Croatia have been impressive through two games at the World Cup, winning both of their encounters to take the top spot in Group D.
While other top nations like Argentina, Brazil and Germany have struggled to varying degrees, Croatia are one of just two teams (along with Uruguay) to not allow a goal in the tournament, while scoring five themselves.
It’s been enough to give Dejan Lovren confidence and the Liverpool man believes his side are “dark horses” to go on and lift the trophy.
“Right now, Croatia are the dark horses. We’re a bit of an underdog, we have shown that we play well and hope we continue to play well, taking it one game at a time,” Lovren said.
See Lovren’s full comments in the video below.
Rudy was expected to miss the crunch Group F clash after sustaining a nasal bone fracture after half an hour of Germany’s dramatic late win over Sweden on Saturday night.
However Germany assistant coach Marcus Sorg told a press conference on Monday that he had not given up hope that Rudy will avoid joining the suspended Jerome Boateng on the sidelines.
Sorg said: “Sebastian Rudy underwent surgery yesterday so we have to be prepared for him to be sidelined for the next match. But if there is the possibility for him to play in a protective mask, we could consider it.”
Sorg added: “Mats Hummels is back into full training today, so he will be fit for the next match.”
After their shock opening loss to Mexico, who have guaranteed their place in the last 16, Germany need to match or better Sweden’s result against the Mexicans in order to ensure progression.
Egypt’s star man Mohamed Salah was named in the starting line-up for their final World Cup Group A match against Saudi Arabia on Monday (18:00 kick-off).
Salah scored in the Pharaohs’ 3-1 defeat to Russia in their second game last Tuesday, having missed the opener against Uruguay due to the shoulder injury he sustained in the Champions League final last month.
It was initially reported that Salah would not start, but a correction was made on Egypt FA’s Twitter account shortly after.
Meanwhile, Essam El-Hadary replaces Mohamed El Shenawy between the sticks and is the only change to Hector Cuper’s side from last time out.