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[PHOTOS] Croatia Start Preparations for World Cup Playoff

Croatia gather in Zagreb and hold open training session (Photo: HNS)

The Croatian national team gathered in Zagreb on Monday ahead of the first leg of their World Cup playoff against Greece on Thursday.

The team arrived throughout the day on Monday before holding an open training session in front of fans later in the evening. Despite the wet evening, fans turned up to support the team as they trained for the first time ahead of their crucial playoff.

There was some bad news however for coach Zlatko Dalic as midfielder Milan Badelj was ruled out of the clash with Greece with a thigh strain, and striker Mario Mandzukic in doubt after arriving with an injury.

Milan Badelj ruled out (Photo: HNS)

The Juventus star had scans on Monday and will work on a special programme over the next few days in a race to be fit for Thursday.

Mario Mandzukic in doubt (Photo: HNS)

Walk-up ticket sales also went on sale at Maksimir stadium on Monday with over 20,000 tickets now already sold. A sell-out is expected for the match which kicks off at 20:45 on Thursday 9 November.

Photos from tonight’s training session.

(Photo credits: HNS)

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