Croatia's interim coach Niko Kovac named a 25-man squad for next month's FIFA World Cup™ play-off against Iceland, voicing optimism that his team will qualify for Brazil.

"The atmosphere in our ranks is excellent and the players, who are awaiting the matches against Iceland, are really motivated," Kovac told reporters.

"We are convinced that we will achieve what is expected from us, to qualify for the World Cup," the 41-year-old added.

Kovac was named interim coach earlier this month after Croatia's Football Federation (HNS) sacked Igor Stimac following the 2-0 defeat to Scotland in their final 2014 World Cup qualifier.

Croatia play the first match against Iceland in Reykjavik on 15 November and the second leg four days later at home.

The squad includes two newcomers both from Rijeka, midfielder Mate Males and attacker Leon Benko.

Croatia squad
Goalkeepers: Stipe Pletikosa (Rostov/RUS), Danijel Subasic (Monaco/FRA), Lovre Kalinic (Hajduk Split)

Defenders: Darijo Srna (Shakhtar Donetsk/UKR), Josip Simunic (Dinamo Zagreb), Domagoj Vida (Dynamo Kiev/UKR), Vedran Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow/RUS), Dejan Lovren (Southampton/ENG), Ivan Strinic (Dniepropetrvsk/UKR), Gordon Schindelfeld (Panathinaikos/GRE), Sime Vrsaljko (Genoa/ITA)

Midfielders: Ivan Rakitic (Sevilla/ESP), Luka Modric (Real Madrid/ESP), Ivan Perisic (VfL Wolfsburg/GER), Mateo Kovacic (Inter Milan/ITA), Milan Badelj (Hamburg/GER), Niko Kranjcar (QPR/ENG), Mate Males (Rijeka), Ivo Ilicevic (Hamburg/GER)

Forwards: Mario Mandzukic (Bayern Munich/GER), Ivica Olic (VfL Wolfsburg/GER), Eduardo Da Silva (Shakhtar Donetsk/UKR), Nikica Jelavic (Everton/ENG), Ante Rebic (Fiorentina/ITA), Leon Benko (Rijeka)