Croatia and Ukraine try to close the gap
Saturday 05 September 2009
While England take a break from their World Cup qualification campaign this afternoon and entertain a Slovenia side ranked 54th in the world, their Group Six counterparts attempt to make up lost ground.
Croatia host Belarus in Zagreb tonight, aiming to move to within four points of England, with manager Slaven Bilic admitting his side will feel the absence of injured Spurs midfielder Luka Modric. "He is making a difference every week for Tottenham, so we are missing him," Bilic said of the 23-year-old, who fractured his right fibula against Birmingham last month. "It will be difficult to compensate, because we do not have an equivalent player to him. Modric is a top, top player, but he is not the only player in our team that has such skilful characteristics."
Earlier in the day, Ukraine will welcome an Andorra side that has already shipped 25 goals in the campaign. Defeats for both Croatia and Ukraine, however unlikely, would all-but seal England's qualification for next year's World Cup. Only Belarus would stand in their way, and they would still require three further wins, including against Fabio Capello's side at Wembley next month, to take top spot.
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