ZAGREB, 5 September 2020 – After almost 10 months, the Croatian national football team returns to international action tonight.
Croatia starts their 2020 UEFA Nations League campaign away tonight in Porto against Portugal, who will be aiming to defend their title after winning the inaugural tournament.
With no Luka Modrić or Ivan Rakitić, coach Zlatko Dalić is likely to select two from Nikola Vlašić, Mateo Kovačić, and Mario Pašalić to start in their place in the midfield tonight. Brozović, who played recently in the Europa League final, might be rested with Vlašić, Kovačić and Pašalić starting.
Although he is with the squad and has been training all week, right back Šime Vrsalljko looks like he will not be risked with Tin Jedvaj set to start at right-back. The successful World Cup centre-back pairing of Dejan Lovren and Domagoj Vida will be reunited with Rangers left-back Borna Barišić completing the back four.
Bruno Petković and Andrej Kramarić are the striker options for Dalić with Ivan Perišić, Ante Rebić, and Josip Brekalo the options out wide. It looks like Kramarić may get the nod ahead of the Dinamo Zagreb striker, whilst Rebić and Brekalo are favoured to start on the wings.
Vida is set to be given the captain’s armband tonight.
Croatia has played Portugal five times with Portugal winning four of them and one draw.
Where and when
The match kicks off tonight at 8:45 p.m Croatian time and will be shown in Croatia on Nova TV. Nova TV has the rights for all Croatia’s friendlies and qualification matches for the 2022 World Cup.
EURO 2020 and the 2022 World Cup will be broadcast by state broadcaster HRT.
Croatia will head to Paris next and will play France on Tuesday, 8 September at 8:45 p.m.
Croatia will play six more games this year. In October, they open with a friendly match against Switzerland on October 7, followed by Sweden (October 11) and France (October 14) in the Nations League at Maksimir stadium in Zagreb.
In November, Croatia will first play a friendly match against Turkey away (November 11) and then against the Swedes away (November 14), and against Portugal at Poljud stadium in Split on November 17.