Russia vs. Croatia: 2018 World Cup – Match Preview

The hosts nation Russia entertain Croatia in the last of the four 2018 World Cup Quarter-Finals.

Russia eliminated Spain in the previous round via a penalty shoot-out, having held the 2010 winners to a draw.

Igor Akinfeev saved penalties from Koke and Iago Aspas to extend Russia’s incredible run.

Croatia produced their poorest display of the competition so far in edging out Denmark, also via a penalty shoot-out.

Luka Modric missed an 116th minute penalty, however converted in a poor shoot-out, with only five of the 10 kicks producing goals.

The two nations have met just three times prior to Saturday’s fixture, with Croatia winning once and drawing twice.

Team news
Alan Dzagoev is expected to return from a hamstring injury that he suffered in Russia’s opening match of the tournament.

Former Chelsea full-back Yuri Zhirkov was injured in the last 16 tie and is a major doubt here.

Ivan Strinic is another who suffered an injury in the round of 16, however is expected to start for Croatia.

Croatia could name the same XI that eliminated Denmark, meaning Mateo Kovacic will remain as a substitute.

Expected starting XI’s
Russia (4-3-3): Akinfeev; Fernandes, Ignashevich, Kutepov, Kudryashov; Zobnin, Kuzyaev, Golovin; Samedov, Dzuyba, Dzagoev
Croatia (4-3-3): Subasic; Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Strinic; Brozovic, Rakitic, Modric; Perisic, Mandzukic, Rebic

Predictions

Result: Draw (21/10 with Bet 365)

Correct Score: 1-1 (11/2 with Bet 365)

Anytime Goalscorer: Artem Dzuyba (31/10 with 888 Sport)

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