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Confident Croatia ready for Belgium

Croatia coach Otto Baric has added two home-based defenders to his squad to face Andorra and Belgium.

Croatia coach Otto Baric has added defenders Mato Neretljak of HNK Hajduk Split and Ivan Rezic from NK Varteks to the 20-man squad he announced on Wednesday for next month's UEFA EURO 2004™ double-header.

Full confidence
Baric said that he had full confidence in the players he had selected. Croatia are second in Group 8 ahead of the games against Andorra on 6 September and Belgium four days later.

Suspended duo
The Croats will be without the suspended Boris Zivkovic and Darijo Srna in Andorra but both players will be available for the potentially decisive visit to Belgium four days later. Croatia and Belgium are tied on ten points, one behind group leaders Bulgaria albeit Belgium have played a game more.

Crucial contests
Baric believes that he has the players to get a result against the Belgians, already beaten 4-0 in Zagreb in March. "We have a team who will not allow the Belgians to be better than us," Baric said. "These two matches will be crucial. If we win both of them I believe we will be close to winning the group."

Croatia squad
Pletikosa, Butina, Simic, Neretljak, Rezic, Tomas, R Kovac, Simunic, Tokic, Leko, N Kovac, Rosso, Babic, Vranjes, Rapaic, Tudor, Maric, Olic, Mornar, Prso, Zivkovic, Srna.