LIVE: Croatia v Nigeria | World Cup | June 16, 2018
21:00 Cairo Local Time | 15:00 ET Canada-USA
Venue: Stadion Baltika in Kalinigrad
It is a first meeting between the two countries but Nigeria has not lost to a European country in the opening match of the World Cup while Croatia have not won their opening match in the last two World Cups.
There was good news in the Nigerian camp on Friday when Leon Balogun completed the training session. There had been doubts about the fitness of the new Brighton and Hove Albion defender but he seems to have regained fitness ahead of the Croatia clash.
Coach Zlatko Dalic is expected to start Andrej Kramaric as his main striker and the Hoffenheim has said the Croats are totally concentrated on the game against the Eagles. “The Nigeria game is all we are dreaming about. We do not dream of any quarter-finals or anything like that.”
For Odion Ighalo, he is hoping he can mark his 29th birthday with a goal for the Eagles while the squad’s youngest player, Francis Uzoho believes the Eagles will “will win if we play our best”. Dalic added: “I see Nigeria as a young, potent and hungry team with great potential. This first match is very important – it will set the tone for the rest of our tournament.”
LIVE: Croatia v Nigeria