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Modric: Croatia will put a halt to Ireland’s march

SPURS STAR Luka Modric believes it will be his Croatian side and not Ireland who will advance from Group C and move into the quarter-finals at Euro 2012.

Modric played with Robbie Keane at Spurs and played against Ireland in a friendly in Dublin last year.

But he reckons that Croatia will advance to the last eight.

“Our group is really tough because Ireland is a fanatic football nation and a good team full of experienced players, while Spain and Italy are current and former world and European champions,” Modric said today.

“However, Croatia has its own qualities and we believe in ourselves. We can get to the quarterfinals, although Spain and Italy have to be favourites.”


And former Arsenal man Eduardo claims that Croatia will have to work hard to break down Ireland when the two nations clash in Poznan in just 17 days’ time.

Slaven Bilic’s side play their first game of the Euro 2012 warm-up programme when they take on Estonia in a friendly tomorrow, and while they are working on a game-plan to beat the Estonians, for Bilic’s squad everything is building up to that date with Ireland in Poznan on June 10.

Croatia failed to beat Ireland when they last met in Dublin last August, and Bilic has also made his players aware of the fact that Ireland are on a 12-game unbeaten run, and Ukrainian-based forward Eduardo da Silva reckons Giovanni Trapattoni’s men will be tough to score against.

“Ireland has a top coach and their aim is not to concede goals. They will play defensively and we have to find a way to score the first

goal,” said the Shakhtar Donetsk man.

“Our goal is to surprise the favourites, which would be Spain and Italy.

“One team is always the surprise package, and I believe that could be us this time,” added Eduardo, who has recovered from an injury which threatened to end his Euro 2012 bid and is fit to play.

“Everything went according to plan and I feel fine. The coach will decide who will play, and if I have to start on the bench, that’s okay with me,” he added.