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

Croatia beat Cyprus in the last match to get their qualifying campaign up and running
Croatia beat Cyprus in the last match to get their qualifying campaign up and running
Sachin Bhat
ANALYST
Modified 29 Mar 2021
Preview

Croatia welcome Malta to the Stadion Rujevica on Tuesday for matchday three of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

The Vatreni were beaten 1-0 by Slovenia on the opening day but bounced back with a similar result against Cyprus last weekend.

Croatia are aiming for another victory to build momentum ahead of the European Championship in June.

The 2018 World Cup runners-up are still rebuilding from a disastrous 2020 where they barely survived relegation in the UEFA Nations League.

With just one win and five losses, Croatia failed to impress and beat Sweden to relegation by a whisker.

They've been drawn in a fairly easy group this time, but the loss to Slovenia showed that they should not underestimate any opponent.

Even Malta, one of the lowest-ranked European sides, managed to claim a point in their last game against Slovakia.

The Falcons raced to a shock 2-0 lead inside 20 minutes of the game before the hosts clawed their way back to force a share of the spoils.

Nevertheless, it was their first point in this qualifying campaign, and they stunned the world with a valiant performance.

Croatia underestimate Devis Mangia’s boys at their own peril.

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Croatia vs Malta Head-To-Head

In eight games between the sides, Croatia have emerged victorious on seven occasions. A 1-1 draw in a World Cup qualifier back in 2005 was the only exception.

Their last clash came during Euro 2016 qualifying when the Blazers won both legs with an aggregate score of 3-0.

Croatia Form Guide (all competitions): D-L-L-L-W

Malta Form Guide (all competitions): W-W-D-L-D


Croatia vs Malta Team News

Croatia

Croatia failed to impress despite a 1-0 win over Cyprus and head coach Zlatko Dalic will no doubt demand more from his players.

Experienced players such as Demagoj Vida, Andrej Kramaric and Mateo Kovacic might be reinstated in the starting XI.

Injured: None

Suspended: None

Unavailable: None

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Malta

The Falcons were impressive in their last match and there's little reason for manager Devis Mangia to make any changes ahead of the game.

Injured: None

Suspended: None

Unavailable: None


Croatia vs Malta Predicted XI

Croatia (4-3-3): Simon Sluga; Sime Vrsaljko, Dejan Lovren, Demagoj Vida, Borna Barisic; Luka Modric, Marcelo Brozovic, Mateo Kovacic, Josip Brekalo, Andrej Kramaric, Ivan Perisic.

Malta (3-4-2-1): Henry Bonello; Kurt Shaw, Steve Borg, Enrico Pepe; Joseph Mbong, Teddy Teuma, Matthew Guillaumeir, Ryan Camenzuli; Paul Mbong, Luke Gambin; Alexander Satariano.


Croatia vs Malta Prediction

Malta will be raring to go again after such a bright start to their campaign and Croatia have been warned.

However, the sheer amount of experience and talent on their roster should help Dalic's side to a narrow win.

Prediction: Croatia 2-0 Malta

Published 29 Mar 2021, 04:03 IST
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