On Saturday night, Wales’ tough road to play Croatia, the third-place team in the World Cup, marks the start of life without Gareth Bale.
Coach Zlatko Dalic will be pleased with Modric and Perisic’s continued involvement in the squad. Their experience and leadership skills will be crucial in guiding the rest of the team through the challenges ahead.
Meanwhile, Dejan Lovren has retired from international football.
Croatia is in good form heading into the current qualifying campaign, having lost only one of their last 13 matches in all competitions. This loss was to eventual world champions Argentina in the semi-final stage.
This shows that they can compete at the highest level and will be looking to build on their success in the World Cup.
Croatia Form (All Competitions): D W W L W
It’s been a while since Wales has been at the top of their game, and with the recent retirement of Gareth Bale, the end of an era is imminent.
The team’s performance in their last eight matches and lackluster showing at the World Cup only adds to this perception. However, there is still hope for Wales to climb back up the international rankings.
Despite a somewhat favorable group, Wales will have to fight hard to secure a spot in the top two, especially with the challenge of playing their upcoming match against a strong opponent on their home turf.
Robert Page’s side will need to step up their game and perform consistently if they want to avoid dropping the rankings.
Wales Form (All Competitions): L L D L L
With Dejan Lovren announcing his retirement from international football, the Croatian national team must find a replacement in the center of defense.
One possible option is Josip Sutalo, who could partner with Josko Gvardiol.
The Wales national football team has suffered a setback by withdrawing two key players, Wayne Hennessey and Ben Davies, from the squad.
As a result, Danny Ward and Ben Cabango are expected to be in the starting lineup ahead of the pair.
Croatia’s expected starting lineup:
Livakovic; Juranovic, Sutalo, Gvardiol, Sosa; Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic; Vlasic, Kramaric, Perisic
Wales’ expected starting lineup:
Ward; Mepham, Rodon, Cabango; Roberts, Ramsey, Ampadu, Wilson, Williams; Johnson, Moore
Head to Head
Croatia and Wales have faced each other six times in international football, with Croatia emerging as the dominant side, winning four matches.
Meanwhile, Wales has yet to secure a victory over their opponents, with the other two matches ending in a draw.
Time, Date & Venue
Date: Saturday, March 25
Time: 07:45 pm, UTC
Venue: Stadion Poljud stadium, Split city
Against a quality opponent like Croatia, Wales may struggle to create as many chances without Bale’s presence.
As such, it’s reasonable to predict that Croatia will have the upper hand in the upcoming match.
With the home advantage and a talented squad that includes players like Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic, Croatia will be confident of securing a comfortable victory over Wales.