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Mario Mandzukic Bayern

Mario Mandzukic is ready to make his first start of the World Cup in the Group A clash against Cameroon.

Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic is set to make his World Cup debut for Croatia after serving a one-game ban that forced him to miss the opening game against Brazil.

Mandzukic will spearhead the Croatian attack against Cameroon and the 28-year-old, who has been linked with a move to Arsenal this summer, says he "cannot wait" to make his return.

"I'm very glad to be back," Mandzukic said. "I could hardly wait for the day to arrive, but I'll be back on the pitch."

He added: "This is maybe one of the most important matches for us, but we are ready and I personally cannot wait for it to start."

Croatia got off to a good start in their Group A opener, taking the lead against Brazil through a Marcelo own goal. However, after some intense pressure from the hosts and a controversial penalty decision the Europeans fell to a 3-1 defeat that leaves them bottom of the group after the first round of matches.

Croatia now face Cameroon, who also failed to pick up a point in their opening game. They lost 1-0 to Mexico.

After Brazil and Mexico drew on Tuesday a draw would probably not be enough for either Cameroon or Croatia to have a good chance of qualifying for the next round. Both sides will need to be gunning for a win to set up an enthralling final set of fixtures in the group.

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