Danny Rose and Alex McCarthy withdraw from England squad

Ruben Hill
October 12, 2018

Croatia come into this Nations League game in Rijeka on the back of a 6-0 thrashing by Spain and it is a result they want to banish as quickly as possible.

It will be an especially unusual test for England given the Stadion HNK Rijeka will be deserted while the hosts complete a UEFA ground ban for having a swastika image on the pitch during a Euro 2016 qualifier against Italy.

'We want to feel better about ourselves (after losing so heavily to Spain).

'It was extra motivation for our team, even in a World Cup semi-final when you don't need extra motivation. For them, not to have the encouragement of what is an incredibly passionate support will be very different for them.

The crowd will be officially registered as zero but there are likely to be about 500 people in the stadium, with about 150 media expected and a maximum of 75 people per team delegation, including the players. "Whether it's an advantage, though, who knows?"

If revenge for their heartbreaking semi-final defeat in Moscow will spur England on tonight, Croatia have incentive themselves to follow up that 2-1 extra-time win with another victory on home soil.

Tottenham left-back Danny Rose and Southampton Goalkeeper Alex McCarthy have both been forced to pull out of Gareth Southgate's Three Lions squad.

Southgate has selected two teenagers - Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho and Chelsea's Mason Mount, now on loan at Derby - in his squad, while Leicester's James Maddison has been called up for the first time.

"If you look at the number of goals he is scoring for Tottenham Hotspur, taking them into the Premier League title race, which isn't easy because other clubs are investing more money, then he's proved himself one of the world's best forwards already", said Modric. It is not experimentation.

"They are great for their teams so I think it gives us the upper hand going away from home and when they need their fans, they haven't got them".

"There's nobody in the squad that's here that we were not thinking of putting into the team". It is players we believe in. "They didn't show enough appreciation and it gave us extra motivation".

Croatia's starting XI: Livakovic, Jedvaj, Lovren, Vida, Pivaric, Rakitic, Kovacic, Kramaric, Modric, Perisic, Rebic.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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