Huge boost for England as Croatia star Rakitic ruled out of decider


Tin Jedvaj's extraordinary double saw Croatia blow their Nations League pool wide open with a 3-2 win against Spain on Thursday, setting up a make-or-break clash with England.

Croatia, the 2018 World Cup runner-up, has struggled since its success in Russian Federation and sits in last place with one point-though it could still top the group if it beats Spain and then England on Sunday.

"He will go to Barcelona because there is an injury", Dalic told reporters. You know that I usually take no risk.

He did not specify the injury but Rakitic left the pitch in Zagreb suffering discomfort in the back of his right thigh.

There is another layer of intrigue when it comes to a draw, though, with a goalless stalemate seeing Croatia relegated on goal difference, but a score draw seeing England demoted due to an inferior head-to-head record.

"We will see who will replace him".

"We've got [Nikola] Vlasic, [Mateo] Kovacic, [Josip] Brekalo, we have [Milan] Badelj, we always have solutions".

Victory avenged Croatia's 6-0 drubbing by Spain in the reverse fixture and their coach Zlatko Dalic feels confident his World Cup runners-up can win the group.

Rakitic is suspended for La Liga leaders Barca's next game on November 24 at third-placed Atletico Madrid, who trail by a point, after being sent off in the home defeat by Real Betis on Sunday.