Croatia host Iceland in the second leg of their World Cup play-off in Zagreb with all to play for, after the first leg in Reykjavik ended in a 0-0 draw.
Niko Kovac's men failed to score on Friday, despite Iceland defender Olafur Skulason being sent off early on in the second half. The visitors did dominate the game and created several scoring chances throroghout but could not break the deadlock, especially with the hosts stopper Hannes Thor Halldorsson in top form.
Kovac had replaced Igor Stimac as the Croatia coach, ahead of the first leg, after the latter was shown the door following a disappointing qualifying campaign that ended with a 2-0 defeat to Scotland last month.
"We knew that Iceland had a strong mentality and they proved as much. Their goalkeeper also made two or three good saves. Sometimes it's more difficult to play against 10 players than against 11. We said before the game that we were looking to score. We didn't score, but neither did they," Kovac said.
"The impression remains that we are the better team and have a better overall repertoire. They play very simple football with a lot of vertical switching and that's always risky. I am confident that we will repeat our dominant display in Zagreb and will ultimately get to Brazil," the former Bayern Munich midfielder added.
Minnows Iceland, on the other hand, will be pumped up after managing a draw with 10 men. The nation, with a population of just over 300,000, can be the smallest nation ever to reach the World Cup finals, if they get through tonight.
"There's no doubt in my mind that we're all switched on for this game. We know there's a lot of pressure on Croatia. We've noticed in the media over here that the people are not happy with the team and that they were not satisfied with the result in the first leg. We have to put more pressure on them. We are not afraid of anything and we intend to make our dreams come true by getting to the World Cup," said Iceland captain and Cardiff City midfielder Aron Gunnarsson.
Where to Watch Live
Kick-off is set for 12.45am IST on Wednesday morning, with no live coverage in India. There is no official live streaming option available in India. To watch the match through live streaming online via Al Jazeera Sport in the Middle East and North Africa, click HERE. To catch the action live online in the US courtesy ESPN, click HERE.
Croatia: Pletikosa; Srna, Simunic, Corluka, Pranjic; Perisic, Rakitic, Modric, Kovacic; Mandzukic, Olic
Iceland: Halldorsson; Saevarsson, Arnason, Sigurdsson, Ari Skulason; Gudmundsson, Gunnarsson, Sigurdsson, Bjarnason; Finnbogason, Gudjohnsen
Prediction: 2-0 to Croatia