Croatia defender Vedran Corluka is expecting another stern test against Turkey in World Cup qualifying, having faced the same opponent at Euro 2016.
And the Lokomotiv Moscow defender also warned his team-mates that a tighter format would not allow for the same mistakes as in Euros qualification.
Finishing second behind Italy was enough for Croatia to scrape by en route to France, where they dispatched Turkey 1-0 in their opening game, but a similar performance this time around would result in the lottery of the play-offs.
Corluka is keen to avoid such an outcome, urging his side to get off to a winning start in Zagreb.
“I expect a different game, especially with regard to the environment,” he told a media conference ahead of the game.
“We will be maximally motivated. It will not be the same open Euros qualifications where there is a possibility to repair the situation.
“Turkey are without several players from the European Championship, but I think they will have no less quality due to that because their younger players are equally motivated.
“Matches with them are always hard and the field could be similar to Paris.”
Corluka also acknowledged the absence of retired captain Darijo Srna, insisting that, although he is a big miss, Croatia must move on.
“We feel his absence, especially in the atmosphere,” he continued. “He was our authority, but also the bearer of the good atmosphere, and will be sadly missed on and off the field.
“Of course, through the ranks come new, young forces and there is no time to cry.”
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