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Croatia names youthful side for Nations League matches against Spain & England

(HNS)

Croatia football coach Zlatko Dalić has called up three members of the U-21 side for upcoming UEFA Nations League matches in November against Spain and England. 

Croatia will first face Spain at Maksimir stadium in Zagreb on 15 November, before facing England at Wembley stadium three days later on 18 November.

Dalić has decided to reward three players who have been in good form for the Croatia U-21 team which qualified for the European Championships last month. 

Wolfsburg attacker Josip Brekalo, CSKA Moscow’s Nikola Vlašić and Marseille defender Duje Ćaleta-Car have all earned a call-up to the squad. 

Josip Brekalo (photo: HNS)

Missing from the squad which met England last month include strikers Duje Čop, Marko Livaja and Ivan Santini and defender Borna Barišić.

Croatia has a chance to redeem themselves after losing to Spain 6-0 in their first Nations League match in Elche. Croatia can still win the League if they win the final two matches. 

Nikola Vlašić (HNS)

“Excellent, tough matches await us, but Croatia can answer this challenge. We are focussed on Spain, we want to try and win in front of our fans so we can stay in contention for the tournament. I am sure the fans will support us in big numbers, this is our first competition game at home in front of fans since the World Cup and the opponent could not be more attractive,” Dalić said, before adding. 

“Brekalo, Vlašić and Ćaleta-Car made a significant contribution to U-21 team and now is the right time to be with us, and with their energy and talent they can give an additional boost to the senior team. I am happy that we do not have any major injury problems and I hope it will stay this way until we gather. Players are slowly getting into form and I believe that as a team we will show more than we have till now in the League of Nations,” said Dalić.

Croatia squad for Spain & England: 

Goalkeepers: Lovre Kalinić (Gent), Dominik Livaković (Dinamo) Karlo Letica (Brugge)

Defenders: Domagoj Vida (Bešiktaš), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool), Šime Vrsaljko (Inter), Josip Pivarić (Dynamo Kijev), Tin Jedvaj (Bayer Leverkusen), Matej Mitrović (Club Brugge), Duje Ćaleta-Car (Marseille) Antonio Milić (Anderlecht)

Midfielders: Luka Modrić (Real Madrid), Ivan Rakitić (Barcelona), Mateo Kovačić (Chelsea), Milan Badelj (Lazio), Marcelo Brozović (Inter), Filip Bradarić (Rijeka), Marko Rog (Napoli), Mario Pašalić (Atalanta)

Strikers: Ivan Perišić (Inter), Andrej Kramarić (Hoffenheim), Marko Pjaca (Fiorentina), Ante Rebić (Eintracht), Nikola Vlašić ( CSKA Moscow), Josip Brekalo (Wolfsburg)

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