4 March 2019 – Croatia football coach Zlatko Dalić has announced his squad on Monday for the opening EURO 2020 qualifiers later this month.
Croatia will face Azerbaijan at Maksimir stadium in Zagreb on Thursday, 21 March in their opening EURO 2020 qualifier, before playing Hungary away three days later on Sunday, 24 March.
Despite speculation in the media that captain Luka Modrić had tried to convince Darijo Srna to come out of retirement to help cover for injuries at the back, there was no place in the squad announced today for the 38-year-old former captain.
Defenders Šime Vrsaljko, Josip Pivarić, Ivan Strinić and Matej Mitrović were not considered for selection due to injuries.
Meanwhile, Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren will miss the opener against Azerbaijan after he was suspended for one match following comments he made on social media after Croatia’s victory in Zagreb over Spain in November in the Nations League.
Croatia squad for Azerbaijan & Hungary:
Goalkeepers: Lovre Kalinić (Aston Villa), Dominik Livaković (Dinamo), Simon Sluga (Rijeka)
Defenders: Domagoj Vida (Bešiktaš), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool), Tin Jedvaj (Bayer Leverkusen), Antonio Milić (Anderlecht), Duje Ćaleta-Car (Marseille), Marin Leovac (Dinamo Zagreb), Borna Barišić (Rangers)
Midfielders: Luka Modrić (Real Madrid), Ivan Rakitić (Barcelona), Mateo Kovačić (Chelsea), Milan Badelj (Lazio), Marcelo Brozović (Inter), Filip Bradarić (Cagliari), Marko Rog (Sevilla), Mario Pašalić (Atalanta)
Strikers: Ivan Perišić (Inter), Andrej Kramarić (Hoffenheim), Marko Pjaca (Fiorentina), Ante Rebić (Eintracht), Nikola Vlašić ( CSKA Moscow), Josip Brekalo (Wolfsburg)
*Stand-by – Josip Posavec (Hajduk), Karlo Bartolec (FC Nordsjælland), Marin Pongračić (Red Bull Salzburg), Bruno Petković (Dinamo Zagreb)
Croatia is in Group E alongside Wales, Slovakia, Hungary and Azerbaijan.
UEFA Euro 2020 – Group E schedule:
21 March, 20:45 (Thursday): Croatia – Azerbaijan
24 March, 18:00 (Sunday): Hungary – Croatia
8 June, 15:00 (Saturday): Croatia – Wales
6 September, 20:45 (Friday): Slovakia – Croatia
9 September, 18:00 (Monday): Azerbaijan – Croatia
10 October, 20:45 (Thursday): Croatia – Hungary
13 October, 20:45 (Sunday): Wales – Croatia
16 November, 20:45 (Saturday): Croatia – Slovakia
The top two teams in the group will qualify.