Juventus forward Mario Mandzukic has been cleared to turn out for Croatia in their crucial World Cup Playoff against Greece.
The 31-year-old survived an injury scare from Juventus’ home victory against Benevento on the weekend, suffering a minor thigh problem despite only coming on for the final 12 minutes.
Fiorentina midfielder Milan Badelj hasn’t been quite so fortunate, as he’s been ruled out for both home and away legs against Greece with a thigh problem of his own.
Despite the setback, Croatia remain a side with players capable of upsetting anyone on their day, especially with the likes of Real Madrid’s Luka Modric, Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic and Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic in the squad.
Former Al-Ain manager Zlatko Dalic took over from Ante Cacic as Croatia boss just last month, winning his debut game over Ukraine, and will lead his troops in Zagreb on Thursday before a return leg in Athens on Sunday.
Croatia World Cup Playoff Squad
Goalkeepers: Danijel Subasic, Lovre Kalinic, Dominik Livakovic
Defenders: Domagoj Vida, Ivan Strinic, Dejan Lovren, Sime Vrasljko, Josip Pivaric, Matej Mitrovic, Marin Leovac, Zoran Nizic, Tin Jedvaj
Midfielders: Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Marko Rog, Mario Pasalic, Filip Bradaric, Nikola Vlasic, Marcelo Brozovic, Marko Pjaca, Ivan Perisic
Forwards: Mario Mandzukic, Duje Cop, Nikola Kalinic, Andrej Kramaric, Ante Rebic