Betting tips for Russia vs Croatia 07.07.2018
In the last match of the quarterfinals of the 2018 World Cup, which will take place this Saturday at the Fisht Olympic Stadium, the host team faces Croatia. The Russians arrive with surprise at this stage of the competition, having eliminated one of the favorites for the title in the second round. Meanwhile, the Croatians assume, perhaps, as one of the main favorites to reach the final of the competition and as one of the strongest teams among those who were not candidates at the start of the tournament.
Russia comes to this game after, last Sunday, having eliminated Spain on penalties, after a draw in the ninety minutes and in overtime (1-1), in a duel that was marked by the inconsequential dominance of the red and a spirit of sacrifice of the Russians who were very solid and supportive. This was the third consecutive game in which those led by Stanislav Cherchesov were awarded goals, but it was in that they were better in defense, against one of the best teams in the World. The hosts were second in Group A, with two victories and one defeat and now have 9 goals scored and 5 received, with Dzyuba and Cheryshev, both with 3 goals, their top scorers. The Villarreal player, who came from the bench against Spain will have to recover the title for this match, after having won it in the opening match, due to the injury of Dzagoev, who will be already called. Zhirkov was injured against Spain and should not play, so Gazinskiy will be new and Russia will return to a system of four defenses.
Croatia reaches this stage of the competition also after a shoot-out in the shoot-out against Denmark, after a draw in the 120 minutes (1-1), in a match in which the goals came in the first 4 minutes of the duel and that could have been decided with a penalty missed by Modric in extra time. Thus, the Croatian team remains unbeaten in the competition, having won the group D ahead of Argentina, Nigeria and Iceland. Add three wins and a draw, with 8 goals scored and 2 received. Modric, with two goals, is the top scorer of the Balkan team, which has one of the most experienced players in the tournament. For this duel, only Strinic is doubt, due to injury, but he will be able to recover in time. If he succeeds, Zlatko Dalic has no reason to make changes to his usual eleven. With a very strong midfield and with Mandzukic as the most advanced man.
If this match was of eighths, just after the group stage, there would be no doubt that Croatia was the clear favorite to move forward. But the first round of the World Cup changed the perception of specialists with respect to Russia and Croatia. The Croats were, perhaps, the most dominating team in the group stage, but they made their worst game in the second round, needing the penalties to eliminate a Denmark, which despite having quality, is inferior. While, the Russians, without shining, they were very solid, without allowing chances of goal and eliminating one of the main favorites to the title. Thus, we can expect a very balanced match, although the Croats are still the best team and they are still the favorites to be in their second semifinal of a World Cup.