ZAGREB, 25 October 2021 – Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić has named a 24-man squad on Monday for the final 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Russia in November.
Croatia faces Malta first away on November 11, before facing Russia in Split on November 16 in a match which will most likely decide which team finishes first in the group and qualifiers for a direct spot in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Defenders Dejan Lovren and Josip Juranović return for the November qualifiers after missing the matches in October against Cyprus and Slovakia through injury, whilst there is still no room in the squad for striker Bruno Petković.
Goalkeepers: Dominik Livaković, Simon Sluga, Ivo Grbić
Defenders: Josip Stanišić, Josip Juranović, Domagoj Vida, Dejan Lovren, Duje Ćaleta-Car, Joško Gvardiol, Marin Pongrančić, Borna Sosa, Borna Barišić
Midfield: Luka Modrić, Mateo Kovačić, Marcelo Brozović, Mario Pašalić, Kristijan Jakić, Nikola Vlašić, Luka Ivanušec
Srtrikers: Andrej Kramarić, Marko Livaja, Ivan Perišić, Josip Brekalo, Mislav Oršić
On-call: Lovre Kalinić, Mile Škorić, Filip Uremović, Antonio Čolak, Kristijan Lovrić, Nikola Moro
The ‘Vatreni’ will gather on November 8 in Zagreb, where they will stay until November 10 and leave for Malta, and the day after the match they will then travel to Split to prepare for Russia.
Coach Dalić remained faithful to the squad that collected 11 of 15 possible points in September and October:
“Lovren and Juranović, who missed the last gathering due to health reasons, are with us again. There is no reason for significant changes, this is a team that played well in the autumn part of the qualifications and earned trust with their games, approach and togetherness.”
“The most important thing is to keep everything in our hands, not to depend on others. We know that two victories lead us to Qatar, that is our goal and we will do our best to achieve it. Our focus must be Malta – it is a key game now. Only then can we afford to think about Russia, against which we will have Poljud Stadium on our side, which will be a great asset, with the quality and unity we have,” concluded Dalić.
Tickets for the match go on sale today online, more details here.
— HNS (@HNS_CFF) October 25, 2021