Croatia are coming to play! After weeks of Slaven Bilić telling anyone who would listen that they would have to play very defensive and strike on the counterattack because of their slow defense, he does this! Darijo Srna is at right back, not in the midfield, Vedran Čorluka slides inside and Luka Modrić will play in front of Ognjen Vukojević, not beside him. This is as attacking a lineup as Croatia have. It may not be effective considering they are still vulnerable in defense, but it will make things fun.
The reason that Croatia are doing this is because they need three points from this match to advance, as Bilić has openly admitted. Ireland are the clear underdogs in this match and in the entire tournament, left almost no chance to make it out of the group. They will come out in a deep-lying 4-4-2 and defend, defend and defend some more. This is just their second Euro ever and their first major tournament since the 2002 World Cup and their fans are ready for it, so at the very least they will put in a good showing in the stands.
Croatia (4-1-3-2): Stipe Pletikosa; Darijo Srna, Vedran Čorluka, Gordon Schildenfeld, Ivan Strinić; Ognjen Vukojević; Ivan Rakitić Luka Modrić, Ivan Perišić; Nikica Jelavić, Mario Mandžukić.