After missing the UEFA Nations League finals and the Euro 2024 qualifiers in September, Hajduk Split striker Marko Livaja has been recalled into the Croatia squad.
Croatia will face Turkey in Osijek (12 October) and Wales in Cardiff (15 October) and on Monday coach Zlatko Dalić named his squad.
Vice captain Ivan Perišić, who sustained a severe knee injury during Tottenham’s training last week, is missing from the squad.
“Of course, we will greatly miss Ivan, both as a player and as one of the leaders of this generation. However, this does not change our ambition to take two more significant steps towards our goal through these two matches, which is qualifying for EURO 2024. We did an excellent job in September, but now we face the two toughest opponents in the group, and we must replicate the level of concentration, desire, and quality approach we had against Latvia and Armenia,” Dalić told the HNS website.
“Considering the injuries to Perišić and Oršić, as well as the fact that Ivanušec is also affected, we have expanded our options on the wings by calling up Brekalo, who now has the opportunity to prove that he deserves to be part of the national team again, for which he has the necessary quality. I have emphasized multiple times that the doors of the national team are not closed to anyone, and everyone can return to the team through their performances and their behavior in the national team,” the coach emphasized.
Along with the announcement of the squad, Coach Dalić has also announced a new addition to the Croatian national team staff – the celebrated international player Danijel Subašić will join the coaching staff and work with Croatian goalkeepers alongside Marjan Mrmić.
Croatia will assemble on October 9th in Zagreb, where they will train until October 11th before traveling to Osijek, where they will make their debut at the new Opus Arena on October 12th. Two days later, the team will head to Cardiff for a match against Wales. After four played matches, Croatia is top of the group with Turkey (five matches), both having 10 points, while Armenia and Wales have seven points each from five matches. Latvia, after five played matches, remains without any points.
The squad for the matches against Turkey and Wales is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Dominik Livaković, Ivica Ivušić, Nediljko Labrović
Defenders: Domagoj Vida, Borna Barišić, Josip Juranović, Joško Gvardiol, Borna Sosa, Josip Stanišić, Josip Šutalo, Martin Erlić
Midfielders: Luka Modrić, Mateo Kovačić, Marcelo Brozović, Mario Pašalić, Nikola Vlašić, Lovro Majer, Luka Ivanušec
Forwards: Andrej Kramarić, Josip Brekalo, Bruno Petković, Marko Livaja, Petar Musa
On-call: Duje Ćaleta-Car, Marin Pongracic, Luka Sucic, Nikola Moro, Martin Baturina, Dion Drena Beljo, Matija Frigan, Dominik Kotarski