Croatia is currently three points short of placing 13th out of a possible 15 major competitions since independence. If Wales draws with Turkey, they will be just one point away from qualifying for the Euros with a defeat against Armenia. However, this match is not only important for its placement but also for determining the path of Zlatko Dalić’s chosen team to a great result.
There are still three unknowns before the draw for additional qualifications on Thursday regarding direct travelers to Germany. And their performance could have an impact on Croatia’s chances of advancing to the next round. Uefa ranks national teams according to their performance in the qualifications, and the holders are considered superpowers, including Germany, Portugal, France, Spain, and Belgium along with England. If the qualifications ended today, Croatia would be in the third strong group alongside Scotland and Slovakia and possibly Italy and Hungary or Austria.
If Croatia wins over Armenia, they will stay in the third round and have a chance at a more favorable draw than in the second group. However, if they lose or draw and do not qualify for the Euros (which would mean that Wales did not win), they risk ending up in the fourth round and have a more challenging draw than in Group B or C. The weakest strong group consists of three national teams placed through play-offs and which will not be known at the time of the draw (the matches are at the end of March). Slovenia, Czech Republic, Switzerland are some of these teams that could potentially affect Croatia’s chances of advancing to Group A or B.
On another note, Serbia’s performance can indirectly affect Croatia’s chances of advancing to Group A or B as well. If two out of three scenarios happen: Slovenia wins over Kazakhstan; Czech Republic wins over Moldova; Croatia wins over Armenia; Serbia falls into Group D along with Poland from League A and Israel from League B as winners of their respective mini-tournaments during March meeting while Georgia – Luxembourg from League C win their mini-tournament against Greece – Kazakhstan from League C would fall into Group E