By Thomas Reynolds
Last Updated: 7th July 2018
Saturday 7th July
Kick-off: 7:00pm BST
Stadium: Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi
Live on ITV
Russia vs Croatia odds
The Russia vs Croatia odds have the host nation as 11/8 outsiders to qualify for the semi-final, with Zlatko Dalic’s side 8/15 favourites for a last four berth.
Croatia are 6/5 to win without recourse to extra time, while Russia are 11/4 for the 90 minutes victory and the draw is priced up as a 2/1 shot.
A look at the correct score betting suggests a tight encounter is in the offing, with 1-0 to the Balkanites at 4/1 our prediction.
Russia vs Croatia predictions
Stanislav Cherchesov’s side proved they have the grim determination to progress at the expense of a far more talented collective in the previous round against Spain and can put Croatia through the wringer in the similar fashion.
Whether or not they ultimately eliminate their opponents, the hosts can take this tie to extra time, making the draw a solid betting pick at 2/1.
Given seven of the eight round-of-16 matches were all-square at the interval, the draw/draw at 14/5 could be a more enriching way to bet the same outcome, returning a £28 profit for a £10 stake.
Russia vs Croatia team news
Both sides will go into the clash without any suspended players.
However, Russia will have to do without former-Chelsea defender Yuri Zhirkov, who came off at half-time against Spain, and the veteran left-back is now ruled out with a calf problem.
Central midfielder Alan Dzagoev, who has not featured since suffering a hamstring injury in the open match against Saudi Arabia, could be in contention to start despite managing a back problem.
Croatia left back Ivan Strinic was substituted after 81 minutes against Denmark after appearing to be injured, however he it is understood that the injury is not serious and should be ready to face Russia.
Mateo Kovacic is also set to be available after recovering from a shoulder problem.
Croatia are lighter on attacking options than they were at the start of the tournament because Nikola Kalanic was sent home by the coaching staff after refusing to come on in the second half of their group stage win over Nigeria.
Russia vs Croatia match stats
Both nations reached this stage thanks to penalty shootout wins after 1-1 draws. The 1-1 correct score is trading at odds of 9/2, while either team can be backed at 9/1 in the to win on penalties betting.
In progressing at Denmark’s expense in the round of 16, the Croats won a tie that went beyond 90 minutes for the first time. They’d previously lost on penalties at Euro 2008 and in extra-time at Euro 2016.
Russia have won just two of their last 11 internationals, whereas Croatia had registered four successive victories in which they scored two goals or more, prior to being held by the Danes last time out.
However, Sbornaya will buoyed by host nations’ superb recent record in World Cup last-eight fixtures. The last five to feature at this stage all progressed to the semi-final (Italy 1990, France 1998, South Korea 2002, Germany 2006, Brazil 2014).
If Cherchesov’s side are to extend that streak, it could be the grind to end all grinds as they’ve managed just two shots on target in their last two games, one of which was a penalty.
Croatia pulled off a 3-1 win over their hosts last time they played on Russian soil, with Nikola Kalinic, Marcelo Brozovic and Mario Mandzukic cancelling out Fydor Smolov’s opener.
Russia vs Croatia key players to watch
Aleksandr Golovin has attracted scouts from European club powerhouses such as Barcelona, Juventus and Chelsea to watch him at this tournament. He remains joint-top assister at the 2018 World Cup, but also averages more fouls per game (four) than any other player. Our tip is check his to be carded odds betting.
Artem Dzyuba has been directly involved in four of Russia’s last seven goals at the 2018 World Cup (three goals, one assist), scoring both of their last two. Dzyuba to score and Russia to win (in 90 minutes) was 9/2, with odds now at 11/2.
So far in Russia, Luka Modric is Croatia’s top scorer and also averages more passes and key passes per game than any of his teammates. The Real Madrid man is 17/2 to score first in Nizhny Novgorod.
If you fancy both teams to score in this quarter final encounter, Artem Dzyuba and Mario Mandzukic to both score in normal time was 7/1, and is now betting at 10/1