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Chelsea midfielder Kovacic tells Croatia teammates: Just don't fight Lukaku

Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic has offered advice to Croatia teammates on facing Romelu Lukaku.

The Belgium striker, on-loan at Inter Milan from Chelsea, should return from injury to face Kovacic's side in their Group F decider, coming up against his old Chelsea colleague who was asked for his word of advice on how to deal with Lukaku.

“I will leave that to the coach," he told reporters on Wednesday. “But I will say... just don't fight him."

Croatia need just a point at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium to progress to the last-16, while Belgium can only guarantee a knockout tie with a win.

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic said: "We are playing against the second-best football team in the world and they were number one.

“They are a great team and if we could choose we would not have selected this match to be the decisive one. We will not fool ourselves by their under-performance in the last two games.

“We will play as we did against Canada, high quality, high tempo. It's going to be a difficult game.

“Belgium are a top team, they have [Kevin] De Bruyne and [Eden] Hazard and we will not be fooled by media stories and some rumours. We are expecting the best of Belgium, a top-notch national team.

“They haven't become a bad football players overnight. I am not focused on any other aspects, we are just focused on their strength and quality."

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