Mexico will be attacking and while Croatia will defend and counter attack. Its a shame Tudor isnt playing he is such a great player, I dont see Croatia back line as strong without him. You just cant replace a player of his caliber.
A few more days to go can't wait Im getting that anxious excited feeling.
Anyways Good Luck to Croatia may the best team win.
Which will be Mexico
Well, with all due respect to Mexico, I can't see them scoring 2 goals on us. Tudor is a loss, but our defence is still very good without and it's led in the middle by Kovac and Simic.
The counter attack will most likely come from the Mexicans though, since our midfield is stronger and more technically sound. I really don't see our boys chasing the ball and the Mexicans will have a tough time getting possesion away from us as our boys are physically stronger.
I see Mexico using the wings a lot because they're not gonna be able to come up through the middle. Crosses might work against a lot of teams in CONCACAF but since most Croats are tall and know how to play football, the battle in the air is ours.
The Mexican defence is suspect and will prolly conceded a lot of fouls around the box and we'll have a good amount of free kicks and one of them is bound to go in.
In order for Mexico to win this game, they'll have to utilize their speed because it's their only advantage. Croatia is better technically, tactically and stronger physically.
Optimistic IVO, but I see no reason not to predict that score, we've beaten Mexico 3-0 in our first meeting, and 2-1 in our second.
I agree about Mexico's lack of strength, but they also lack speed. Infact they've been described as one of the slowest teams at the WC.
Even without Tudor, the Croatian defense has not conceded a goal in 5 matches. That's 450 minutes of football. And our attack ain't to shabby, with gifted mids feeding world class strikers. I love it when people underestimate our team.
ONe of the biggest misconceptions about Croatia is that few players make up the team. Sure, Suker was the top scorer in '98, but the set up by his temmates were pheomenal. Take for example his goal against France. They work well together as a unit. Tudor will be missed, but one guy cannot make an entire defense. In the end, Croatia's collective unity as a team will be strong.
It must be fun having a "very objective" thread when 80% of the replies are from croats
This game is anyones guess in my opinion, as are most world cup matches, there are just too many factors to consider: If Blanco is having a good inspired day, he can really make the difference and hand some wicked balls to Palencia or Borguetti and even score some himself. It's no accident Mexico had its terrible slump in qualfying when Blanco was injured against Trinidad (7-0), but when he got back he took the team from 4 points in 5 matches to 13 pts in 5 matches.
If a score is predictable I'd say 0-0. Why? Well Croatia, even without Tudor, have a very, very solid backline, maybe they don't have the best defenders around, but they surely know how to contain forwards. Mexico on the other hands plays very boring football, it's almost like catenaccio, none of the players play with the ball for more than 2 seconds, they just pass, pass, pass, which makes it harder for other teams to get the ball and score, and the only way to do so is to wait for a mistake on behalf of the defense and score on a counter attack, just like the US did in their past friendly.
So in conclusion its either a goaless draw or a 1-0 win by the team who has it's star in full inspiration mode. Who will it be: Blanco or Suker?:fero:
World Cup Preview: Mexico-Croatia
Croatia - Mexico | News Archive
Davor Suker: Holder of the Golden Boot
Mexico and Croatia begin their Group G campaign with a match at the Niigata, Japan. The construction of Niigata Stadium was completed in 2001, so there won't be any worries about the pitch. This will be perfect to settle a battle of words that has ensued between two sides. Mexico's head honcho, Javier "El Vasco" Aguirre had predicted a victory over Croatia earlier in the year. However El Tri has not looked like a side that can defeat the Third place finishers of France '98, after barely qualifying for the Big Dance. Maybe El Vasco confidence ensues due to the mild manner approach of Croatia coach Mirko Jozic. However, El Vasco has never beaten the Balkan country since their re-emergence as a nation in 1990.
Croatian fans have spent months preparing a gift for their team, a gift that they will proudly display on Monday. A 150 sq. metre flag autographed by tens of thousands of fans that has been several months in the making will finally be unfurled in the countries game against Mexico. The red and white chequered flag representing the colours of the country has pieces that, over the past year, had been placed at hundreds of locations (restaurants, bars, etc.) in the country and now bear the signatures and messages of the ardent fans. Some famed well-wishers include President Stipe Mesic, Prime Minister Ivica Racan, and tennis superstar, Goran Ivanisevic.
