Croatia striker Andrej Kramaric has warned that Saturday’s opening Group D match against Nigeria will define his team’s outing at the World Cup in Russia.
Saturday’s match in Kaliningrad will kick off at 8pm local time, which will be 6pm in Nigeria.
It will be the first-ever meeting between the two countries at full international level as Croatia only became an independent country in 1992.
Kramaric said it is a crunch game for his star-studded team, who qualified for Russia 2018 through the playoffs.
“Nigeria are for me the most difficult and most important opponents,” he said at the team’s training ground in Saint Petersburg.
Meanwhile the Super Eagles have had their first training (open session) on Tuesday.
A delegation of 23 players and technical and administrative staff flew by executive jet from Vienna to Essentuki Airport in South West Russia on Monday, arriving at a few minutes after 10pm.
Large gatherings of people showed excitement at seeing the three –time African champions arrive in very Nigerian buba-and-sokoto uniform sown in Nigerian colours, complemented with white bowler hats. Essentuki is located in the Stavropol region of southern Russia.
The Super Eagles will train again on Wednesday evening, before flying to Kaliningrad on Thursday for their first match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup against Croatia on Saturday at the 35,000 –capacity Kaliningrad Arena. Departure from Kaliningrad is set for 4pm Russia time.