Russia vs Croatia World Cup Quarterfinal Preview

Russia vs Croatia World Cup 2018The quarterfinals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup come to an end on Saturday when host country Russia takes on Croatia at Fisht Stadium in Sochi.

The odds, closer than many expected, have Croatia as the favorite with their moneyline at +120 and with the return on Russia at +285 and the draw (at the end of 90 minutes) balancing the action at +205.

The Croats are also half a goal (-0.5) favorites on the spread (+120) while Russia (+0.5) are the underdogs (-145). The total is at 2 goals with the under at -120 and the over at +105.

Croatia are one of the most well-rounded teams in the tournament as they have repeatedly shown that they can defend, score goals from any spot in the last third of the field and even win a game in penalty shootouts as proven against Denmark.

Their best player is captain Luka Modric, who has been a dynamic player all tournament long and if he shines on Saturday the Russians could be out of this tournament well before the end of regulation.

The Russian odds have improved after showing scoring prowess in the group stage, and their massive penalty shootout upset against Spain in the round of 16.

It’s hard to believe that a Russian team that lost 3-0 to Uruguay in the Group Stage could advance against what on paper seems like an immensely superior opponent.

Perhaps the only way that Russia can find a way to win this game is if they manage to sit back and defend solidly against the lethal and talented players Croatia has in the last end of the field.

If they accomplish that and find a goal via the counter-attack they could take the game to extra-time and try to win again in the penalty shootouts.

The problem for the hosts is that Croatia, unlike Spain, is far too direct and too efficient when shooting on goal. Don’t expect them to pass the ball and sit back like Spain did as they are too good to do that.

 

 

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