Croatia coach Dalic on yellow alert ahead of Iceland clash

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic intends to ring the changes for his team's final 2018 FIFA World Cup Group D game against Iceland to protect several players who are on yellow cards.

Croatia Zlatko Dalic 2018 FIFA World Cup Iceland

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic Source: AAP

Croatia top the group with two wins after their comprehensive 3-0 victory over Argentina, and Dalic can afford to rest players on yellow cards such as midfielder Ivan Rakitic.

"I'd like to top the group," he told reporters at Croatia's training base in Roshchino. "But we have to take care because we have some players on yellow cards so I will change the line-up.

"I will not start those who are on yellow cards because it's too much of a risk, there are 22 players who can play."

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Rakitic, who was booked in Croatia's 2-0 victory over Nigeria, and striker Mario Mandzukic are two of six players on a caution and at risk of suspension if they pick up a second yellow.

Dalic hailed the victory over Argentina as the best of his career and said he was especially pleased at how dominant Croatia were in every area of the pitch.

"We were expecting to progress, but not in such an impressive manner," he added.

"It was my biggest victory as coach. Every new game is the toughest one and most important, but to beat Argentina and (Lionel) Messi 3-0 and above all, to be better in all parts of the game, is something we rarely experience."



He signed off with a warning to his team not to get carried away as the FIFA World Cup had proved repeatedly that the best teams can slip up unexpectedly.

"We have to be proud, but it must not change us and we must not get carried away by the euphoria. Certainly now the whole world is looking at Croatia differently," he said.

"The whole tournament is quite weird, the favourites are finding it difficult to win. It's not easy and all the teams play good football and I'm looking forward to the others having to worry about us.

"We have to go step by step and believe in ourselves."



Croatia play Iceland in their final group game in Rostov-on-Don.




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2 min read
Published 23 June 2018 at 10:42am
Source: Reuters