Croatia Leaves Split for Cardiff, Ryan Giggs Looking for Win against ‘One of World’s Best’

Daniela Rogulj

October 12, 2019 – Croatia national team coach Zlatko Dalic addressed the press after defeating Hungary in Split. On Saturday, Croatia set off to Wales, and Dalic will not settle for less than 3 points. 

“It would be nice to win and that’s our goal. We have no right to enter any match calculated. In terms of quality, I cannot tell this team that we are going to play for a point, but rather try to secure a spot in the European Championships and have a peaceful November. In Wales, more challenging conditions await us, as there has been a lot of rain, and we are playing on a Sunday. No wonder players are often injured. I hope we didn’t spend too much against Hungary, especially because not everyone played until the end. Still, I expect the players to say if they are not in top condition, Dalic said for HRT and commented on the convincing victory at Poljud.

“We acted well as a team; in arranging the lineup, the experience was taken into account, and everyone gave their best. I do not need to point out anyone. We managed to save ourselves a little bit and I’m thrilled we are continuing this series of good games. I received many congratulations, and in the end, we all have to be happy and proud, it was a great night for Croatian football.”

For Sunday’s match in Cardiff, Dalic called on Hajduk midfielder Filip Bradaric instead of Marcelo Brozovic. We still do not know who will replace Brozovic. 

“We will miss Brozovic because of cards. We will miss his stamina and aggressiveness, but we will analyze Wales and find a solution, a replacement,” Dalic added.

Wales coach and Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs commented on the match against Croatia after drawing to Slovakia 1:1 two days ago.

“Croatia is one of the best national teams, has fantastic players, and is a favorite in tomorrow’s game,” Giggs began on

“However, we are playing in front of our fans, and our chance of a positive result is even greater. We need to be as focused as possible throughout the game, be aggressive on the ball, and defend against their counterattacks. We have a plan for how to counter them and play against them. We will see if this brings us the victory we want,” Giggs emphasized.

Ethan Ampadu and Jonathan Williams are scheduled to start the match, as will striker Kieffer Moore who scored two days ago in Slovakia. Giggs hopes Aaron Ramsey will recover from his injury.

“We did not write him off. Aaron did not play in these qualifications, but every good player is necessary if we want to get to the Euro. We still have time and we will know more on matchday if he can help against Croatia. But we have players who can do a good job,” Giggs said.

Wales and Croatia have played five matches so far, with four Croatia wins and one draw. During the World Cup qualifications on March 26, 2013, Wales led in Cardiff thanks to a Bale goal, then lost 1:2 thanks to a Lovren goal in the 77th and Eduardo da Silva in the 87th minute. In this series of qualifications, Croatia celebrated 2:1 in Osijek with an own goal by Lawrence in the 17th minute and a Perisic goal in the 48th. Brooks scored for Wales in the 77th minute.

Wales have not lost their last nine home games in the Euro qualifications, with seven wins and two draws. They lost to England (0:2) in March 2011 in the fight for the Euros. On the other hand, Croatia has only won twice in the last seven European qualifying appearances played away, with three draws and two losses.

Croatia and Wales will meet in Cardiff on Sunday at 8:45 pm for the 8th round of Group E in the Euro 2020 qualifiers. Croatia is first in Group E with 13 points, which is three more than Slovakia, four more than Hungary, and six more than Wales, who has one game less. Azerbaijan is in the last place with one point.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.


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