Croatia put in the hard yards in training as Luka Modric and Co prepare for quarter-final with Russia
- Croatia are aiming for just the second World Cup semi-final in their history
- They trained at their base in Sochi on Wednesday ahead of facing Russia
- Ivan Perisic says they will be prepared for any style of play the hosts choose
Croatia are preparing for their date with destiny as they aim for a first World Cup quarter-final place since their charge to third place at France 98.
Luka Modric and Co trained at their base in Sochi on Wednesday as they fine-tuned preparations for the game on Saturday night in the south of Russia.
But standing in their way of repeating the heroics of the class of 20 years ago, are the hosts, who will be riding the crest of a wave after their penalty shootout victory over Spain in the last-16.
Luka Modric keeps his eyes on the ball as Croatia trained at the base in Sochi on Wednesday
Ivan Rakitic looks on as he takes a break from his preparations for the clash with Russia
After scoring eight times in their first two group matches, the Russians turned in a defensive masterclass to keep out the Spanish in Moscow on Sunday.
And Ivan Perisic insists the Croats will be ready for either approach from their opponents in Sochi this weekend.
‘Yeah, we have watched almost all of their games,’ the Inter Milan forward said.
‘Against Spain they used a different system, but you must adapt to every team you play against. So they thought it was the best tactics for them, and I think they made the right decision.
Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic addresses his squad ahead of the quarter-final in Sochi
Croatian players are put through their paces as they aim for a place in the semi-finals
Mario Mandzukic trains after breaking his goalscoring duck at Russia 2018 against Denmark
‘We will prepare well for both versions. We still have a couple of days to prepare well.’
Ante Rebic believes they must continue to focus on their own game: ‘I think we primarily must focus on ourselves because I think our team has bigger quality, we just need to show that on the pitch and we will be able to set the tone,’ Rebic said.
Croatia progressed after a nervy penalty shootout win over Denmark in Nizhny Novgorod on Sunday night.
Mateo Kovacic shows off his close control skills during the training session on Wednesday