It is a big day at the World Cup for Mateo Kovacic and Croatia.

The Chelsea midfielder’s nation lead Group F but only on goal difference from Hakim Ziyech’s Morocco. Belgium are third on three points, one point behind those two, and it is the Belgians that Croatia face in Qatar today.

With much to play for and having received plenty of praise for his performances at the World Cup so far, especially in the 4-1 win over Canada last time out, Kovacic has been speaking ahead of their final group game.

‘Belgium is a top team,’ he acknowledged, before adding, ‘We will show our true face, as we did against Canada. We came here to have the best World Cup. We know what we are capable of. There isn't fear. We will do what we did against Canada.

‘We played great against Canada. When we play together like that we can beat anyone. We are going to show we can replicate that against Belgium.’

The Belgians could have Romelu Lukaku, the Chelsea striker currently on loan at Inter Milan, back involved after recovering from a long-term injury problem. He was on the bench for their defeat by Morocco in the second group game before coming on.

‘I've known Lukaku for a long time, he’s a phenomenal player,’ said Kovacic. ‘We have been training for this match and how to be ready for them. De Bruyne has played in the Premier League forever. We need to be careful with him. We must focus on ourselves though. That is most important.

‘I will leave that to the coach,’ the player said of advice to team-mates on how to deal with Lukaku, ‘but I will say... just don't fight him.’

‘We have prepared the team as if Lukaku is playing,’ are the thoughts of Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic.

‘He will get the ball, guard the ball and find Hazard. He is a big player. He hasn't played many games lately but it doesn't matter for that type of player.’