

    Club

    Dominik Livakovic

    Dinamo Zagreb

    Ivica Ivusic

    Osijek

    Ivo Grbic

    Atletico Madrid

  • Dejan Lovren Luka Modric Croatia World Cup 2022Getty

    DEFENDERS

    Josip Juranovic played every minute of group stage football for Croatia and will surely start once again at right-back against Japan.

    The experienced Dejan Lovren will likely keep his place in the centre alongside the 20-year-old Josko Gvardiol following his bright performances so far.

    At left-back, Borna Sosa will continue having also played and finished every match so far.

    Dalic can also call on the likes of Domagoj Vida, Borna Barisic, Josip Sutalo, Martin Erlic and Josip Stanisic when needed.

    Name

    Club

    Josip Stanisic

    Bayern Munich

    Borna Barisic

    Rangers

    Josip Sutalo

    Dinamo Zagreb

    Dejan Lovren

    Zenit St Petersburg

    Borna Sosa

    Stuttgart

    Josko Gvardiol

    RB Leipzig

    Domagoj Vida

    AEK Aethens

    Josip Juranovic

    Celtic

    Martin Erlic

    Sassuolo

  • Luka Modric Croatia Belgium 2022 World CupGetty

    MIDFIELDERS

    The midfield also looks fairly simple for Dalic.

    Captain Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic and Marcelo Brozovic will most likely continue as the first choice players in the middle of the park, having started all three group games.

    Lovro Majer, Nikola Vlasic, Mario Pasalic and Red Bull Salzburg youngster Luka Sucic will all be ready to take their chance if they get it.

    Name

    Club

    Lovro Majer

    Rennes

    Mateo Kovacic

    Chelsea

    Luka Modric

    Real Madrid

    Marcelo Brozovic

    Inter

    Mario Pasalic

    Atalanta

    Nikola Vlasic

    Torino

    Luka Sucic

    RB Salzburg

    Kristijan Jakic

    Eintracht Frankfurt

  • Andrej Kramaric Croatia World Cup 2022Getty

    ATTACKERS

    Andrej Kramaric and Ivan Perisic have both started all three games so far and will surely keep their place for the clash against Japan.

    Marko Livaja was brought into the starting XI to replace Nikola Vlasic after the opening day draw against Morocco and could yet again be trusted in the last 16.

    Ante Budimir, Mislav Orsic, Bruno Petkovic and Vlasic are all available to fill in should any of the other attackers fall out of the starting XI.

    Name

    Club

    Ivan Perisic

    Tottenham

    Andrej Kramaric

    Hoffenheim

    Marko Livaja

    Hajduk Split

    Bruno Petkovic

    Dinamo Zagreb

    Ante Budimir

    Osasuna

    Mislav Orsic

    Dinamo Zagreb

  • croatia221128Getty Images

    CROATIA STAR PLAYERS

    Dalic has plenty of formidable players to call upon.

    Croatia proved to be a strong competitor in this World Cup as they progressed at the expense of Belgium, having held the Rode Duivels to a goalless draw in the last game of the group stage.

    They will need that quality when they line up against a Japan team that got the better of Germany and Spain in their group and progressed as group winners.

    But with the likes of Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic, Ivan Perisic and Andrej Kramaric in their ranks, they will feel they can threaten any team.

    They also have a good mix of youth and experience in the squad, as Dejan Lovren partners 20-year-old centre-back Josko Gvardiol in the defence.

  • CROATIA STARTING XI VS JAPAN

    Dominik Livakovic is likely to guard the goal in front of the defence constituted by Josip Juranovic, Dejan Lovren, Josko Gvardiol and Borna Sosa.

    The solid midfield will be a trident featuring Marcelo Brozovic, Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic.

    Andrej Kramaric could be the man to lead the line, with help from Marko Livaja and Ivan Perisic on the flanks.

    Croatia XI (4-3-3): Livakovic; Juranovic, Lovren, Gvardiol, Sosa; Brozovic, Modric, Kovacic; Kramaric, Livaja, Perisic.