International Fixtures

Provisional Croatia World Cup Squad Announced for 2022 World Cup

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Coach Zlatko Dalić has announced the provisional Croatia World Cup 34-man roster for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup. He is scheduled to announce the final squad of between 23 and 26 players on Wednesday, November 9. After that he will have until 24 hours before the 2022 World Cup opener (which in Croatia’s case takes place on November 23 at 1 p.m. local time against Morocco).
Without further ado, the provisional squad is as follows:

Provisional Croatia World Cup Squad

Goalkeepers:

Dominik Livaković (Dinamo Zagreb), Ivica Ivušić (NK Osjek), Ivo Grbić,( Atlético Madrid) Dominik Kotarski (PAOK Thessaloniki), Nediljko Labrović (HNK Rjeka).

Defenders:

Domagoj Vida, (AEK Athens) Dejan Lovren (Zenit St. Petersburg) Borna Barišić (Glasgow Rangers), Duje Ćaleta-Car (Southampton), Josip Juranović (Celtic Glasgow), Joško Gvardiol (RB Leipzig), Borna Sosa, (VfB Stuttgart) Josip Stanišić (Bayern Munich), Marin Pongračić (Lecce), Martin Erlić, (Sassuolo FC) Josip Šutalo (Dinamo Zagreb).

Midfielders:

Luka Modrić (Real Madrid), Mateo Kovačić (Chelsea), Marcelo Brozović (Inter), Mario Pašalić, (Atalanta Begamo) Nikola Vlašić, (Torino) Luka Ivanušec (Dinamo Zagreb), Lovro Majer (Stade Rennes), Kristijan Jakić (Eintracht Frankfurt, Luka Sučić (RB Salzburg), Josip Mišić (Dinamo Zagreb).

Strikers:

Ivan Perišić (Tottenham Hotspur), Andrej Kramarić, (TSG Hoffenheim) Josip Brekalo, (VfL Wolfsburg) Bruno Petković, (Dinamo Zagreb) Mislav Oršić, (Dinamo Zagreb), Ante Budimir Osasuna CF, Marko Livaja, (Hajduk Split), Antonio Mirko Čolak (Glasgow Rangers).

Analysis

Given the size of this provisional squad, there are no major surprises. Every player who has a realistic chance of making the Croatia World Cup team is on it. Arguably in the goalkeeping position in particular, there are even one or two on the list who do not have much chance to make it to the 2022 World Cup. Exactly three keepers will be on the final roster.

If anything, there are only one or two missing names that may jump out. A. C. Milan winger Ante Rebić has had a public falling out with Coach Dalić after his underwhelming performance at the last EURO and has not been considered for selection since. Meanwhile, possible backup goalkeeper Lovre Kalinić of Hajduk Split injured his knee recently and is out of contention for that reason.

The plan is for the Croatia national team players to meet in Zagreb on November 13 and 14. They then have a friendly game scheduled for November 16 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. They are scheduled to arrive in their Qatari tournament headquarters on the 20th. As mentioned above, they begin the tournament on the 23rd vs. Morocco followed by other group games vs. Canada on the 27th and Belgium on December 1.

Looking Ahead

Apart from the group, which at first glance seems manageable, Croatia’s path to another great 2022 World Cup (after a 3rd place finish in 1998 and second-place in 2018) seems much more difficult this time around, given that Spain or Germany could await in the Round of 16 and the Brazilian giants might follow in a potential quarterfinal.

But it is far too premature to talk about such things anyway. The World Cup is never predictable and many surprises happen along the way. That’s why billions of fans from around the globe enjoy this tournament so much.

Final Thoughts

For Croatia, like any other team involved the hope now is to avoid further injuries at all costs. But with the club calendar being as packed as it is, injuries are sure to happen.

There has never before been a World Cup in the middle of the European club season. That is why the time for national teams to prepare for the big event is so extremely limited. That said, fans are looking forward to the 2022 World Cup and everyone will make the best of it.

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Croatia in particular will look to build on its UEFA Nations League campaign, where they beat France for the first time.

Let us know your predictions for Croatia and the 2022 World Cup in the comments below!

Main image credit Embed from Getty Images

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Denis Knezovic is a longtime football/soccer writer, as well as a published author. He is an avid Bayern Munich and Atlanta United fan.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DenisKnezovic1
Twitter: @KnezovicDenis