Croatia face Slovakia in Bratislava: “There will be changes”
The Croatian national football team will play the second of three World Cup qualifiers in September 2022 tonight at 8.45 p.m. in Bratislava against Slovakia.
Coach Zlatko Dalić understands the importance of the game after a 0-0 draw with Russia on Wednesday.
“We have a different game ahead of us compared to Russia, due to the difficult previous game and the travel situation, so there was little time to rest and prepare. The Slovaks against Slovenia were better in second half, ran more, had more opportunities. They changed the system a bit, they play with more attackers, but against Slovenia they failed a bit in the realization. A difficult game awaits us and we should not mention our mutual matches of two years ago. The situation is different, Slovakia has calmed down, they have ambition and it will be uncertain and difficult for us, ”said Zlatko Dalić, who Most likely will have to come to terms with the fact that he lost Luka Modrić and Ante Budimir, but there is still hope that Joško Gvardiol is in good shape.
“We will see his situation, Gvardiol worked on a special program, but he still feels pain. We don’t want to force anything, it would be too risky. Ćaleta-Car was replaced due to fatigue cramps and there are no consequences. I don’t know how much sense it makes sense for Modrić and Budimir to join us, who are in a special program at their clubs and haven’t been in rhythm for five or six days. We have to rely on those players who are 100 percent ready, the most important thing is to get a good rest so that we are ready for the game.
A victory over Slovakia would greatly affect the mood ahead of the duel with Slovenia in Split on September 7.
“We also went to Moscow to win, tried to score a goal, but we couldn’t. We will try to score a goal tomorrow, we need the points and we need to collect them as soon as possible. There will be no caution on our part about tomorrow’s game, we will seek victory and thus get on the pitch. There will be some changes in the roster, but we are aiming for three points regardless of which player is playing, ”added Dalić.
“Slovakia was also a tough opponent for us in previous matches, but then we played really well and got a great result. Compared to the performance at the Euro, the Slovaks were much more offensive against Slovenia, playing with three forwards. The team which includes Hamšik, Škriniar, Lobotka, Kucka, Boženik and Duda is certainly of high quality and should be respected as much as possible. However, we will prepare the match in the best possible way and try to win the three points, ”concluded Dalić.
Dalić has defender Domagoj Vida back for this game and he is likely to replace Ćaleta-Car alongside Dejan Lovren in the last four. Moscow debutant Borna Sosa will retain his place after impressing, while Hajduk Split forward Marko Livaja is expected to start as the only forward ahead of Andrej Kramarić.