Croatia coach Niko Kovač announces his squad of 24 for the upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Norway…
Goalkeepers: Danijel Subašić (Monaco), Lovre Kalinić (Hajduk), Ivan Vargić (Rijeka)
Defenders: Darijo Srna (Šahtar), Šime Vrsaljko (Sassuolo), Marko Lešković (Rijeka), Vedran Ćorluka (Lokomotiv), Domagoj Vida (Dynamo Kijev), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool), Danijel Pranjić (Panathinaikos), Marin Leovac (PAOK)
Midfielders: Luka Modrić (Real Madrid), Milan Badelj (Fiorentina), Marcelo Brozović (Inter Milano), Mateo Kovačić (Real Madrid), Ivan Rakitić (Barcelona), Mijo Caktaš (Hajduk)
Strikers: Nikola Kalinić (Fiorentina), Ante Rebić (Fiorentina), Marko Pjaca (Dinamo Zagreb), Ivan Perišić (Wolfsburg), Ivica Olić (HSV), Mario Mandžukić (Juventus), Andrej Kramarić (Leicester)
“We have to forget about the two convincing wins we had over these teams, it will be a lot harder now. Azerbaijan have a new coach, Prosinečki, who has organised them into a serious side and that has been reflected in the results. Quality is on our side for sure, but the difference in class we have to show with a quality performance, concentration and seriousness,” said Kovač, before adding that a number of players were not picked so that they would be available for the age group teams.
“Halilović, Pašalić, Rog and Šimunović are players who we are counting on but we have to think of the age group teams where winning starts to their new qualifying campaigns are important.”
Croatia face Azerbaijan on 3 September, and Norway on 6 September. Both matches are away from home.