Jun 12, 2014, 1:03 PM EDT
WORLD CUP TODAY: THURSDAY, JUNE 12
World Cup 2014 finally upon us.
There’s only one match on the docket today, but it promises to be a doozy. Mario Mandzukic-less Croatia will attempt to topple host nation and tournament favorite Brazil.
Cheater’s guide: A host nation has yet to lose a tournament opener, and Brazil will look to set a strong standard in its quest for World Cup title No. 6. Croatia will need strong midfield play from Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric, perhaps the only position where the Europeans have an advantage over Brazil.
What they’re saying:
Croatia coach Niko Kovac: “They are not going to have it easy against Croatia. We are a tricky side and I am sure that we will show that and demonstrate that tomorrow. I am sure and convinced that tomorrow this team can create a historic result.”
Premier League players:
Brazil: David Luiz (Chelsea), Oscar (Chelsea), Ramires (Chelsea), Willian (Chelsea), Paulinho (Tottenham), Fernandinho (Manchester City)
Croatia: Dejan Lovren (Southampton), Nikica Jelavić (Hull City)
- Complete list of every transfer in the Premier League on Deadline Day 0
- Manchester United fires back on De Gea saga, laying blame at feet of Real Madrid 0
- GRADES: How did each Premier League team fare in the Summer Transfer Window? 4
- Manchester United confirm $55 million signing of teenage striker Anthony Martial 0
- Deadline Day transfer rumor roundup: Hector to Chelsea, Berahino to Tottenham 0
- How did David de Gea’s move to Real Madrid collapse? Here’s a few answers 3