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Dalić names new faces in Croatia’s 34-man wider World Cup squad

UEFA Nations League Croatia France h Zlatko Dalić told a press conference his side is ready to bounce back after Friday night’s disappointing match against Austria in Osijek. “We didn’t expect that, I really don’t know what to say. The situation is not easy because it is the end of the season and the players have their problems, some are thinking about transfers, some are injured. However, we will do our best”, said Dalić, adding that a number of favourites also stumbled in the first round. "In the first round of the Nations League, the four best national teams from the last World Cup were defeated. We are all in some trouble. France will be powerful and strong, they have a large selection of players on the roster. Varane is out, and a defender from Liverpool comes in who is even better. No Mbappé, they replace him with an even faster player.” Dalić says that the Nations League does not suit Croatia, but every game is important and they don't want to give up. “We are not looking for an alibi, it is the same for everyone and we must find the strength and energy. I thought we would get some more energy and time to sort it out, but we lost it.” Dalić also revealed how Croatia will start against France tonight. “Livaković will be in goal, that was the agreement that he would be in goal for the second and third match and Ivušić for the fourth match. At right back we have no other option that Juranović. Šime (Vrsaljko) is on his way back, maybe he will be fit for Denmark of France (away). We will see if we play Sosa or Barišić at left back, it depends on if we play defensive or attacking. Erlić, who plays in Italy, will come in at centre back and get his chance. Vida, is also ready as well as Šutalo. In midfield we have Brozović, Kovačić and Modrić, and in attack we don’t have too many options - Brekalo, Majer, Kramarić or Budimir,” Dalić said, adding that he will definitely make changes during the match bringing fresh legs on. “We have to be better on defence, not open up too much because France use that very well." Kick-off is tonight at 8:45 pm.

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ZAGREB, 31 October 2022 – Croatia national team coach Zlatko Dalić has today named a wider squad of 34 players for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. 

There are 34 names on the list, one less than expected, after goalkeeper Lovre Kalinić was injured in the match between Lokomotiv and Hajduk Split on Sunday, ruling him out of the World Cup. 

“We are extremely sorry for Lovre and we wish him a speedy and high-quality recovery. This unfortunate event confirms that at this moment the most important thing is the health of the players, and we can only wish that we have no more news related to injuries until we assemble,” said coach Dalić, before adding.

“There are 34 players on this extended list so that we have enough options in case of any unforeseen situations. I am happy that a large number of players are in good shape and that most of the candidates have played a good amount of minutes. I believe that everyone will make the most of the next two weeks in order to be in optimal condition. We are welcoming assembling again, which we are all extremely looking forward to.”

New faces in the squad announced today include goalkeepers Nediljko Labrović and Dominik Kotarski. 

The squad of 34 candidates for the 2022 FIFA World Cup:

Goalkeepers: Dominik Livaković, Ivica Ivušić, Ivo Grbić, Dominik Kotarski, Nediljko Labrović

Defenders: Domagoj Vida, Dejan Lovren, Borna Barišić, Duje Ćaleta-Car, Josip Juranović, Joško Gvardiol, Borna Sosa, Josip Stanišić, Marin Pongracić, Martin Erlić, Josip Šutalo

Midfielders: Luka Modrić, Mateo Kovačić, Marcelo Brozović, Mario Pasalić, Nikola Vlašić, Luka Ivanušec, Lovro Majer, Kristijan Jakić, Luka Sučić, Josip Mišić

Forwards: Ivan Perišić, Andrej Kramarić, Josip Brekalo, Bruno Petković, Mislav Oršić, Ante Budimir, Marko Livaja, Antonio Mirko Čolak

The squad will be cut down to between 23 and 26 players which Dalić will announce on 9 November at a press conference. The Croatian Football Federation then must submit the final list of players to FIFA on 14 November, and after that, it is possible to change players up to 24 hours before the first match in case of injury.

The Croatian national team will gather on November 13 and 14 in Zagreb, from where it will travel to Riyadh on November 14 for a friendly match with Saudi Arabia scheduled for November 16. 

 
 
 
 
 
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Two days later, the national team travels to its base camp in Qatar, where the FIFA World Cup begins on November 20. 

Croatia will meet Morocco first up at the 2022 World Cup on Wednesday, 23 November, before playing Canada on Sunday, 27 November and Belgium on Thursday, 1 December. 

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