(from left to right) Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic & Dejan Lovren

Zagreb, Oct 3 (IANS) Croatia’s football team will be without injured trio of Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic, Liverpool’s Dejan Lovren and Real Madrid Luka Modric in the coming 2018 World Cup qualifiers due to injuries.

Croatia chief coach Ante Cacic told Croatian newspaper Sportske Novosti on Monday that his side will lose attacking midfielder Rakitic due to injury, while Dinamo Zagreb captain Domagoj Antolic was called up instead of the Barcelona star, reports Efe.

Cacic confirmed that defender Lovren also has problems, while Marko Rog and Matej Mitrovic were called up.

Croatia will have to play without the three injured stars in the coming 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Kosovo on October 6 and Finland on October 9.

The Croatian soccer federation announced on Sunday that Napoli’s Rog was called up instead of injured midfielder Modric.

Despite these absences, the Croatian coach expressed his confidence in the team’s squad for the upcoming two games.

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    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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