UEFA Nations League: Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic out of England clash


"I'm more anxious about our team because we played against Spain two days ago".

Their place in the finals of the new competition now hangs in the balance, however, after losing 3-2 at home to England and defeat in Zagreb.

"Maybe it was too soon after the World Cup".

Another victory over the side that they knocked out in Russian Federation this summer will secure their place at the inaugural Nations League finals next summer.

"Tomorrow [Sunday] we will play how we know we can play". "We play at Wembley, one of the most important stadiums in the world". "The group was very hard, with two of the best national teams in the world". The "tiki-taka" passing game was gone, and the focus turned to a more vertical approach in attack.

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The former Sevilla player made way for Nikola Vlasic on the 67th minute after seemingly pointing to his hamstring, an injury to which could lead to a lengthy lay off for Ivan Rakitic and pose as a threat to Barcelona. "I can see areas we need to improve in, but I think today's result is completely unfair".

He will have a chance to get Spain back on track in a friendly against Bosnia-Herzegovina on Sunday in Las Palmas, the team's final match of the year.

Nobody needs reminding of the World Cup semi-final four months ago and the last time England played Croatia in a high-pressure game at Wembley was the infamous "wally with a brolly" night in 2007, when Steve McClaren's team lost and failed to qualify for the following summer's European Championships.

Luis Enrique appeared resigned to his side not making it through, turning his attention to the qualifying campaign for Euro 2020.