LATEST TEAM NEWS
Mexico - FIFA Rank: 7
El Vasco has yet to name his starting line-up for Monday's match. Aguirre is trying to figure out if Alberto Rodríguez or Rafael García should play in the inside right half. Aguirre might use Alberto García Aspe, who is more experienced and can direct El Tri a bit better. FIFA reduced the suspension of Jesus "El Cabrito" Arellano to one match. El Cabrito was to serve a two match suspension, due to attacking Wilmer Lopez of Costa Rica, in a World Cup Qualifier on October 7th of last year. This helps Mexico very much, because Arellano is a key playmaker in El Tri's offensive attack. At the same time, Arellano has the speed to get back and help out on the defensive side of the field.
Croatia - FIFA Rank: 21
Croatia on the other hand, have been decimated by injuries. Their defensive stalwart, Igor Tudor is watching from back home and Jozic has stood helplessly and seen first Robert Kovac, and then Dario Simic, sustain injuries that could keep them out for a few games. While the Bayern defender has been able to make a speedy recovery, the Internazionale stopper is almost certain to miss out after failing to recover from a calf strain. With the defence in chaos, Jozic will be forced to turn to some of his less experienced players like Simunic, who at one time suffered from attacks of nervous breakdown, not the best disease for a sweeper to have. Other recent news suggests that controversial, but talented Aston Villa star Bosko Balaban will take a seat on the bench for the opening game.
Mexico (4-4-2): Óscar "El Conejo" Pérez (CDSC Cruz Azul); Manuel Vidrio (Pachuca CF), Melvin Brown (CDSC Cruz Azul), Alberto Rodríguez (Pachuca CF), Rafael Márquez (AS Monaco FC); Gabriel Caballero (Pachuca CF), Alberto García Aspe (Puebla FC), Braulio Luna (CID Necaxa), Gerardo Torrado (Sevilla FC); Juan Francisco Palencia (RCD Espanyol), Cuauhtémoc Blanco (Real Valladolid)
Croatia (4-4-2): Stipe Pletikosa (Hajduk Split); Boris Zivkovic (Bayer Leverküsen), Josip Simunic (Hertha Berlin), Robert Kovac (Bayern München), Robert Jarni (Panathinaikos); Zvonimir Soldo (Stuttgart), Stjepan Tomas (Vicenza), Niko Kovac (Bayern München), Robert Prosinecki (no club); Davor Suker (1860 Münich), Alen Boksic (Middlesborough)
So far this year, El Tri has played 11 matches and posted 8 wins and 3 losses. Mexico has won their last 5 matches, after losing to Team USA on April 3. However, those opponents haven't been the toughest squads around. Squads like Tokyo Verdy and Bolivia won't present the same types of challenges as Croatia will and Mexico didn't look good in those victories.
Croatia have not conceded a goal in their last six international games, four of which have been friendly games. However, Jozic's men took on Japanese second division side Albirex a day before the World Cup kicked off and won 3-0. A point of note, all three goals came from bench players: Goran Vlaovic, Mario Stanic, and Ivica Olic. They also beat Toyama Dreams 4-0 a few days before that (Vlaovic scored as a sub in that game as well).
Francisco Palencia & Cuauhtémoc Blanco
The Spanish connection hasn't played that much this year with El Tri, due to their club responsibilities in Spain. However when these players put on the Green for Mexico, they have played outstanding. The opponents in Group G will have a tough time trying contain this Dynamic Duo.
Stipe Pletikosa & Boris Zivkovic
The 22-yr old stopper has beaten the likes of Croat champ Vasilj to the starting spot and has played a huge role in Croatia's endless string of clean sheets (9 in a row including friendlies). Zivkovic may have let three trophies slip from his hands at Bayer, but he was one of the key members of that Toppmöller side that came so close to being crowned Champions of Europe.
Jorge Campos & Luis Hernandez
How these guys get a ticket to Japan, one wonders. Both are shells of their past performances of France '98. Maybe this will be their farewell tour. El Vasco seems to like having these guys around.
The lanky veteran has been anything but lucky all his life. His career has been plagued by injury and hence it comes as no surprise that he was missing from both, France 98 and Euro 96 in England. At the grand old age of 32, the Middlesborough striker has made it to the big stage. But, what happens? He first picks up a knock on his ankle and then gets struck by a stomach flu. Will his luck change? Let's hope so.
16 Jun 1999 - Seoul, Korea Republic
Match Status: Friendly
Mexico - Croatia 1:2
22 Oct 1992 - Zagreb, Croatia
Match Status: Friendly
Croatia - Mexico 3:0
After months of waiting the game is finally today!!!!!! I couldnt sleep last night, but i think its because i was watching 4 games last night. Here we go good luck to Croatia!!!!!!!!!! Well i got to go and buy some Coronas now for the game tonight.
SI SE PUEDE SI SE PUEDE SI SE PUEDE
PS: I dont think Palencia is starting it will be Blanco paired with Borgetti, thats what i have heard last.