Croatia has problems before the match with Russia. Are our chances growing?
If Russia is eagerly awaiting the first game of the national team under the leadership of Valery Karpin , then Croatia must be worried before visiting Moscow. And the point is not in sad memories of the last match in Luzhniki – the lost final of the 2018 World Cup with France (2: 4). The Croats do not have a very good situation with the squad: the group of leaders of the national team is absent or in bad shape.
The main loss for the Croatian national team is Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric . The 2018 Ballon d’Or winner sustained an adductor muscle injury, due to which he missed the weekend against Levante in the Spanish Championship. Modric will definitely not play with Russia, but there are still chances that he will help the national team in the meeting with Slovenia (September 7).
Another important figure for the Croats who will not be in Moscow is the Milan winger Ante Rebic . The author of 11 goals and seven assists in the last season of Serie A is absent, unlike Modric, not for health, but for the decision of the head coach. After Euro 2020, prone to emotional explosions, Rebich allowed himself to criticize Dalich on Instagram, calling the team’s game in the last two or three years “shitty”. And Zlatko decided that at this stage he would do without a representative of the Rossoneri.
The Croatians also do not have the forward of Zagreb Dynamo Bruno Petkovic , who took part in four games of Euro 2020 (in the 1/8 finals with Spain, he came out at the base). Apparently, Dalic is not impressed by the form of the 26-year-old player, who scored only one goal in 12 games of the new season. Obviously, the coach is worried about the condition of all the players of Zagreb Dynamo, which in the Champions League qualification managed to lose to Sheriff in a two-league confrontation – 0: 3 away and 0: 0 at home. The main goalkeeper of the Croatian national team Dominik Livakovic conceded three goals in Moldova, and the leaders of the attack from Dynamo Petkovic, Mislav Orsic and Luka Ivanushetsdid not take a single effective action. True, Orshich and Ivanushets still received a call to the national team, but they are unlikely to come out at the base.
If the only difficulties were with the form of the representatives of the Zagreb “Dynamo”! Legionnaires from the RPL, with the exception of Nikola Moro , are also not ready as Dalich would like. Midfielder Nikol Vlašić , amid talks about his transfer from CSKA to Milan or West Ham, is simply unrecognizable lately, it looks like he is overweight, the usual harshness has disappeared. Central defender Dejan Lovren made mistakes in every round from the start of the Russian Championship, leading to goals or scoring chances.
In addition, the team’s other main center-back at Euro 2020, Duje Chalet-Tsar, has not played in any of Marseille’s four games this season. And Atletico’s right-back Shime Vrsaljko , who was not included in Croatia for the match with Russia, spent only … a minute on the field.
Finally, Osasuna’s forward Ante Budimir , who played against Spain at Euro 2020, was injured, as was Modric. The 30-year-old has groin problems. Budimir is not the most famous footballer in the Croatian national team, nevertheless he scored 11 goals in the last season of Examples. In both matches of the season he hit the goal of the future Spanish champion Atletico.
You can also recall the centerhava “Cagliari” Marco Rog , who missed Euro 2020 due to a ruptured cruciate ligament and is still being treated, as he had a relapse in the summer.
Little remains of the Croatian team from the 2018 World Cup final. For a long time the participants of the decisive game with France in Luzhniki – goalkeeper Daniel Subasic , defender Ivan Strinich , midfielder Ivan Rakitic and striker Mario Mandzhukic – have been absent from the national team . By the way, then there was Lokomotiv’s newcomer Tin Jedvay , who is now also out of the roster.
Of course, the problems of the Croats do not make the Russian national team a favorite in the match against them, because such cool players as Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea), Marcelo Brozovic and Ivan Perisic (both of Inter), Andrei Kramaric (Hoffenheim “) And Mario Pashalich (” Atalanta “). But in this situation, the chances of our team to win increase dramatically. As talented football nation as Croatia is, it is not Brazil or Argentina, which consistently supply players to the top leagues of Europe and can, if necessary, collect at least three teams of the highest level.