Croatia vs Greece - Ivan Perisic determined to get the job done in home leg

Posted Thursday, November 09, 2017 by PA

Ivan Perisic is confident Croatia have the firepower to claim a strong advantage in the home leg of their World Cup play-off with Greece.

With a place at Russia 2018 on the line, Croatia host the Greeks at the Stadion Maksimir in Zagreb on Thursday before travelling to Piraeus for the return leg on Sunday.

Croatia go into the opener unbeaten in their last 11 competitive home games and winger Perisic is determined to build on that record.

The Inter Milan player told the Croatian Football Association website, "We all know that we want to win the first game in order to make it easier for us to return.

"The Greeks will definitely play defensively, try all the methods, but we have our weapons in the attack and we will try to solve everything in Zagreb."

Croatia were on course to qualify automatically with three games remaining in Group I but a surprise defeat to Turkey and a draw with Finland allowed Iceland to nip ahead.

Coach Ante Cacic paid the price for that and, despite victory over Ukraine in the last game, his replacement Zlatko Dalic had to settle for a runners-up spot.

Croatia do, however, have history on their side when it comes to play-offs. The country have qualified for finals a record four times via two-legged ties.

With midfielders of the quality of Perisic, Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Marcelo Brozovic in their ranks, and with Mario Mandzukic up front, Croatia will be expected to prevail.

Greece, who edged out Bosnia to finish as distant runners-up to Belgium in Group H, are without key defender Kostas Manolas through suspension.



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