Darko Bandic/AP/Press Association Images
Third Man Out

Do any Croatians want to face Richard Dunne? Another blow as Ilicevic ruled out

Dinamo Zagreb’s Sime Vrsaljko is set to join the squad as a replacement for the Hamburg winger.

CROATIA COACH SLAVEN BILIC suffered another blow on Thursday, on the eve of the start of Euro 2012, as midfielder Ivo Ilicevic was ruled out of the tournament after suffering a left calf injury during training in Poland.

The 25-year-old, who plays for Bundesliga side Hamburg, suffered the injury during training on Wednesday, state-run HINA news agency reported.

Bilic called up Dinamo Zagreb’s Sime Vrsaljko as a replacement. The 20-year-old, capped three times, is to join up with the squad later on Thursday.

Ilicevic is the third player the 2008 quarter-finalists have lost even before a ball has been kicked with Lyon defender Dejan Lovren and earlier this week veteran striker Ivica Olic ruled out because of injuries.

Croatia are drawn in the tricky Group C with reigning champions Spain, Italy, and the Republic of Ireland.

The former Yugoslav republic play their first match at the European Championship, hosted jointly by Poland and Ukraine, against Ireland on Sunday.

- © AFP, 2012

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