Russia vs Croatia
World Cup 2018 Quarter Final
Date: Saturday, 7 July 2018
Kick-Off at 19:00 UK / 20:00 CET
Venue: Olimpiyskiy Stadion Fisht, Sochi.
As surprising as it looks, hosts Russia will battle Croatia for the place in the World Cup semi-final on Saturday evening in Sochi. We have reasons to say the draw has opened up entirely for both teams who will avoid the likes of Brazil, Belgium and France en route to the final.
The stakes ahead of the last-eight clash at Olimpiyskiy Stadion Fisht can thus hardly be greater as both sides are hoping to write history and make it a magical evening for their countrymen on the occasion.
Russia vs Croatia Match Preview
Both Russia and Croatia reached this stage after penalties. Sbornaya held it out against the 2010 champions Spain whose sterile passing got them knocked out of the competition. Stanislav Cherchesov knew that his team just has to wait for a single chance to get the opportunity to see off the non-inspired Spanish outfit.
La Furia Roja looked to be in control early on when Sergei Ignasevich was unlucky to send the ball into his own net after a set-piece from the right-flank.
Nevertheless, they clearly paid the price for settling up for the sterile dominance throughout the entire game, even after Russia moved on level terms when Artem Dzyuba successfully converted the penalty-kick following Gerard Pique’s careless handball five minutes before the break.
Smolov, Ignasevich, Golovin and Cheryshev made no mistake from the spot to send the hosts into the last eight, against all odds. They will by no means have a mission impossible on Saturday even though Croatia head into the game as slight favourites.
Croatia cruised their way towards topping the challenging Group D, but they were on the brink of an early last 16 round exit as Denmark forced their tie into penalty shootout.
Monaco’s keeper Danijel Subasic was hero there, denying as many as three of Danish shots from the spot to send his national side into a winnable quarterfinal tie against the Russians.
Russia vs Croatia Team News and Predicted Line-ups
Russia Team News
- Expectedly, Aleksandr Golovin, Mario Fernandes and Yuri Zhirjov found their place in the starting line-up against Spain after skipping the last group round clash with Uruguay.
- We will likely see them on the pitch from the get go here against Croatia in the same 3-4-2-1 formation which held La Furia Roja to a 1-1 draw in 120 minutes of play.
- Artem Dzyuba will likely lead the line from the first minute once again, while Fedor Smolov should get his chance from the bench.
Russia Predicted Starting Eleven (3-4-2-1)
Akinfeev – Kutepov, Ignasevich, Kudryashov – Fernandes, Kuzyaev, Zobnin, Zhirkov – Samedov, Golovin – Dzyuba.
Croatia Team News
- Croatia have qualified for their first World Cup quarter-final since the bronze medal 1998 in France.
- Zlatko Dalic does not have any issues with the injured/suspended players, meaning we can expect the same starting XI to feature here against Russia.
Croatia Predicted Starting Eleven (4-1-4-1)
Subasic – Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Strinic – Brozovic – Rebic, Modric, Rakitic, Perisic – Mandzukic.
Russia vs Croatia Head-to-head
The two sides will lock horns for the fourth time over the history. Two of past three ties ended without a winner, while Croatia came on top in third, 1-3 in a friendly in November 2015.
Prior to this clash, teams shared spoils playing goalless draws on both occasions in EURO 2008 qualifiers.
Russia vs Croatia Predictions
Croatia have been much more impressive during the group stage. The entire nation is hoping to see their golden beat the success Suker, Boban & company achieved in 1998, leading the Blazers to the bronze medal in France. The current crop of players certainly have prospects of going all the way to the final this time out.
Zlatko Dalic’s men have it all to make it count with the likes of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic at their best and with the easiest route to the final possible. We doubt they will fail to take advantage of it as backing Croatia to qualify is the safest of the best here, set at the 1.53 odds.
Braver tipsters can take the Croats to win in the regular 90 minutes of play at the odds of 2.25. Since Croatia have been fairly tough to break down so far in the tournament, we will settle for the 2-0 final score at the odds of 10.00.
Predicted Full-Time Result is a clean sheet victory for Croatia.
Russia vs Croatia Betting Tips
Croatia to qualify @ 1.53.
Croatia to win @ 2.25.