FIFA World Cup – Quarter-finals – Russia v Croatia – Preview & Betting Tips

The following is a match centre with betting tips for the 2018 FIFA World Cup quarter-final fixture between Russia and Croatia. The game kicks off on the 8th of July at 4:00 AM AEST. It will be broadcast live on SBS.

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Russia

Russia

  • FIFA World Rank: 70
  • Elo Rating: 44
  • Qualifying: Automatically qualified as the host nation

Squad:

  • Coach: Stanislav Cherchesov
  • Goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow), Vladimir Gabulov (Brugge), Andrey Lunev (Zenit St Petersburg)
  • Defenders: Vladimir Granat, Fyodor Kudryashov (Rubin Kazan), Ilya Kutepov (Spartak Moscow), Andrey Semyonov (Akhmat Grozny), Igor Smolnikov (Zenit St Petersburg), Mario Fernandes, Sergei Ignashevich (CSKA Moscow)
  • Midfielders: Yury Gazinsky (Krasnodar), Alan Dzagoev, Alexander Golovin (CSKA Moscow), Alexander Erokhin, Yury Zhirkov, Daler Kuzyaev (Zenit St Petersburg), Roman Zobnin, Alexander Samedov (Spartak Moscow), Anton Miranchuk (Lokomotiv Moscow), Denis Cheryshev (Villarre
  • Forwards: Artem Dzyuba (Arsenal Tula), Alexei Miranchuk (Lokomotiv Moscow), Fyodor Smolov (Krasnodar)

Recent results:

  • Spain 1 – 1 Russia
    Russia won 4-3 on penalties
    01/07/2018
    FIFA World Cup, played in Russia
  • Uruguay 3 – 0 Russia
    25/06/2018
    FIFA World Cup, played in Russia
  • Russia 3 – 1 Egypt
    19/06/2018
    FIFA World Cup, played in Russia
  • Russia 5 – 0 Saudi Arabia
    14/06/2018
    FIFA World Cup, played in Russia
  • Russia 1 – 1 Turkey
    05/06/2018
    Friendly, played in Russia
  • Austria 1 – 0 Russia
    30/05/2018
    Friendly, played in Austria
  • Russia 1 – 3 France
    27/03/2018
    Friendly, played in Russia
  • Russia 0 – 3 Brazil
    23/03/2018
    Friendly, played in Russia
  • Russia 3 – 3 Spain
    14/11/2017
    Friendly, played in Russia
  • Russia 0 – 1 Argentina
    11/11/2017
    Friendly, played in Russia
  • Russia 1 – 1 Iran
    10/10/2017
    Friendly, played in Russia
  • Russia 4 – 2 South Korea
    07/10/2017
    Friendly, played in Russia

Statistics: (last four years):

  • H2H Record: 18-12-17
  • O/U record
    • O/U 0.5 record: 45-2
    • O/U 1.5 record: 36-11
    • O/U 2.5 record: 25-22
    • O/U 3.5 record: 13-34
    • O/U 4.5 record: 8-39
    • O/U 5.5 record: 7-40
  • Wins
    • Total wins: 18
    • Won by 1 goal: 6
    • Won by 2 goals: 5
    • Won by 3 goals: 3
    • Won by 4 goals: 2
    • Won by 5 goals: 1
    • Won by 5+ goals: 1
    • Won to nil 13
  • Losses
    • Total losses: 17
    • Lost by 1 goal: 10
    • Lost by 2 goals: 4
    • Lost by 3 goals: 3
    • Lost by 4 goals: 0
    • Lost by 5 goals: 0
    • Lost by 5+ goals: 0
    • Lost to nil 9
  • Clean Sheets and BTTS
    • Total Games: 47
    • Clean Sheets: 15
    • Held Scoreless: 11
    • Both Teams Scored: 23
Croatia

Croatia

  • FIFA World Rank: 20
  • Elo Rating: 17
  • Qualifying: Runners up in Group I with a 6-2-2 record in the UEFA Confederation qualification. Defeated Greece 4-1 on aggregate in the UEFA Second Round playoffs.

Squad:

  • Coach: Zlatko Dalić
  • Goalkeepers: Danijel Subasic (Monaco), Lovre Kalinic (Gent), Dominik Livakovic (Dinamo)
  • Defenders: Vedran Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow), Domagoj Vida (Besiktas), Ivan Strinic (Sampdoria), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool), Sime Vrsaljko (Atletico Madrid), Josip Pivaric (Dynamo Kiev), Tin Jedvaj (Bayer Leverkusen), Duje Caleta-Car (Red Bull Salzburg)
  • Midfielders: Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid), Milan Badelj (Fiorentina), Marcelo Brozovic (Inter), Filip Bradaric (Rijeka)
  • Forwards: Mario Mandzukic (Juventus), Ivan Perisic (Inter), Nikola Kalinic (Milan), Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim), Marko Pjaca (Schalke), Ante Rebic (Eintracht)

Recent results:

