Eduardo out of Kazakh qualifier

ZAGREB - Croatia's Arsenal striker Eduardo will miss this month's World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan due to a thigh injury, forcing coach Slaven Bilic to call up uncapped Rapid Vienna forward Nikica Jelavic as a replacement on Friday.

"It is unlikely that Eduardo will be ready to play in the coming games against Qatar and Kazakhstan. Bilic has therefore decided to call up Nikica Jelavic to replace him," the Croatian Fottball Association website said.

Croatia play a home friendly against Qatar on Oct 8 and a crucial 2010 World Cup qualifier in Kazakhstan six days later.

The 24-year old Jelavic, who scored in a 1-1 draw against Celtic in a Europa League tie on Thursday, has played four times at youth level but has yet to debut for the senior team.

Croatia can clinch second spot in Europe's Group Six if they beat Kazakhstan and England, who have already qualified for next year's finals in South Africa, avoid defeat in Ukraine on October 10.

The second-placed side will advance to a two-legged playoff against another European runner-up for a place in the finals.