Olic confident Croatia should reach last 16

Croatia attacker Ivica Olic said he believes Niko Kovac's men should reach the round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup.

Olic and his side face tournament hosts and favourites Brazil in the opener at the Arena de Sao Paulo on Thursday.

Since finishing third at the 1998 World Cup, Croatia have made group-stage exits in South Korea/Japan and Germany before failing to qualify for South Africa 2010.

Olic said their 2014 squad, which includes Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric and Sevilla star Ivan Rakitic, was good enough to at least progress from Group A which includes Brazil, Mexico and Cameroon.

"After two tournaments without notable success, I'm confident we have the squad and individuals who can and should reach the second round," he said.

"Now we have the players from the best clubs in Europe, in their best years, and we can't run away from the fact we have quality.

"If we're well setup, we can be hard to beat for everyone."

Wolfsburg attacker Olic said he was looking forward to facing Brazil duo Thiago Silva and David Luiz, who he described as among the best defenders in the world.

He said he was unsure where he would start for Kovac's men, but knows Croatia have nothing to lose against an under-pressure Brazil side.

"Of course I'm hoping that I'll play, but I still don't know what position that will be in," Olic said.

"Only the Brazil game is in our heads, we've started tactical preparations and (I) hope we'll be 100 per cent ready.

"It's not easy to play against one of the favourites on their home ground, but we see our opportunity because the pressure is on Brazil. We have nothing to lose."


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