Prediction: Russia vs Croatia

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Prediction: Russia vs Croatia

Posted on July 06, 2018 by Harry Kettle

Prediction: Draw (Croatia win on penalties)

Best Odds: 21/10

Bookmaker: bet365

We’ve arrived at the quarter-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and what a journey it’s been. In arguably the most unpredictable international tournament of the last few decades, we’re set to see an unfancied team make it all the way to the World Cup final – but the question remains as to who that will be. Two of the leading contenders are hosts Russia and Croatia’s golden generation, as the two prepare to battle it out this weekend in the biggest game these players have likely ever been involved in.

Russia

Nobody was expecting the hosts to really do anything of note at the tournament this year, and yet after their 5-0 demolition of Saudi Arabia in their opening game, people gradually started to believe. Over the course of the next few games, they showed their toughness and resolve in the face of great adversity, even managing to edge their way past one of the favourites Spain. They may not quite stack up to Croatia in terms of quality, but their heart and determination could take them all the way.

Team News

Denis Cheryshev could return for the hosts with Artem Dzyuba and Fedor Smolov settle to battle it out for a place in the starting XI.

Croatia

We’ve all been talking about the potential of Croatia as a national team for years now, and it seems as if they’re finally ready to live up to their potential. After coming through a tough test against Denmark in the last round they should be more than prepared for the Russians, as their crop of stars appear to be hungrier than ever to secure a trophy at a major international tournament. If they stick to their game plan and don’t allow the occasion to overwhelm them, they should be considered the favourites.

Team News

Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic will be the central figures for Croatia as they attempt to break the tough Russian defence down.

Factors to Consider

  • In their three games against each other, Croatia have won once with the other two being 0-0 draws.
  • Russia defeated Spain on penalties in the last round after a 1-1 draw.
  • Croatia defeated Denmark on penalties in the last round after a 1-1 draw.
  • Russia have scored nine goals and conceded five so far at the World Cup.
  • Croatia have scored eight goals and conceded two so far at the World Cup.

Conclusion

This one is beyond tough, and standard logic would tell you that the hosts Russia will thrive off of the atmosphere from the fans and progress into the semi-finals of their home World Cup. While there’s every chance that’ll happen, we just don’t see it going down like that. The two teams will frustrate each other for 120 minutes with Croatia cancelling out an early Russia goal, before heading to penalties once again. There, we think the Croats will keep their cool and win 5-4 in the shootout to move one step closer to the final.

Prediction: Draw (Croatia win on penalties)

Best Odds: 21/10

Bookmaker: bet365

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