Croatia coach Ante Čačić has announced his first squad ahead of the FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign opener against Turkey in Zagreb next month…
Čačić named a squad of 23 on Tuesday for the match against Turkey at Zagreb’s Maksimir stadium on 5 September at 20:45. The squad features the return of Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren, who missed EURO 2016 in France after falling out with Čačić. With Darijo Srna retiring after EURO 2016 Čačić has to now find a replacement with Luka Modrić favoured to take over the captain’s armband.
The squad will gather in Zagreb on 29 August where they will begin preparations for their opening group match. Croatia and Turkey met in their opening group match at EURO 2016 with a stunning Modrić goal the difference.
“We are familiar with our first opponents, Turkey, who will be also looking to qualify for Russia, and we will have a handicap as we have to play the match in an empty stadium,” said Čačić.
Keepers: Danijel Subašić (Monaco), Lovre Kalinić (Hajduk), Ivan Vargić (Lazio)
Defenders: Šime Vrsaljko (Atletico Madrid), Vedran Ćorluka (Lokomotiv), Domagoj Vida (Dynamo Kijev), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool), Ivan Strinić (Napoli), Josip Pivarić (Dinamo), Tin Jedvaj (Bayer Leverkusen)
Midfielders: Luka Modrić (Real Madrid), Ivan Rakitić (Barcelona), Ivan Perišić (Inter), Milan Badelj (Fiorentina), Mateo Kovačić (Real Madrid), Marcelo Brozović (Inter), Marko Rog (Dinamo), Ante Ćorić (Dinamo)
Strikers: Marko Pjaca (Juventus), Duje Čop (Sporting Gijon), Mario Mandžukić (Juventus), Nikola Kalinić (Fiorentina), Andrej Kramarić (Hoffenheim)