Croatia drop Klasnic for Turkey play-off

Croatia coach Slaven Bilic has left striker Ivan Klasnic out of his 24-man squad for the two-legged Euro 2012 play-off against Turkey on November 11 and 15.

"We picked the five forwards on their current form and in line with our requirements for the games against Turkey," Bilic told a news conference on Wednesday.

"There is enough quality and character in this squad to win the play-off and reach next year's finals in Poland and Ukraine, hence we will head into the first leg in Turkey as if there is no return leg on our own turf.

"We've analysed all Turkey's games under Guus Hiddink and we also had another look at our Euro 2008 match with them because some of those players are still in their squad," said Bilic.

The Turks beat Croatia on penalties in a dramatic Euro 2008 quarter-final, when Klasnic gave the Croatians a 1-0 lead in the final minute of extra-time only for Semih Senturk to equalise with the last kick of the game.

Bilic has since been under pressure from Croatian media, especially after failing to reach the 2010 World Cup, and his future may well depend on the outcome of the play-off.

First-choice goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa, defender Vedran Corluka and midfielder Ivo Ilicevic are doubtful for the first leg with knocks, although Bilic was optimistic at least one of them would be fit.

"Corluka and Ilicevic are still uncertain although they have made progress in the last 10 days or so, while Pletikosa should make a full recovery by Sunday," said Bilic.

"We have a number of options as some of the players in this squad can fill in several positions, so we will not call up any replacements if things get complicated with anyone's fitness."

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Stipe Pletikosa (Rostov), Danijel Subasic (Hajduk Split), Ivan Kelava (Dinamo Zagreb).

Defenders: Darijo Srna (Shakhtar Donetsk), Vedran Corluka (Tottenham Hotspur), Sime Vrsajko (Dinamo Zagreb), Dejan Lovren (Olympique Lyon), Josip Simunic (Dinamo Zagreb), Gordon Schildenfeld (Eintracht Frankfurt), Domagoj Vida (Dinamo Zagreb), Manuel Pamic (Sparta Prague).

Midfielders: Ognjen Vukojevic (Dynamo Kiev), Tomislav Dujmovic (Dynamo Moscow), Luka Modric (Tottenham Hotspur), Ivan Rakitic (Sevilla), Ivan Perisic (Borussia Dortmund), Mato Jajajlo (Cologne), Ivo Ilicevic (Hamburg SV), Danijel Pranjic (Bayern Munich).

Forwards: Mario Mandzukic (Wolfsburg), Eduardo da Silva (Shakhtar Donetsk), Nikica Jelavic (Rangers), Nikola Kalinic (Dnipro Dnepropetrovsk), Ivica Olic (Bayern Munich).


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