Croatia coach Niko Kovač has named his squad for the UEFA EURO 2016 qualifiers against Bulgaria on 10 October and Azerbaijan on 13 October, with HNK Rijeka pair Marko Lešković and Ivan Tomečak (pictured) earning their first call-ups, along with Domagoj Antolić of GNK Dinamo Zagreb. After recovering from shoulder surgery, VfL Wolfsburg winger Ivan Perišić is back in the reckoning.
Goalkeepers: Danijel Subašić (AS Monaco FC), Ivan Vargić (HNK Rijeka), Lovre Kalinić (HNK Hajduk Split)
Defenders: Darijo Srna (FC Shakhtar Donetsk), Vedran Ćorluka (FC Lokomotiv Moscow), Ivan Strinić (FC Dnipro), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool FC), Domagoj Vida (FC Dynamo Kiyv), Šime Vrsaljko (US Sassuolo Calcio), Hrvoje Milić (FC Rostov), Marko Lešković (HNK Rijeka), Ivan Tomečak (HNK Rijeka)
Midfielders: Luka Modrić (Real Madrid CF), Ivan Rakitić (FC Barcelona), Danijel Pranjić (Panathinaikos), Mateo Kovačić (Inter), Alen Halilović (Barcelona), Marcelo Brozović (Dinamo), Domagoj Antolić (GNK Dinamo Zagreb), Ivan Perišić (VfL Wolfsburg)
Forwards: Ivica Olić (VfL Wolfsburg), Mario Mandžukić (Club Atletico de Madrid), Nikica Jelavić (Hull City AFC), Andrej Kramarić (HNK Rijeka), Duje Čop (GNK Dinamo Zagreb)
Mario Mandžukić, Croatia forward:
I skipped one training session to get some rest – nothing serious. I am ready for Malta. I feel great. Against Cyprus, I worked very well with [Andrej] Kramarić in attack, and I need to continue that, no matter who plays alongside me. I believe Malta will try and take their chances on the counterattack. We know it's a must-win match for us. Every game these days is difficult – just look at Portugal's defeat [against Albania] – but we have the quality to overcome defence-minded teams. We will not underestimate them and I am sure we will do a good job.
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