  • Croatia 1 – 1 Denmark
    Croatia won 3-2 on penalties
    01/07/2018
    FIFA World Cup, played in Russia
  • Iceland 1 – 2 Croatia
    26/06/2018
    FIFA World Cup, played in Russia
  • Argentina 0 – 3 Croatia
    21/06/2018
    FIFA World Cup, played in Russia
  • Croatia 2 – 0 Nigeria
    16/06/2018
    FIFA World Cup, played in Russia
  • Croatia 2 – 1 Senegal
    08/06/2018
    Friendly, played in Croatia
  • Croatia 0 – 2 Brazil
    03/06/2018
    Friendly, played in England
  • Mexico 0 – 1 Croatia
    27/03/2018
    Friendly, played in USA
  • Peru 2 – 0 Croatia
    23/03/2018
    Friendly, played in USA
  • Greece 0 – 0 Croatia
    12/11/2017
    WC qualifiers, played in Greece
  • Croatia 4 – 1 Greece
    09/11/2017
    WC qualifiers, played in Croatia
  • Ukraine 0 – 2 Croatia
    09/10/2017
    WC qualifiers, played in Ukraine
  • Croatia 1 – 1 Finland
    06/10/2017
    WC qualifiers, played in Croatia

Statistics: (last four years):

  • H2H Record: 28-11-8
  • O/U record
    • O/U 0.5 record: 45-2
    • O/U 1.5 record: 34-13
    • O/U 2.5 record: 17-30
    • O/U 3.5 record: 8-39
    • O/U 4.5 record: 5-42
    • O/U 5.5 record: 4-43
  • Wins
    • Total wins: 28
    • Won by 1 goal: 12
    • Won by 2 goals: 7
    • Won by 3 goals: 4
    • Won by 4 goals: 2
    • Won by 5 goals: 0
    • Won by 5+ goals: 3
    • Won to nil 21
  • Losses
    • Total losses: 8
    • Lost by 1 goal: 4
    • Lost by 2 goals: 3
    • Lost by 3 goals: 1
    • Lost by 4 goals: 0
    • Lost by 5 goals: 0
    • Lost by 5+ goals: 0
    • Lost to nil 7
  • Clean Sheets and BTTS
    • Total Games: 47
    • Clean Sheets: 23
    • Held Scoreless: 9
    • Both Teams Scored: 17


Commentary

Russia qualified for the Round of 16 as the runners up of Group A. They enjoyed a dream start with a 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia followed by a 3-1 win over Egypt. The dominant results were in contrast to Russia’s seven-game winless streak ahead of the tournament and their world ranking of 70. They were then given a reality check in their 0-3 defeat to Uruguay. In the Round of 16 Russia then shocked 2010 winners Spain with a penalty shootout victory after scores were level at 1-1. Goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was the hero after denying Koke and Iago Aspas. Russia’s success in progressing was due to their resolute defence, which held Spain at bay for a total of 108 minutes after they conceded a 12th-minute own-goal. Russia only managed one shot on target for the entire match, but found the leveler after Spain conceded a late first half penalty for a hand ball. In team news, Yuri Zhirkov is in doubt for this clash due to a calf injury, while Aleksandr Samedov has resumed training with the side. Igor Smolnikov is available after being suspended against Spain.

Croatia topped Group D after they defeated Nigeria 2-0, Argentina 3-0 and Iceland 2-1. In the Round of 16 they defeated Denmark on penalties after results were level at 1-1, with Denmark scoring in the 1st minute and Croatia in the 4th. Luka Modric missed a penalty near the end of extra-time, which would have prevented the shootout. In all it was a disappointing performance from Croatia, particularly in the second half. With their superb midfield, Croatia have been many people’s dark horse this World Cup. While they didn’t impress offensively against Denmark, they have defended doggedly this tournament, which is a key trait to have in the knockout stage. Since losing to France in the semi-finals of the 1998 World Cup, Croatia have since won five of their seven World Cup games against European opponents. Including pre-tournament friendlies, Croatia have won five of their last seven games, with their only defeat a 2-0 loss to Brazil at Anfield in June. Because they rotated the bulk of the squad for their final group match, the squad should be in better shape than Russia’s for this fixture. In team news, Ivan Strinic is in doubt after he was forced to leave the field against Denmark.

Betting

bet365 odds (subject to change):

Compare the latest bookmaker odds for Russia vs. Croatia

The two sides have met three times previously, with Croatia winning their 2015 friendly 3-1.

06 Sep 2006 Russia v Croatia D 0-0 UEFA European Championship
06 Jun 2007 Croatia v Russia D 0-0 UEFA European Championship
17 Nov 2015 Russia v Croatia W 1-3 International Friendly
Source: 11v11.com

On paper Croatia should win this, but I’m wary of Russia’s tournament form and their ability to stifle Spain.

Apart from their 3-0 defeat to Uruguay in the heat of Samara, when they went down a player in the 36th minute, Russia have been defensively strong this tournament. Spain required a huge slice of luck to score their only goal in 120 minutes. Croatia, meanwhile, have seen 8 of their last 12 fixtures go under 2.5 goals, with only two opponents scoring more than once against them. From the 2002 World Cup onward, only 3 of the 16 quarter-final matches saw over 2.5 goals, while only 7 of the 16 matches saw over 1.5 goals. For this reason I will back a low scoring game.

Betting tip: back under 2.5 goals at 1.53 (Betfair)

Notes

 

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