After the group stage finished, Croatia got the first opponent in the play-off stage. It is the toughest one possible – Ronaldo’s Portugal.
The Croatian team has done great and clinched the first position of the Group D of the EURO 2016, but had no luck with the developments in the other groups. Croatia will face the toughest opponent out of those who finished in the third position of their respected groups – Portugal after their draw against Hungary on June 22, 2016.
Croatia has shown a much better form, and should be the favorite in the match, but the Portuguese team has a lot more quality than they displayed in the group stage. More bad news for Croatia is the form of the best Portuguese player, Cristiano Ronaldo, who struggled in the first two games, but unfortunately for Croatia, has scored two goals in his last match against Hungary.
The history between two teams is one more concern for Croatia, as Portugal has won all three previous encounters, and Croats did not score a single goal in those matches.
Good news is the form of Croatian team, as Ivan Perišić and Luka Modrić are among the best players of the tournament based on the opinion of all football experts. Also, the Portugal’s defense has shown a lot of weakness so far.
It will also be interesting to see the clash of the two Real Madrid stars, Ronaldo and Modrić now on opposite sides. There is a great respect between the two, and as they are familiar with the style of the opponent, it can be both an advantage and disadvantage for them.
The match will be played in Lens on Saturday, and the winner will face the better from the Switzerland – Poland game in the quarterfinals.