Host Russia are set to face Croatia later today in the quarter finals of the world cup at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi. Both teams are coming into the World Cup with thrilling victories in the quarter finals against Spain and Denmark respectively.
Russia the lowest ranked team in the World Cup were written of by many pundits before the start of the World Cup. They finished second in their group behind Uruguay and defied all odds to enter the quarter finals beating former World Champions Spain. The hosts are on cloud nine and would love to continue their form against the Croatians. The hosts will clearly start as underdogs against a star-studded Croatian team.
Croatia on the other hand are undefeated in the world cup and have a 100% win record, they humiliated Argentina 3-0 in the group stage. They had a thrilling win over Denmark on penalties and with many big guns out of the World Cup they are being mentioned as one of the favorites to win this event
Russia will play in their usual 4-2-3-1 formation, Like last match they will let the opponents have possesion, narrowing down width for passing and playing on the counter. Russia are physically a superior side and that world be of great help, Dzyuba will be a target for a lot of their crosses and the Croatian defence will have their work cut out against him.
Croatia have some of Worlds finest midfielders including Luca Modric, They would expect them to create spaces in the attack and break Russian defensive line.
Yuri Zhikrov and Alan Dzagoev will miss the game for Russia due to injuries, Croatia are expected to have all their players available
RUSSIA – Aleksandr Golovin, Igor Akinfeev, Denis Cheryshev
CROATIA – Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic, Mario Mandzukic
Russia (4-2-3-1): Igor Akinfeev; Mario Fernandes – Ilya Kutepov – Sergey Ignashevich – Fedor Kudryashov; Roman Zobnin – Daler Kuzyaev; Aleksandr Samedov – Aleksandr Golovin – Denis Cheryshev; Artem Dzyuba
Croatia (4-5-1): Danijel Subasic; Sime Vrsaljko – Dejan Lovren – Domagoj Vida – Ivan Strinic; Ivan Rakitic – Marcelo Brozovic – Ante Rebic – Luka Modric – Ivan Perisic; Mario Mandzukic
A 1-0 win for Russia