Croatia manager provides update on Rangers star Borna Barisic as injury woes continue
Photo by Jurij Kodrun/Getty Images

Croatia manager provides update on Rangers star Borna Barisic as injury woes continue

Zlatko Dalic has explained the absence of Borna Barisic from the Croatia squad for their Euro 2020 opener against England, as the Rangers star’s recent injury woes continue [Glasgow Live].

Barisic was expected to start the Group D clash at Wembley Stadium as he’s been first-choice left-back for the Balkan nation for the past few years.

Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic has explained the surprise absence of Rangers star Borna Barisic from the Croatia squad vs England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

However, he didn’t even make the bench.

Initially, there were fears that he had been dropped after receiving criticism for a below-par display in a recent friendly against Belgium.

Dalic soon set the record straight, though.

“I think this is the best possible option for this match,” he said when asked about Joško Gvardiol’s inclusion and the Rangers star’s omission [Glasgow Live].

“Barisic has had problems with injuries for the last ten days, Gvardiol is now the most prepared.”

The Croatia boss didn’t rule Barisic out of the tournament but this update is still concerning.

If the 28-year-old wasn’t fit enough to make the bench at Wembley, it seems unlikely that he’ll be ready to start against the Czech Republic at Hampden Park on Friday, which would give his 19-year-old rival another opportunity to impress.

Borna Barisic played a key part in securing 55. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Rangers fans will be worried about their key man’s lack of fitness in recent months, with important Champions League qualifiers on the horizon.

Barisic made it through the majority of the 2020/21 season injury-free but missed the final two Premiership fixtures and it seems he’s yet to fully recover.

Steven Gerrard always wants his players to get the chance to shine on the international stage, but he’ll be desperate to see his high-quality left-back looked after over the coming weeks to ensure that existing niggles don’t become major problems.

In other news, Michael Beale, Steven Davis and Jordan Jones have responded after a popular bluenose said an emotional goodbye to Ibrox.