Euro 2020: Croatia wants to ramp up the attack and strangle Schick

Croatia’s chances of progressing in the European Championship are dependent on two factors: reviving a stuttering offensive line and keeping the Czech Republic forward Patrik Schick away. Croatia was suffocated against England in the first group encounter, losing 1-0, under pressure to deliver at Euro 2020 after reaching the World Cup final three years ago.

In Friday’s Group D match against the Czech Republic at Hampden Park, Croatia assistant coach Vedran Ćorluka urged his players to be more dangerous and attack-minded. “We know that our problem lately has been our finishing, We are working to fix that for the next game. I am certain we will be much better and more dangerous.”

Ćorluka on the other hand is quite familiar with Croatia’s upcoming opponents and understands how difficult they can be. He was in central defence as Croatia blew a two-goal lead against the Czech Republic in a 2-2 group match at Euro 2016 & this time, he believes they’re even better.

“The Czechs today are a much more dynamic team, much faster, and I think much more unpleasant, so it will be harder for us,” he said.

Schick, who scored twice in a 2-0 win over Scotland on Monday, is the Czech Republic’s main threat. Schick scored a record-breaking goal from around the halfway line when he spotted the goalie far off his line. Croatia, on the other hand, has no plans to adjust its defensive strategy to deal with Schick, other Czech players that Croatia will have to shut down are midfielders Jakub Jankto, who Ćorluka described as fast and dynamic, Vladimír Darida, Tomáš Souček, and Alex Král. He said they are very dangerous when going forward in attacking half. 

Luka Modric, Croatia’s playmaker, will have to boost his game after failing to impress against England at Wembley Stadium. England’s defence dragged him into deeper positions, which he will have to overcome against the Czechs. The Czechs are confident coming into Friday’s game after defeating Scotland in their first match. They lead Group D on goal differential and are eager to move to the round of 16.

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