BRATISLAVA, 5 September 2019 – The Croatian football team have arrived in the Slovakian capital Bratislava on Thursday afternoon ahead of their EURO 2020 qualifier tomorrow.
“A tough and challenging match awaits us, a motivated opponent, but we have our support,” coach Zlatko Dalic said as the squad departed Zagreb airport today.
Dalic would not reveal who would be in the starting line-up for Friday’s match, but said there would not be many changes.
“We have sorted all issues around the line-up, there will not be major changes,” Dalic said, before adding.
“We will play offensively and look for victory. We have done a good analysis of our opponents, we know what awaits us and it will not be easy at all. I expect a match similar to that in Budapest. If we are on a level like we were there, it will be difficult for us. We need to be much better, more engaged and more responsible to get the result, he said.
Croatia will be missing Ivan Rakitic and Mateo Kovacic but Dalic says the atmosphere in the camp is good.
“The atmosphere is very good, like always, we are all happy and in a good mood. There is really no problems on that side.”
Tomorrow’s match will be the first official match between the two countries. The sides have met six times in friendlies. Both teams have two wins and there have been two draws.
Croatia v Slovakia previous meetings
1994 – Slovakia 4-1 Croatia
(Dubovsky 17-11m, 60-11m, Kinder 68, Moravcik 68 / Popovic 67)
1998 – Croatia 1- 2 Slovakia
(Vlaovic 43 / Jancula 4, Majaros 58)
2000 – Slovakia 1-1 Croatia
(Nemeth 28 / Balaban 23)
2004 – Croatia 1- 0 Slovakia
2007 – Croatia 3-0 Slovakia
(Olic 45, 69, Vukojevic 48)
2010 – Slovakia 1-1 Croatia
(Stoch 50 / Jelavic 54)
Croatia are currently in second equal spot in the group with a game in hand over group leaders Hungary. The top two teams in the group will automatically qualify for the EURO 2020 tournament.
Tomorrow’s match, which will be played at Stadion Antona Malatinskeho in Trnava, will kick-off at 8:45 local time.