KIEV Oct 9 Croatia's 4-1 drubbing by England in
last month's World Cup qualifier in Zagreb has left coach Slaven
Bilic with little option but to go for a win in their Group Six
match away to Ukraine on Saturday (1700 GMT).
The defeat, which ended Croatia's 36-match unbeaten home run
in World Cup and European Championship qualifiers, left Bilic's
side three points behind leaders England and Ukraine, who won
their opening matches against Belarus and Kazakhstan.
"We have never dropped points where we shouldn't have and we
are aware there is little or no margin for error if we are to
reach the World Cup finals in South Africa," Bilic said.
"We can't play for a draw in Kharkiv although we wouldn't be
entirely unhappy with a point.
"We want to take control of the game from the start and
dominate proceedings, meaning that we might start in a different
formation and bring in several new players," he said.
Bilic, strongly criticised by Croatian media after the
England debacle, will be tempted to revert to a 4-2-3-1
formation from his preferred 4-4-2 which looked predictable and
uncreative against Fabio Capello's outfit.
Ivica Olic should start on his own up front with Ivan
Rakitic, Luka Modric and Darijo Srna, who plays for Ukrainian
champions Shakhtar Donetsk, behind him.
Dynamo Kiev's Ognjen Vukojevic is likely to join captain
Niko Kovac as protection for the back four while either Dario
Knezevic or Ivica Krizanac will replace suspended central
defender Robert Kovac.
Bilic also faces a dilemma whether to stick with out-of-form
first choice goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa or bring in 32-year-old
Vedran Runje, who has been used mainly in friendly matches.
"We still have a few days to make a decision and either way
it will be the right one because they are both top quality
goalkeepers," Bilic said.
"Both sides will be under pressure and we know only too well
what it's like because we had to deal with it throughout Euro
Ukraine coach Olexiy Mikhaylychenko will miss injured
striker Artem Milevsky and is also in two minds whether to play
Andriy Pyatov or uncapped Stanislav Bogush in goal.
He will be boosted by the improving form of strikers Andriy
Shevchenko and his namesake Voronin, who both scored for their
new clubs last week.
Voronin got off the mark in Hertha Berlin's 1-0 Bundesliga
win at Bayer Leverkusen while Shevchenko netted in AC Milan's
1-0 UEFA Cup win at Swiss rivals FC Zurich.
Ukraine: Andriy Pyatov; Vyacheslav Shevchuk, Dmytro
Chyhrynsky, Taras Mykhalyk, Hryhoriy Yarmash; Anatoliy
Tymoschuk, Serhiy Nazarenko, Evgen Levchenko, Olexandr Aliev;
Andriy Voronin, Andriy Shevchenko
Croatia: Stipe Pletikosa; Danijel Pranjic, Dario Knezevic,
Josip Simunic, Vedran Corluka; Darijo Srna, Niko Kovac, Luka
Modric, Ivan Rakitic; Ivica Olic, Mladen Petric.
(Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic in Belgrade, editing by Rex