Croatia - Scotland Preview: Strachan targets first Group A victory

Gordon Strachan has a host of injury concerns ahead of his side's clash against the nation who currently sit second in the group, level on 16 points with first-placed Belgium


Srna, Lovren, Simunic, Strinic
Sammir, Rakitic, Badelj, Kovacic
Eduardo, Mandzukic

Hutton, Hanley, Martin, Whittaker
Bannan, McArthur
Snodgrass, Morrison, Maloney

Scotland boss Gordon Strachan has a host of key players missing for the clash as Darren Fletcher, Steven Fletcher, Kenny Miller, Scott Brown, James Forrest, Charlie Mulgrew, Danny Fox, Lee Wallace and Gary Caldwell are all ruled out.

West Brom midfielder James Morrison has been named as Scotland's captain for the tie.

"It's going to be hard. The squad is young. Some of our players don't even play European football, so it's imperative they get some kind of training for big games," Strachan said.

"But, for all our hard work, we know we are playing against world class players."

Croatia are missing two key players in Luka Modric and Vedran Corluka, who are both suspended.

Dinamo Zagreb's 16-year-old starlet Alen Halilovic, who has been linked with a number of top European clubs, is included in Croatia's squad.

  • Scotland are bottom of Group A, having drawn two of their six games and lost the other four.
  • Croatia are level on points with Belgium at the top of Group A. Both sides are on 16 points, having won five and drawn one.
  • Alan Hutton is the most-capped player in Gordon Strachan's squad with 31 appearances.
  • Alen Halilovic could become Croatia's youngest-ever senior international if he features against Scotland.
  • The home side's last defeat in a World Cup qualifier came against England in September 2009.
  • Stipe Pletikosa and Darijo Srna are set to earn their 103rd caps.