“I believe that the host will, because of the fans, start fanatically. They have nothing to lose, everybody crossed them out and I’m sure that they will play beyond their real abilities”, said Niko before the departure to Vienna.
Most of the experts agree that Croatia should accomplish predominance in the midfield against Austria. Niko KranjÄar, Luka ModriÄ‡, Darijo Srna and Niko KovaÄ are more quality players than the Austrian quartet which is leaded by Andreas Ivanschitz.
“We all hope that we will play our best against Austria, and not only against Austria, but also against Germany and Poland and everybody who will stand on our way later”, said Niko, who esteems that today the pressure is larger than two years ago on the World Cup in Germany.
“Than we were opening the tournament against Brazil, and now we play against Austria. We are all conscious that we can overcome them, while we couldn’t think like that about the five-times world champions. This time we are favourites.”
The midfielder of Croatian national team is aware that Vatreni weren’t brilliant in two preparing matches, against Moldova and Hungary. Skinny victory in Rijeka and a draw in Budapest alarmed Croatian public before the start of Euro.
“We hadn’t played wonderfully in that games. But we were all already thinking of Austria. Those matches weren’t a real picture of our team”, considers KranjÄar who is assured that our first opponent on Euro will do their best: “I believe that they will start fanatically because of the fans. They have nothing to lose, everybody crossed them out and I’m sure that they will play beyond their real abilities”, concluded Niko.
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