Croatia Determined to Secure Three Points in Armenia: “Deserving of Respect”


After an impressive 5-0 victory over Latvia on Friday in Rijeka, Croatia is looking to collect another three points in Euro 2024 qualifying in Armenia on Monday night.

Croatia and Armenia meet at the Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium in Armenia on Monday and three points would put Croatia joint top of Group D with a game in hand.

“We played with discipline from the first minute to the last, but Latvia doesn’t measure up to our brilliant performance. Now, we face a tougher opponent. Nevertheless, we are pleased with our seriousness, efficiency, and spirit. We must be content with how we played, primarily in terms of our approach, seriousness, and responsibility,” Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić told HNS website after Friday’s win.

Caution Against Armenia:

“They are serious and responsible opponents. They defeated Wales 4:2, held the lead for a long time against Turkey, and through analysis, we will identify specific aspects about them. However, it all depends on us, how we approach the match, and how we respond to the tasks. Armenia deserves respect; we didn’t expect them to be in the European Championship race, and they will be a challenging opponent. We take it one step at a time, and if the result goes our way, we’ll take a big step toward the European Championship.”

Mateo Kovačić and Lovro Majer:

“Kovačić and Majer might have played against Latvia, but we wanted to preserve them. If Mateo is ready, he will be in the starting lineup, while Lovro will be among the substitutes.”

Ivan Perišić and Borna Sosa:

“Perišić demonstrated great desire and physical superiority; he played as if it were the World Cup. His attitude is always like that, which is why he has lasted so long; he is eager to play. He showed power and speed, and kudos to him for his strength, energy, and will. Sosa lacks game time, match experience, and confidence; I hope he will gain it at Ajax and return to his previous form. We need him; he has a fantastic cross and agility. With them, we had both width and depth, which was very good.”

Bruno Petković:

“We need a striker who scores goals, who is present in the penalty area. I told him there’s no need to come deep for the ball; he should wait to be fresh and rested and then make a difference. He must come more for crosses, be even more persistent and aggressive. He scored two goals, and that’s what I expect from him; that’s his job. He enjoys assisting more than scoring, likes to create opportunities, which is nice, but we expect goals from him. He must continue like this; without consistency, he won’t become what we all want him to be.”

Absence of Tough Matches Before the European Championship:

“It won’t be a significant problem; we’ve been the same team for several years, and players will have challenges in their clubs. Everyone will be ready, but I don’t want to talk too far ahead. In the last five years, we’ve only played tough matches against giants; we rarely played against Malta and Cyprus. We’ve constantly faced tough matches, and now let’s first qualify, then we’ll think about preparations.”

Luka Modrić will lead Croatia again and on Saturday he celebrated his 38th birthday with the rest of the squad.

Kick-off on Monday is at 6pm CET.

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