24 March 2019 – Croatia coach Zaltko Dalić has announced that there will be at least three changes to the side that started against Azerbaijan on Thursday for tonight’s EURO 2020 qualifier against Hungary in Budapest.
Speaking at a press conference before the match, Dalić said that there would be at least three changes from the line-up from three days ago in Zagreb.
Defender Dejan Lovren returns from serving a one-match suspension, whilst Ante Rebić and Marcelo Brozović are now fully fit and will start.
“There will be changes to the line-up as Lovren, Brozović, and Rebić return. Kramarić is fit and Jedvaj has also recovered so he is also in the frame,” Dalić said.
Lovren will return at centre back for Duje Ćaleta-Car, Rebić will start ahead of Bruno Petković and Brozović will replace Mateo Kovačić in the midfield.
Dalić said that he expects a tough match against a motivated opponent tonight but is looking for a positive result.
“We are ready and we do not plan to modify our style of play, and we are prepared to respond to everything that awaits us. This is a ‘must-win’ match for Hungary after their loss at Slovakia, where they had their chances. They will fight in front of the home crowd, and we must stay patient and calm. Dzsudzsak and Szalai are among the main Hungarian strengths, and it will require much more energy to defeat them. This is a tricky qualifying group, and we have to be at the maximum level,” said Dalić.
Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitić added.
“We will give our best, even though we are aware that the home supporters will make it very, very tough. Croatia has to have the upper hand, keep possession and try to attack. A quality preparation is required, and our coaching staff is working out all the details. Regardless of the starting lineup, it is important to know the tactical set-up at every moment. A compact defence provides better attacking opportunities. Hungary will undoubtedly be ready for us, but we also have a major objective – to reach UEFA EURO 2020.”
The match kicks off at 6 pm local time.