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Eduardo injury blow for Croatia

Eduardo has been forced to pull out of the Croatia squad for the friendly against Qatar, although there is a small chance the Arsenal striker will be fit for the World Cup qualifier in Kazakhstan four days later.

The Brazilian-born forward aggravated a thigh muscle injury against Olympiakos in the Champions League on Tuesday and is now likely to miss both of Croatia's matches.

Croatia coach Slaven Bilic has called up Nikica Jelavic, who could make his debut following his impressive performance and goal in Rapid Vienna's 1-1 draw with Celtic.

"Because of a thigh muscle injury, Croatian national team player Eduardo da Silva is most likely not able to play in the upcoming matches against Qatar and Kazakhstan,'' read a statement on the Croatian football federation website.

"The good news is that Eduardo will still come to the camp to finish his rehabilitation process with the medical staff in case he can show there might be a chance to play in Astana, on October 14.''

Croatia host Qatar on October 10 before travelling to Kazakhstan four days later for their qualifying tie.

Bilic's men are two points above Ukraine, who have a game in hand, in the race for second spot, with England already qualified from Group Six.

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