Nigeria match the most difficult for Croatia - Slaven Bilic

The former West Ham United manager would have loved for his country not to start their campaign against the Super Eagles

Slaven Bilic has bemoaned Croatia's 'negative' match schedule at the Russia 2018 World Cup, and he is particularly concerned about kicking off against Nigeria.

The Fiery Ones were pitted in Group D alongside Gernot Rohr's side, Argentina and debutants, Iceland.

They will be starting their campaign against the Super Eagles in Kaliningrad on June 16 before taking on Jorge Sampaoli's star-studded team and rounding off the group fixtures with the Icelanders.

And Bilic, former coach of the national side, believes with his country got the 'worst possible match schedule'.

“It seems to me that it is not sufficiently recognised the weight of our group and especially the negativity of the schedule. We have a difficult group and the worst possible match schedule,” Bilić told Sportske Novosti.

Article continues below

“Nigeria at the start when it is, by tradition, the strongest and most difficult. Argentina have a decisive squad, and it would be better if it was in the third when we might have already settled the placement.

“The Icelanders are the third rival, but they have a mentality that even if they have already crashed out, and perhaps just because of that, playing as if their life depends on that encounter.”

Croatia best performance on the global scene was when the legendary Davor Suker inspired them to a third-place finish at France 1998.

Next article:
Southgate hails 'tremendous talent' Rashford
Next article:
'We'll see what happens' - Vela stays quiet on Barcelona links
Next article:
It was a clear goal – Valverde dismisses VR controversy
Next article:
Emery claims Ozil is part of his Arsenal plans
Next article:
Barcelona forward Dembele set for tests on sprained ankle