Croatia's coach Slaven Bilic, said Saturday he was well aware of the threat posed to his side by the Republic of Ireland but insisted if his men performed then they would win their opening Group C match.

"I have followed the Irish team closely. They did not qualify directly but they did have a tough group with Slovakia and Russia.

"I respect their football - they play it simple and it's not that hard to analyse.

"They only know one way to play - I don't know if they will attack us from the outset but for sure Robbie Keane won't be on the bench," smiled Bilic in allusion to Ireland's record goalscorer.

"We will have to play a great match tomorrow - but if we are at the top of our game I'm sure we'll win," said Bilic.

Croatia's head coach Slaven Bilic watches on June 2, 2012 an international friendly football match opposing his team to Norway at the Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo . AFP PHOTO / DANIEL SANNUM LAUTEN

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