Croatia is currently 15th in the FIFA ranking. If it stays in that position, it will be in the second strong group (Pot 2), which will depend on the results of the friendly matches against Slovenia and Bulgaria in Doha. Croatia is most threatened by Sweden and Senegal.
The first seven teams in the FIFA ranking on March 31 will be the top seeds, and Qatar as the host country will be the top seed of Group A. The final fourth pot will include 24th to 28th in the ranking, plus three teams, which will not be defined at the time of the draw, and which will come out of the intercontinental playoffs and the remaining UEFA playoff winners.
Ukraine has been granted a postponement of the semi-final playoff against Scotland, and the winner of that match will face the winner of Wales and Austria. The European playoffs will end in May or June, and two intercontinental playoffs in Qatar on June 14 and 15.
FIFA also announced that teams from the same confederation could not be included in the same group, except those from Europe, of which there are 13. Thus, five of the eight groups will have two European teams.
The group stage will play across 12 days, with four games played per day. The schedule will be determined after each match is assigned a stadium and start time.
The Croatia national football team will play two friendly matches later this month in Qatar. The first match is scheduled for Saturday, March 26, at 3 pm against Slovenia. The second match will be played against Bulgaria on Tuesday, March 29 at 4 pm, both at the Education City Stadium in Doha.
These will be the first Croatia national team matches after qualifying for the 2022 World Cup and will serve as preparation for coach Zlatko Dalić and what awaits the team for the rest of the year. This tournament also serves as excellent preparation for the World Cup in Qatar, as the climate and stadiums will be tested. As far as tactics are concerned, Dalić will also test a new formation with three in the backline as there will be no room to experiment in the four Nations League matches in June.
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