Russia v Croatia Betting Preview – 07/07/18

Russia v Croatia Betting Preview – 07/07/18

Russia v Croatia

The hosts Russia have the chance to make it to their first World Cup Semi Final since 1966 when they take on Croatia at the Olimpiyskiy Stadion Fisht in Sochi. No one would’ve predicted these two sides would face off at this stage of the competition but whoever survives this fixture on Saturday will have deserved their place in the Semi Finals. Both sides overcame their last 16 opponents, Spain and Denmark respectively through a penalty shootout and looking at the remaining sides in this half of the draw both sides will be confident that they can go all the way from here.

Stanislav Cherchesov’s side have been the surprise package of the tournament so far and know it may be their best chance to get Russia to their first ever World Cup Final. The hosts are coming into this one on the back of a dramatic penalty shootout victory over one of the tournaments favourites in Spain and the home crowd will be expecting another big performance here. Russia chose to sit back and stifle the 2010 World Champions and will likely do the same in this one. It’s clearly the result that matters to the home crowd rather than the style of football and a defensive style will suit the Sbornaya due to them being massive underdogs here once again.

Russia still have the ability to hurt the Croatians on Saturday. Zenit striker Artem Dzyuba will lead the line for the hosts in Sochi. The forward already has 3 goals in the tournament including the equaliser against Spain in the last 16 and standing at a massive 6’4 will make him a handful for Croatia on Saturday. If Russia are going to get anything from this one than it’ll likely come through Dzyuba and was also on penalty duty for their last game with Spain so backing him to score could be a good bet here.

Standing in the hosts way are Zlatko Dalić’ Croatia. The Croatians were one of, if not the most impressive side in the group stage, winning all three of their games and topping group D over Lionel Messi’s Argentina. They then took on a tough Denmark side in the round of 16 and managed to scrape through with a 3-2 victory on penalties after a 1-1 draw. Dalić wouldn’t have been happy with the performance however and they were second best at times against the Scandinavians in what was easily their worst performance of the competition so far so they’ll want to bounce back with an impressive performance here.

This is Croatia’s best run in the tournament since they finished 3rd at the 1998 World Cup in France and the nation is desperate for this generation of players to beat the success of Davor Suker and co of 20 years ago. This side is full of proven winners who have won a number of trophies at club level and the likes of Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic’ experience at the top level will be crucial for them in order to be successful here and progress to the Semi-Finals. Croatia’s success comes from controlling the midfield and with Modric and Rakitic in charge they should dominate this one and come away winners here.

Ivan Perišić could be one to watch for the Croatians in this one. The winger got an injury time winner against Iceland in Croatia’s final group game and has potential to cause massive problems against an ageing Russian defence. His pace and power could be the key if Croatia are to break down this tough Russian backline so backing the Inter Milan man to score could be a good bet here.

Recommended Bets:

Dzyuba to score anytime: 31/10 with Unibet – BET HERE

Ivan Perišić to score and Croatia to win: 9/2 with Ladbrokes  – BET HERE