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FIFA World Cup European Qualifying

Millennium Stadium (ATT 12,500) 26th March 2013 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: Luca Banti

Wales Wales vs Croatia Croatia

Wales 1

G Bale (pen 21)

ft

Croatia 2

D Lovren (77)
Eduardo (87)

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Wales v Croatia: Chris Coleman's side must win to keep World Cup hopes alive

Last Updated: 26/03/13 6:58pm

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Gareth Bale: The Tottenham Hotspur winger will come up against former team-mate Luka Modric

Gareth Bale: The Tottenham Hotspur winger will come up against former team-mate Luka Modric

Wales gave their World Cup campaign a major boost by beating Scotland on Friday but must now overcome Croatia on home turf to keep their hopes of qualification alive.

A 2-1 victory at Hampden Park moved Chris Coleman's side to within seven points of second place in Group A - a position held by Tuesday's opposition - but having lost three of their five games so far, there is no more room for error.

A win over the Croats would also inject both confidence and belief into the team that they can reach Rio given that two of their last four matches are against struggling Macedonia.

However, taking three points off Igor Stimac's men is far from a forgone conclusion. Wales were soundly beaten 2-0 at the Stadion Maksimir in October, which was one of four wins the Croats have already notched up in the group so far.

Indeed, the only points they have dropped were in a closely fought 1-1 draw against table-toppers Belgium in September.

History is also against the Welsh, who are yet to beat Croatia in their three meetings to date (two defeats, one draw) and have registered back-to-back wins in qualifying campaigns just three times since 1998, the last being 18 months ago.

And it also can't be forgotten that Croatia are just as desperate for a win as Wales are. They are locked on the same number of points as the Belgians and, with crunch reverse fixtures against Serbia and Belgium still to come, they will have identified their trip to the Liberty Stadium as a must-win match.

They can also call on the services of Real Madrid's Luka Modric, who caused havoc in the win over the Welsh earlier in the campaign.

Wales Badge Wales

Last 6

  1. Holland (a) 2-0

Gareth Bale is expected to be fit to face Croatia after recovering from the stomach virus problems that forced him off at half-time against Scotland on Friday.

The Tottenham Hotspur winger trained on Sunday and Monday and is expected to play at the Liberty Stadium.

Jack Collison will not figure after being pulled out of the squad due to his inability to play twice in four days as he continues to recover from long-term injury, while Aaron Ramsey is unavailable through suspension. In their place, Leicester City's Andy King and Crystal Palace's Jonny Williams are both set to start.

Croatia Badge Croatia

Croatia manager Igor Stimac is expected to be without Niko Kranjcar after the former Tottenham Hotspur and Portsmouth midfielder picked up a knee injury.

He is likely to be replaced with Josip Radosevic or Inter Milan's Mateo Kovacic.

Stimac also has to decide whether to play veterans Josip Simunic, 35, and Ivica Olic, 33, for a second successive match. Domagoj Vida and Everton's Nikica Jelavic are both waiting in the wings should they drop out.

Previous game's starting line-ups

4-5-1
  • Hennessey 1 Hennessey
  • Gunter 2 Gunter
  • Taylor 3 Taylor

  • Gabbidon 5 Gabbidon
  • Chester 6 Chester
  • Ledley 4 Ledley

  • Allen 7 Allen
  • Robson-Kanu 8 Robson-Kanu

  • King 10 King

  • Jonny Williams 11 Jonny Williams

  • Church 9 Church

Team taken from Wales vs Netherlands (International Match) on Wednesday 4th June 2014

4-2-3-1
  • Pletikosa 1 Pletikosa
  • Srna 11 Srna
  • Corluka 5 Corluka
  • Lovren 6 Lovren
  • Vrsaljko 2 Vrsaljko

  • Rakitic 7 Rakitic
  • Pranjic 3 Pranjic

  • Perisic 4 Perisic
  • Modric 10 Modric
  • Olic 18 Olic

  • Mandzukic 17 Mandzukic

Team taken from Croatia vs Mexico (FIFA World Cup) on Monday 23rd June 2014


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    Tue 26th Mar - Group I

Tables

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group A

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Belgium 10 26
2 Croatia 10 17
3 Serbia 10 14
4 Scotland 10 11
5 Wales 10 10
6 Macedonia 10 7

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group B

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Italy 10 22
2 Denmark 10 16
3 Czech Republic 10 15
4 Bulgaria 10 13
5 Armenia 10 13
6 Malta 10 3

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group C

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Germany 10 28
2 Sweden 10 20
3 Austria 10 17
4 Republic of Ireland 10 14
5 Kazakhstan 10 5
6 Faroe Islands 10 1

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group D

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Netherlands 10 28
2 Romania 10 19
3 Hungary 10 17
4 Turkey 10 16
5 Estonia 10 7
6 Andorra 10 0

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group E

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Switzerland 10 24
2 Iceland 10 17
3 Slovenia 10 15
4 Norway 10 12
5 Albania 10 11
6 Cyprus 10 5

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group F

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Russia 10 22
2 Portugal 10 21
3 Israel 10 14
4 Azerbaijan 10 9
5 Northern Ireland 10 7
6 Luxembourg 10 6

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group G

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina 10 25
2 Greece 10 25
3 Slovakia 10 13
4 Lithuania 10 11
5 Latvia 10 8
6 Liechtenstein 10 2

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group H

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 England 10 22
2 Ukraine 10 21
3 Montenegro 10 15
4 Poland 10 13
5 Moldova 10 11
6 San Marino 10 0

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group I

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Spain 8 20
2 France 8 17
3 Finland 8 9
4 Georgia 8 5
5 Belarus 8 4

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