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  • 07 July
  • 19:00
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Russia – Croatia (2018 World Cup)

Russia have come as a surprise in this 2018 World Cup and will now be facing Croatia’s talented and very well organized squad, as both teams discuss a place in the semi-finals at the Fish Stadium, this Saturday. One of the biggest surprises of the last 16 was provided by the Russians, who took the mighty Spain out of their way in a penalty shoot-out. Croatia, on their turn, have arguably been one of the most impressive teams at the 2018 World Cup, but also required penalties in the last round.

Russia qualified as Group A runners-up with 6 points, having won against Saudi Arabia and Egypt, but lost against Uruguay, scoring a total of 8 goals and conceded 4 in the process. The Russians have been surprising since the start of the event, they have shown that the fact they play at home in all games has a positive impact in their performances, and arrive here confident after eliminating the powerful Spanish national team, showing that individual talent is not everything, and held Spain to a 1-1 draw from the 41 minute until the end, leading the game to be decided on a penalty shoot-out. Stanislav Cherchesov’s side have proved they are well organized at the back, and against a talented squad like Croatia, it is to expect that Russia maintain the same defensive strategy. Fedor Smolov, Aleksandr Golovin, Ilya Kutepov, Roman Zobnin and Yuri Gazinskiy are all one booking away from a one-match suspension.

Probable Lineup: Akinfeev – Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich and Kudryashov – Gazinskiy and Zobnin – Samedov, Golovin and Cheryshev – Dzyuba.

World Cup 2018Croatia, on their turn, qualified as isolated leaders in Group D, having won against Iceland, Argentina and Nigeria, finishing the group stage with 7 goals scored and only 1 conceded, with this single goal being conceded in a penalty against Iceland. The Croatians putted three very satisfying performances in the three matches played in Group D, and have arguably been one of the most impressive teams at the 2018 World Cup, but also required penalties in the last round, against Denmark, in a match that turned out to be a little monotonous.

The Vatreni are an extremely well organized squad, they  usually adopt a 4-3-3 formation where they privilege possession and organized attacks, with Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic being two key-players both defensively and offensively. Mandzukic is their main offensive reference, a powerful and efficient striker inside the penalty area. Ante Rebic, Ivan Rakitic, Marcelo Brozovic, Mario Mandzukic, Marko Pjaca, Sime Vrsaljko, Vedran Corluka and Tin Jedvaj are all one booking away from a one-match ban.

Probable Lineup: Subasic – Vrsaljko, Vida, Lovren and Strinic – Brozovic, Rakitic, Modric, Rebic and Perisic – Mandzukic.

Russia has never won against Croatia in all their football history, having lost once, and tied the remaining two.

RussiaRússia
1-3
CroáciaCroatia
Friendly Match 2015
Croatia
0-0
RússiaRussia
Euro 2008 (Q)
Russia
0-0
CroáciaCroatia
Euro 2008 (Q)

Russia has been surprising throughout this World Cup, and has shown that even with a squad of lower quality than some teams, they can be dangerous as well, just like what happened to Spain. Still, Croatia are a solid and very well organized squad, with very experienced players who are capable of making the difference at any moment. No matter how tough this match can be, Croatia have what it takes to move on.

Betting Preview Odd Bookmaker Success
Croatia to Qualify 1.58 Bet365
russia
Russia
  • Country: Russia
  • Stadium:
  • City: Moscovo
  • Establishment: 1992

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croacia
Croatia
  • Country: Croatia
  • Stadium:
  • City: Zagreb
  • Establishment: 1912

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Fábio Mota
  • Predictions made 174
  • Average Odds used 1.76
  • Predictions right 99
  • Predictions wrong 65
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