Croatia hail Aussies ahead of Brazil clash

Croatian Football Federation president Davor Suker says the Socceroos are the perfect final opponent for his nation before they open the World Cup against tournament hosts and favourites Brazil.

The Socceroos and Croatia will round out their World Cup preparations with a friendly match in Salvador next Friday June 6 (kick off 9am June 7 AEST live on Fox Sports).

While the Socceroos have a tricky opening to their campaign a week later against Chile, the Croatians have an even bigger task with the likes of Neymar, Paulinho, Dani Alves and co awaiting them in Sao Paulo.

"We wanted a strong opponent for our final tune-up before we open the World Cup against Brazil and Australia is an excellent choice," Suker, the former national team great, said.

"I am sure that football fans in Salvador will see an entertaining, intense and dynamic match with several world-class players like (Luka) Modrić, (Ivan) Rakitic, (Mario) Mandžukić and (Tim) Cahill."

The clash is just as important for the new-look Socceroos, who need every warm-up game they can to work on their combinations before taking on Chile, Netherlands and Spain.

Injured skipper Mile Jedinak (groin) is hopeful of getting some game time in the match to ensure he's ready for the opening match of the tournament.

Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou will also want to get some game time into the likes of Mark Bresciano, Matthew Spiranovic and Tom Rogic.

"We are looking forward to our match with Croatia in Salvador," Postecoglou said.

"This will be our final match before the start of the World Cup and Croatia will offer us a tough test and help us with our preparations."

The Socceroos and Croatia of course have history at the World Cup, with the two nations famously meeting in the group stage in Germany in 2006.

It turned out to be a memorable night for the Socceroos, with Harry Kewell's late goal salvaging a 2-2 draw to send the Aussies to the round of 16 - at the expense of Croatia.

The two nations also have many links, with a host of former and current Socceroos having Croatian heritage, including Ivan Franjic, Dario Vidosic and Spiranovic in the current squad.   

"We are looking forward to play again with Socceroos, our good football friends - there are many Croatians who played and coached in Australia, and there are several Australian-born Croatians who were a part of our national team," Suker said.

"Even though both teams have difficult groups at the World Cup, I hope we can meet again in the second round."

The Socceroos play Croatia in a friendly next Friday night (kick off 9am AEST time Saturday morning live on  Fox Sports ) ahead of their tournament opener against Chile on June 13.

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