Kovac pledges to go for goals

June 12, 2014
Football - World Cup - Bet Now at Bet365

Croatia head coach Niko Kovac has vowed that his side will attack hosts Brazil in the World Cup opener in the Arena de Sao Paulo on Thursday evening.

The Croats can be backed at 5.50 to gain a draw in Sao Paulo and are 7.00 to keep a clean sheet, but it is goals which Kovac is interested in, insisting that his side will take a positive approach.

"We are not going to park the bus," he told reporters. "We are going to attack - Brazil are so strong that if you want success against them you have to score.

"Let's be realistic, Brazil are the hosts and a great favourite, (but) I am optimistic we're not going to Sao Paulo raise the white flag."

Croatia will be without star striker Mario Mandzukic due to suspension, while wing-back Danijel Pranjic is set to miss out due to injury.

Meanwhile, Selecao head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari believes that the hosts will win the World Cup on home soil, but must focus on the task in hand against the Croats.

He told reporters: "To all Brazilians I want to tell you the time has arrived, this is our World Cup.

"There are seven steps. We have to go up those seven steps, but to start we have to think of the first step. We can't jump the seven steps.

"The first step is against Croatia. After that we have six steps that we want to go up if we want to win the World Cup.''

The hosts, 4.00 to win a sixth World Cup, are confident that star forward Neymar will start despite a slight ankle problem, while Oscar is tipped to start in midfield ahead of fellow Chelsea man Willian.

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