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Modric plays full 90 in Croatia’s 0 - 0 draw with Morocco

Morocco v Croatia: Group F - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

It was a relatively dull affair in Group F action as Morocco and Croatia drew 0 - 0 in today’s early World Cup kick-off.

Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric started in midfield for the Croats on the right side of a 4-3-3, with Marcelo Brozovic at the base of the midfield and Mateo Kovacic on the left side.

As expected, and has always been the case with Croatia, Modric did not have a static role. Though he was lined up as a RCM, he was often playing as a second striker behind the ball alongside Andrej Kramaric, or he would be stopping counter-attacks in midfield, or shielding the backline and blocking shots in and around the box.

Ultimately though, most of Modric’s touches on the ball were deep, as Croatia were pinned for large stretches of the game and their possession was laboured. They struggled to create meaningful transition opportunities.

Luka Modric’s heatmap vs Morocco (via Whoscored)

Modric finished the game with 107 touches (the most of any midfielder on the pitch), one shot (a left-footed stinger from outside the box which went just over the bar in the first half), two interceptions, and completed 89.5% of his passes.

This Croatia side looks a step slower than it did in 2018. They managed just two shots on target, had just one key pass in the entire team over the course of the 90 minutes, and struggled generating real chances in the final third. They will have to improve their transition attacks if they’re to take a foot-hold of Group F.

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