Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Euro 2020 qualifiers: Croatia v Wales

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  1. Vaulks makes first competitive Wales start, Rakitic out for Croatia
  2. BBC Radio 5 Live & BBC Radio Cymru commentary
  3. Estonia v Northern Ireland follows at 17:00 BST
  4. Watch highlights of Northern Ireland game on BBC One NI at 22:20 BST

Live Reporting

By Gary Rose

All times stated are UK

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  1. Bucket hats at the ready

    Croatia v Wales (14:00 BST)

    Dafydd Pritchard

    BBC Sport Wales in Osijek

    Red, yellow and green bucket hats have become synonymous
    with Wales’ away trips, and the travelling fans will never have been more
    thankful for their distinctive headwear than they are today.

    It is 30 degrees Celsius at Stadion Gradski in Osijek –
    where Wales take on Croatia in a Euro 2020 qualifier this afternoon – and there
    will be no cover from the sun in the away end.

    While Osijek is not renowned as a holiday destination,
    several Welsh supporters have made the most of their time in Croatia by
    visiting tourist favourites such as Dubrovnik and Hvar before making their way

    It’s going to be hard work for the players in this heat.

  2. ‘We will have to dig in at times’

    Croatia v Wales (14:00 BST)

    Wales boss Ryan Giggs, speaking to Sky Sports: “The conditions will play a part. It is hot. We need to keep the ball but also recognise we are away from home and be solid. We will have to dig in at times.

    “We need to keep the ball, if you are not keeping the ball the conditions will affect you when you are running around. It is good we have water breaks, that will help but it is the same for both teams.

    “We are ready. We are looking forward to the challenge.”

  3. Team news

    Croatia v Wales (14:00 BST)

    Dafydd Pritchard

    BBC Sport Wales in Osijek

    Wales manager Ryan Giggs makes one change from March’s
    opening Euro 2020 qualifying win over Slovakia. David Brooks misses out as he
    is carrying a knock, so Harry Wilson switches to the right wing with Rotherham’s
    Will Vaulks brought into central midfield. Tottenham defender Ben Davies starts
    after his hernia operation was postponed.

    Wales XI: Hennessey; Roberts, Mepham, Lawrence, Davies;
    Allen, Smith, Vaulks; Wilson, James; Bale.

    Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic makes three changes from the 2-1
    Euro 2020 qualifying defeat in Hungary in March. Barcelona midfielder Ivan
    Rakitic and Frankfurt striker Ante Rebic are out injured and replaced by Mateo
    Kovacic – who spent this season on loan at Chelsea – and former Leicester
    striker Andrej Kramaric. The other change sees goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic
    come in for Lovre Kalinic, who has been out of favour at Aston Villa.

    Croatia XI: Livakovic; Jedvaj, Lovren, Vida, Barisic;
    Brozovic, Modric, Kovacic; Brekalo, Perisic, Kramaric.

  4. Post update


    Copyright: .

    Hello! Welcome along to our coverage of Croatia versus Wales in Group E of the Euro 2020 qualifying round.

    Wales are in the Croatian city of Osijek today, facing the hosts at Stadion Gradski Vrt – a proper old school ground.

    Ryan Giggs’ side are looking to make it two wins from two in qualifying having beaten Slovakia 1-0 back in March thanks to a goal from Dan James.

    All eyes will be on the winger following his move to Manchester United, so does he start? Let’s find out…

  5. The one where Wales have it tough…

    It was the year we were first introduced to a group of friends living in New York…


    Copyright: .

    … the year of peak Indie music…


    Copyright: Getty Images

    … and it was also the year we learned all about the circle of life.


    Copyright: Getty Images

    I am, of course, talking about the year 1994.

    That was also the year Croatia last lost a European Championship qualifier at home.

    Today they host Wales looking to make it 24 home games unbeaten in all competitions. To say Ryan Giggs’ side have it tough today would be an understatement.

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