21:43 / 24.03.2023.

Author: Katja Miličić

Dalić ahead of clash with Wales: We are looking to win

Zlatko Dalić

Zlatko Dalić

Foto: Miroslav Lelas / PIXSELL

Croatia is looking to open its campaign to qualify for Euro 2024 with a win against Wales in Split on Saturday, Coach Zlatko Dalić told reporters on Friday. 

Croatia is the favorite but they will be playing without Dean Lovren, who retired from the national team, and Bruno Petković, who is recovering from injury.

“We want to open the qualifiers with a win. We have had great results in the last five years, but we are still hungry for victory. Wales are looking to surprise us, but we also want to win,” said Dalić.

Many of Croatia’s players who played most or all of the games at the World Cup ended up with injuries, the head coach admitted, but said this was the case with many teams.

“Brozović got injured, then Kovačić, but we have to overcome these problems. We have a good team, players who can replace those who are not in the most ideal form. We know what we have to do and we can deploy our forces in these two games and save some players so that they don't strain themselves too much, but also that the outcome doesn't suffer,” said Dalić.

According to Dalić, Croatia needs to pick up 18 points to get through the group stage, but he says he is not going to calculate.

Asked about what he expects from Wales, Dalić said perhaps a more ambitious and faster team than before, because younger players have arrived who are eager to prove themselves.

Kick-off is Saturday at 8:45 p.m. in Poljud Stadium in Split.

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