Croatia manager Zlatko Dalić has named his 24-man squad for October’s World Cup qualifiers against Cyprus on the 8th and Slovakia on the 11th; and there’s definitely some questions to be asked.
The $1 Million question: Will Ante Rebić ever play for the Vatreni under Dalič again? Rebić scored two wonderful goals against Liverpool and Juventus this week but is nowhere to be seen on the Croatia squad list. Rebić publicly criticized Dalić following EURO 2020 and no apology has been given. Is this feud only between Dalić and Rebić? Are there other members of the Croatia squad who don’t want Rebić in the locker room? Who knows but those closest to the team? One thing is certain, Rebić is AC Milan’s hottest scorer and Croatia can definitely use him in form. If Borna Sosa made amends with the Croatian national team and HNS after he publicly chose to play for Germany earlier in the summer, Rebić could do the same. Right?
Who will it be in net? Livaković or Ivušić? Osijek’s #1 keeper, Ivica Ivušić, posted two clean sheets last month vs. Slovakia and Slovenia following Livaković’s minor knock in the first September qualifier against Russia. Ivo Grbić is also getting first-team reps in the French Ligue 1 with Lille. A huge goalie shake up is upon us.
Domagoj Vida has missed the last three games with Besiktas due to a foot injury. If it was that severe, I’m sure Vida would have been dropped altogether. Expect him to be available for October.
Luka Modrić will be available for these two matches after missing all three in September with a groin injury. Josip Brekalo has been reinstated, but why? Nothing much has changed in a month and he has yet to impress at Torino in Italy.
Andrej Kramarić has been cold, for both Croatia and Hoffenheim. Will Hajduk’s Marko Livaja be the go-to striker for the Vatreni heading into 2022? Ante Budimir is on the call-up list after missing out on September matches with an injury.
Who will step up to be Croatia’s #1 striker moving forward?