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Croatia vs Cyprus prediction, preview, team news and more | 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Croatia host Cyprus in their upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifier
Croatia host Cyprus in their upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifier
ANALYST
Modified 25 Mar 2021
Preview

Croatia welcome Cyprus to the HNK Rijeka Stadium in Rujevica in their FIFA World Cup qualifier on Saturday.

The hosts suffered a 1-0 defeat in their opening fixture of the qualifying campaign against Slovenia. Meanwhile, Cyprus held Slovakia to a goalless draw on Wednesday night.

With nine more games to go in the qualifying group stage, Zlatko Dalić's men will be looking to get back to winning ways in this home game. Cyprus are 89 places behind the hosts in the FIFA rankings.

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Croatia vs Cyprus Head-to-Head

The two national teams have squared off just once before in an international friendly in 2014. Kockasti recorded a 2-0 win in that encounter with Mario Mandzukic bagging a brace.

Croatia form guide: L-L-L-L-W

Cyprus form guide: D-L-W-D-L

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Croatia vs Cyprus Team News

Croatia

The only injury concern for the hosts ahead of this game is Dinamo Zagreb striker Bruno Petkovic, who has been ruled out due to a shoulder injury.

Despite fielding a strong starting XI against Slovenia, Dalić's men suffered a narrow loss. We do not expect him to make a lot of changes in this game, but Duje Ćaleta-Car could replace Domagoj Vida in the defense.

Kristijan Lovrić is in contention to make his debut after Nikola Vlašić failed to impress on the wing.

Injured: Bruno Petkovic

Doubtful: None

Suspended: None

Cyprus

The visitors have not had any players ruled out on account of injuries or suspensions. We do not expect Nikos Kostenoglou to make any changes to the team which faced Slovakia.

Injured: None

Doubtful: None

Suspended: None


Croatia vs Cyprus Predicted XI

Croatia Predicted XI (4-3-3): Dominik Livakovic; Sime Vrsaljko, Dejan Lovren, Duje Caleta-Car, Borna Barisic; Luka Modric, Milan Badelj, Marcelo Brozovic; Mario Pasalic, Ivan Perisic, Andrej Kramaric

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Cyprus Predicted XI (3-4-3): Demetris Demetriou; Ioannis Kousoulos, Constantinos Soteriou, Constantinos Laifis; Minas Antoniou, Kostakis Artymatas, Nicholas Ioannou; Marios Elia, Andreas Avraam, Ioannis Pittas


Croatia vs Cyprus Prediction

Croatia are the favorites in this fixture, at least on paper. There is a clear difference in the quality of the squads, which will be a major factor in determining the outcome of the game.

Both teams failed to score their first goal of the campaign and will be looking to open the scoring in this game. Although the hosts failed to pick up a point in the previous game, we believe they will to record a win here.

Prediction: Croatia 2-1 Cyprus


Also See: The 10 highest-paid goalkeepers in the world

Published 25 Mar 2021, 20:30 IST
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