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Football: Croatia squad for World Cup qualifier

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Croatia coach Igor Stimac on Thursday named a 31-man squad for next month's World Cup Group qualifier against Scotland with two key players missing.

Real Madrid's midfielder Luka Modric and Lokomotiv Moscow defender Vedran Corluka have been ruled out of the match due to yellow cards.

"I know that the Scotland coach wants a turning point, he wants a scalp of a strong rival and to change things for better in his team," Stimac told reporters.

Scotland tackle Croatia in Zagreb on June 7 but their hopes of qualifying from Group A, where they are at the bottom, have already been dashed.

"I want three points from this match and peace ahead of the horrible match against Serbia" to be played against former foe in Belgrade on September 6, Stimac added.

Both Modric and Corluka are set to join the squad for the friendly against Portugal, to be played on June 10 in Geneva.

Stimac has also invited four new young players in the squad, including Dinamo Zagreb teenage stars -- Alen Halilovic, 16, and Tin Jedvaj, 17.

Apart from Croatia, Scotland and Serbia, Group A also features Belgium and Macedonia.

Croatia are currently second with 16 points alongside Belgium.

Squad

Goalkeepers: Stipe Pletikosa (Rostov/RUS), Danijel Subasic (Monaco/FRA), Dario Kresic (Lokomotiv Moscow/RUS), Vjekoslav Tomic (Karabukspor/TUR)

Defenders: Domagoj Vida (Dynamo Kiev/UKR), Sime Vrsaljko (Dinamo Zagreb), Hrvoje Milic (Istra 1961 Pula), Josip Simunic (Dinamo Zagreb), Marin Tomasov (TSV 1860 Munich/GER), Dejan Lovren (Lyon/FRA), Mario Maloca (Hajduk Split), Tin Jedvaj (Dinamo Zagreb), Mateo Pavlovic (Werder Bremen/GER), Darijo Srna (Shakhtar Donetsk/UKR), Ivan Strinic (Dniepropetrvsk/UKR), Gordon Schindelfeld (PAOK/GRE), Ivan Rakitic (Sevilla/ESP)

Midfielders: Mateo Kovacic (Inter Milan/ITA), Milan Badelj (Hamburg/GER), Arijan Ademi (Dinamo Zagreb), Ognjen Vukojevic (Spartak Moscow/RUS), Ivo Ilicevic (Hamburg/GER), Alen Halilovic (Dinamo Zagreb), Ivan Perisic (VfL Wolfsburg/GER), Sammir (Dinamo Zagreb), Niko Kranjcar (Dynamo Kiev/UKR)

Forwards: Ivica Olic (VfL Wolfsburg/GER), Eduardo Da Silva (Shakhtar Donetsk/UKR), Nikica Jelavic (Everton/ENG), Mario Mandzukic (Bayern Munich/GER), Nikola Kalinic (Dniepropetrvsk/UKR)

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130523/football-croatia-squad-world-cup-qualifier