Former Croatia and West Ham United coach , 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.
Bilic stated that Nigeria is the strongest and most difficult team in the Group D, the fixtures in the group stage of the World Cup have not been kind to his country.
Bilic told Sportske Novosti,“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.
“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.”
The Super Eagles of Nigeria and Croatia meet at Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad on June 16.
Bilic said they are 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.