Croatia, Israel aiming for summit
Klasnic has not played for Croatia since September 2009 and was so sure he would not be required for tomorrow's Group F UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against Georgia, he pencilled the date in for a summer break.
But coach Slaven Bilic decided the 31-year-old did feature in his plans. Klasnic said: "It was a massive surprise. I really didn't expect to the get the call from Slaven Bilic to ask me to come and play.
"I had previously spoken to him over the phone and he had told me that I probably wouldn't be involved in the squad so I had booked my holidays. But earlier this week I got the phone call and it seemed he changed his mind.
"Of course it's an honour to be asked to play for my country as it always is and, if I get the chance, hopefully I can show everyone what I can do. I want to do what every football player wants to do, go out there and play and not sit on the bench."
Bilic's side also have revenge on their mind after being upset by Temuri Ketsbaia's team in Tblisi earlier in the campaign courtesy of Levan Kobiashvili's late goal. Some may give bottom-side Malta no chance against the group pace-setters, but just one late goal from Vassilis Torossidis separated the teams when they met in March.
Coach John Buttigieg wants to see more of the same fighting spirit on Saturday. He said: "It is common logic to say this is a very difficult match. I hope we put up the same positive performance we displayed at the end of March."
Israel in contention
Latvia and Israel meet in Riga in the weekend's remaining fixture. The hosts have four points from five outings and are hoping for a result that prevents them losing touch with the qualification hopefuls.
Israel, meanwhile, can still hold out realistic hopes of topping the group but will need results elsewhere to fall favourably. They currently occupy third place, below Croatia, who have played a game fewer, on goal difference.