Croatia is on the verge of potentially securing a place in the final tournament of the Euros, with their current performance leaving them just three points short of placing 13th out of 15 major competitions since their independence. Their fate now hinges on the outcome of other matches involving Wales and Turkey. If Wales draw with Turkey, Croatia will need just a single point to secure their spot. If Turkey wins, they can still qualify with a loss against Armenia. The result of this match is important not only for placement, but also for the draw of the final tournament.
The draw could determine the path for Zlatko Dalić’s chosen team and greatly impact their chances of a successful outcome. Three more unknown factors before Thursday’s draw for additional qualifications regarding direct travelers to Germany could also have an impact on the Croatian team. UEFA ranks national teams based on their performance in the qualifications.
If the qualifications were to end today, Croatia would be in the third strong group, but there are still unknown factors that may influence their final placement. Hungary and Austria are safe in the second group, while Turkey, Denmark, Albania, and Romania are also present.
Croatia will replace Turkey if they beat the Armenians, and the Turks beat the Welsh. At the next meeting in March, twelve national teams will fight for the remaining three places in the draw through three mini-tournaments. The outcome of these matches will also affect Croatia’s placement and the overall draw for the final tournament.