2018 FIFA World Cup – Russia vs Croatia Preview

AT A GLANCE

When? Saturday 7th July, 19:00

Where? Fisht Olympic Stadium

What channel is it on? ITV

Where can I stream the match? The match can be streamed online via ITV Player

Are tickets still available? https://www.ticketbisevents.com/en/football-world-cup-2018-tickets/ca2171?afl=694JWFTART&gclid=CjwKCAjw3cPYBRB7EiwAsrc-ubpt4g60RCE1cxEY1qD29AUk7XLBVGrSrMV_EvR_BqvkoCzBoUdigRoCvlEQAvD_BwE

THE TEAM NEWS

RUSSIA

  • Russia pulled off one of the shocks of the tournament so far in overcoming Spain on penalties as the hosts move into the quarter-finals
  • They can count on Smolnikov after serving his suspension but Mario Fernandes could well keep his place after an impressive performance
  • Dzagoev is edging closer to fitness and may be a surprise inclusion, while Zhirkov will face a late fitness and could potentially miss out

Predicted line-up (4-2-3-1):

Akinfeev

Fernandes, Ignashevich, Kutepov, Kudryashov

Kuzyaev, Zobnin

Samedov, Golovin, Zhirkov

Dzyuba

Unavailable: None

Doubtful: Dzagoev, Zhirkov

CROATIA

  • Croatia scraped past Denmark on penalties but should have won it in extra-time when Modric saw his late penalty saved by Schmeichel
  • That was arguably their worst performance of the tournament so far and they will know they have to improve as they face the hosts here
  • Coach Zlatko Dalic could be tempted to name the same starting eleven especially given they will have had almost a week to prepare for this

Predicted line-up (4-2-3-1):

Subasic

Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Strinic

Rakitic, Brozovic

Perisic, Modric, Rebic

Mandzukic

Unavailable: N. Kalinic

Doubtful: None

THE PREDICTION

The hosts are starting to genuinely believe that they can go far in this tournament now after beating Spain. Croatia are coming off arguably their worst performance and Russia will follow Denmark's footprint tactically, but Modric and co should just have too much quality over the course of the game.