Big Blow for Čačić Ahead of World Cup Qualifiers: No Kovačić and Subašić?

Daniela Rogulj

Not so good news for Croatian coach Ante Čačić ahead of the critical World Cup qualifiers at the start of October.

I guess it wouldn’t be Croatian football if there weren’t a bit of drama, right? And today, we bring you just that.

Not that there is much need to panic (although the chances are, Croatian fans probably are) but the Croatian national team has been dealt a heavy hand just weeks ahead of their World Cup qualifiers against Finland and Ukraine: Will Real Madrid’s Mateo Kovačić and Monaco’s Danijel Subašić see the pitch?

The answer, unfortunately, is no. Let’s all take a deep breath together. 

In Real Madrid’s Champions League match against APOEL earlier this week, the 23-year-old Croat, who was trusted as the starting midfielder by coach Zinedine Zidane, was sidelined in the 20th minute after partially tearing an adductor muscle in his right leg. Having left the pitch in pain and tears, medical examiners have confirmed that the Croat will be out for two months, reported HNS on September 14, 2017. 

Furthermore, Croatia’s starting goalkeeper Danijel Subašić left many wondering what was going on when he wasn’t seen defending the back of the net in Monaco’s Champions League match against Leipzig earlier this week.  

Just one hour after Real Madrid announced the extent of Mateo Kovačić’s injury, which would result in him missing the rest of Croatia’s World Cup qualifications, HNS reported that goalkeeper Danijel Subašić was also given some bad news – he will also be questionable to play against Finland and Ukraine!

Due to ankle ligament injury, the Croat will be sidelined for two to three weeks, and in the opinion of the head of Croatian Medical Service Prof. Dr. Boris Nemec, Subašić will most likely not be able to compete in the upcoming qualifying matches with Finland and Ukraine.

So, who does Čačić have to look at for replacements?

For Subašić, it is more than likely that Croatia’s second goalkeeper and current Gent keeper Lovre Kalinić will defend the net. Čačić has another option to put Dominik Livaković in goal.

So far as the midfield goes, it is likely that Čačić will replace Badelj for Kovačić as the defensive midfielder behind Ivan Rakitić and Luka Modrić. 

With just three short weeks away from the most important qualifying games in our group, we can only hope that the remainder of the team will stay healthy. Then again, a lot can happen in the European leagues by then.

Croatia will face Finland in Osijek on October 6, 2017, and play away in Ukraine on October 9, 2017. 


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