Fairly big youth tournament so felt it deserves its own thread. The Croatia U21s for the first time since 2004 will participate in the U21 Euros which will be held in Italy/San Marino. The tournament takes place from June 16-30, involving 12 teams (3 groups of 4) with the top four finishers qualifying for the football tournament at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The teams qualifying for the Olympics will be the three group winners + best runners-up. If England, who aren't eligible to compete in the Olympics, are in the semifinals then the final Olympic spot will be determined by the 2nd and 3rd best group runners-up.
Croatia have been draw in a tough Group C with England, France and Romania. They open the tournament on June 18 vs. Romania, June 21 vs. France and June 24 vs. England. All three games will be played at San Marino's national stadium which the team should be familiar with as they played there during the qualifying.
The team begun their preparations today in Medulin where they will train until the 16th. They will play one friendly against Denmark on the 12th, likely in Pula. Here was the squad selected by Nenad Gracan, it was a 25-man provisional squad with 23 going to Italy/San Marino
The main absences from qualifying are Marin Pongracic who misses out due to injury and Andrija Balic who wasn't in the best form at Fortuna Sittard. Petar Mamic has already been ruled out due to injury but he likely would have been cut with Bradaric and Sosa ahead of him at left back. Like with the senior national team, the big problem is right-back. With Fran Karacic committing to Australia, the team has no natural right back on the squad and often plays Uremovic there.
Benkovic, Brekalo, Caleta-Car, Halilovic and Vlasic are with the senior national team and won't join the preparations until after the Wales game. It is still unknown whether Vlasic will be fit for this tournament as he has been ruled out by Dalic for the Wales game, hence Halilovic getting a recall.