The home country will be front and center hoping for another stunning result, as Russia faces Croatia.
Of the four games in the quarter-finals, this is the second biggest miss-match on paper only to France (-109) over Uruguay. Odds makers have placed Croatia as the favourite in this match-up paying +104, with a goal total at 2.5. Can Russia pull another upset and send the country into another frenzy?
Russia vs. Croatia Odds and Betting Analysis
Date: Saturday, July 7, 2:00pmET
Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi, Russia
These two counties have met three times in their history with Croatia winning once with the other two games ending in draws. In their most recent game, Croatia defeated Russia 3-1 back in a 2015 friendly. This is the first time Russia has reached the quarterfinal since the breakup of the USSR. Croatia enters this game winners of eight straight World Cup games, and opened the tournament at +3300 to win it, now they are down to +550.
It’s hard to believe Russia is only three wins away from capturing soccer’s biggest prize. The host nation entered the tournament ranked 90th in the world. The national side has proven their critics wrong as they enter this match-up with Croatia on Saturday afternoon. Russia is in no trouble when it comes to yellow cards but injuries are another story. Forward Yuri Zhirkov continues to undergo treatment on a calf injury he originally suffered against Spain, he is doubtful for this quarterfinal game.
Artem Dzyuba has been directly involved in four of Russia’s last seven goals at this World Cup (three goals and one assist). He’s also scored their last two goals. He is +490 to score at any time in this game. Denis Cheryshev has three goals in this tournament, but hasn’t scored in Russia’s last two games against Uruguay and Spain. He is paying +894 to score at any time in this match-up.
Croatia’s best finish at a World Cup was a semi-final appearance in 1994 when they bowed out of the tournament against France. Now they have a chance to get back to the semi-finals with a win against Russia. The hero in their game against Denmark was goalie Danijel Subasic who made three saves in the penalty kick stage to preserve the win. The squad will need that type of effort from their keeper if they hope to continue on in this tournament.
Luka Modric has been impressive in this World Cup with two goals in the tournament. The midfielder already won a Champions league title with Real Madrid earlier this season is paying +895 to score at any time during this game. Mario Mandzukic has only one goal in the tournament and more is expected from the Juventus striker. He is paying +532.
Russia vs. Croatia Prediction
Croatia 2 – Russia 0 (+104)
This is a pretty good match-up for Croatia, and by all accounts should punch their ticket into the semi-finals. Because of both teams ability to produce goals, take a serious look at playing the over on the total of 2.5 goals in this game, it pays +168.