After the World Cup appearance in Brazil, Croatia returns to its home ground with friendly match against Cyprus in Pula on 4 September and the qualifying match against Malta in Zagreb on 9 September.
Croatia head coach Niko Kovač had to rule out Rijeka's Anas Sharbini due to concussion, and says:
"We want to continue on the path we have set before, adding some new elements. We expect to dominate these two matches and we want two wins. Against Cyprus, some new players will get their chance, and we will simultaneously try to improve the performance for the Malta match".
"Every match is important, and even more so when it is the start of the new qualifying campaign. Bulgaria is a serious opponent, confirmed by Ludogorets' success in Champions League, and Norway is always tough and aggressive. Of course, Croatia and Italy are the favourites, and I am convinced we will qualify for EURO 2016".
Croatia hosts Malta next Tuesday at Maksimir Stadium with a couple of new names on Kovač's list.
"Malta always retains its style and we need and early goal to boost us, and I believe that the supporters wish to see our young lads in action. It is time that they show what they now and help us play even better. Croatia's system will not change and everything will be OK", said Kovač, explaining World Cup statistics and emphasizing the need for greater covered distance to bring more success.