Croatia’s Kalinic out of World Cup qualifiers with thigh injury

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Croatia striker Nikola Kalinic will miss their World Cup Group I qualifiers at home to Finland and away to Ukraine, the country’s Football Association (HNS) said on Monday.

“AC Milan and the Croatian national team doctors have ruled Kalinic out of the two games after a scan showed a thigh muscle injury,” the HNS said in a statement on Monday.

The Milan striker has joined a long list of casualties on the sidelines for Croatia’s last two games, including midfielder Mateo Kovacic, forward Marko Pjaca as well as defenders Vedran Corluka and Tin Jedvaj.

Liverpool center back Dejan Lovren will also miss Friday’s clash with Finland but might be available for Monday’s final game in Ukraine.

The Croatians top the fiercely competitive group with 16 points from eight games ahead of second-placed Iceland on goal difference, while Turkey and Ukraine have 14 points each.

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