Russia v Croatia Betting Tips & Preview – Saturday 7th July 2018

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Russian Flag Croatian Flag

Having shocked Spain in the Round of 16 last Sunday, can Stanislav Cherchesov’s Russia do the same to Zlatko Dalic’s Croatia this weekend? The pair meet at the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi for a 2018 FIFA World Cup quarter-final on Saturday night. The Russians have defied the odds to get to the last eight, but the Croatians go into this tie as favourites to progress.

Both nations secured their place in the quarter-finals by winning their Round of 16 ties on penalties. The Russians beat the Spaniards, while Dalic’s side edged past Denmark. With Russia having home advantage, there’s not a lot to split these two, but will Croatia’s talent see them through at the Fisht Olympic Stadium at the weekend?

Top Tips

Croatia to Win 1-0 @ 5/1

Croatia HT/FT @ 11/4

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

Russia Form

Before a ball was kicked in this World Cup, an out-of-form Russia were expected to have a poor campaign on home soil. However, the Russians quickly silenced their critics with a superb 5-0 victory over Saudi Arabia in the tournament’s opening game. They then became the first team to book their place in the last 16 when they eased to a 3-1 victory over Egypt.

After finishing runners-up in Group A behind Uruguay, Russia were paired up against the 2010 World Cup winners Spain in the Round of 16. Although Cherchesov’s troops spent the majority of the game defending, the hosts went on to shock the Spanish by winning 4-3 on penalties in Moscow. This may be the first time the Russians have got past the group stage of a World Cup, but how far can they go in their home competition?

Spain v Russia 1st July 2018 1-1 Win (pens)
Uruguay v Russia 25th June 2018 3-0 Loss
Russia v Egypt 19th June 2018 3-1 Win

Croatia Form

Dalic’s Croatia, who won three out of three in Group D, have been one of the World Cup’s best performers so far. The Blazers made light work of Nigeria in their opening match, winning 2-0 in Kaliningrad. They then thumped Argentina 3-0 in Nizhny Novgorod before beating Iceland with a second-string side in their final group match at the Rostov Arena.

Even though they were not at their tip-top best against Denmark in the Round of 16, Croatia did enough to get the job done at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium. After a 1-1 draw after 120 minutes, the Croatians won 3-2 on penalties. Having finished in third place in France 20 years ago, can Croatia go even further this time around?

Croatia v Denmark 1st July 2018 1-1 Win (pens)
Iceland v Croatia 26th June 2018 1-2 Win
Argentina v Croatia 21st June 2018 0-3 Win

Head to Head Stats

Russia and Croatia have only met twice in competitive matches, each coming in UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying, with both games ending in pretty forgettable 0-0 draws.

They most recently squared off in a friendly match in Rostov-on-Don three years ago, with the Croatians claiming the win. Back then, Nikola Kalinic, Marcelo Brozovic and Mario Mandzukic netted in a 3-1 away victory for Croatia.

17th Nov 2015 Russia 1-3 Croatia Croatia Friendly
6th Jun 2007 Croatia 0-0 Russia Draw Euro 2008 Qualifier
6th Sep 2006 Russia 0-0 Croatia Draw Euro 2008 Qualifier

Injuries & Suspensions

Russia’s Alan Dzagoev is likely to miss out again having suffered a hamstring injury in the opening game of this World Cup. Veteran striker Mario Mandzukic is a doubt after picking up a knock in Croatia’s Round of 16 win over Denmark.


  • Alan Dzagoev - Remains a major doubt with a hamstring problem


  • Mario Mandzukic - Striker could miss out after picking up a knock last time out

Betting Tips

Having squeezed through on penalties, both will be grateful to still be in this World Cup. Even more so Russia, who were tipped to go out in the group stage. On paper, Croatia have the better and more experienced players, but nobody can argue with the spirit of Russia, who have been backed by ferocious support in all of their games thus far. In normal circumstances, we would have this down as a routine win for Croatia, but anything is possible in a World Cup quarter-final, especially on Russian soil. Having said that, we fancy Croatia’s qualities to shine through, but only just.

Croatia to Win 1-0

Russia have scored an impressive nine goals at these finals, which includes an emphatic 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia. They certainly rode their luck against Spain, but somehow found a way to prevail. As for the Croatians, they have had six different scorers so far, netting eight times along the way. Dalic’s troops have only shipped one goal in open play, and we can see their solid defence keeping the hosts at bay on Saturday. Back the 1-0 Croatia win at 5/1.

Croatia Half Time/Full Time

During the group stage, Croatia led at the break in two of their three matches. Check out the decent price of 11/4 for the Blazers to be winning at half time and full time in this quarter-final.

Luka Modric to Score First

Croatia’s captain Luka Modric has scored twice already, and the Real Madrid man is worth backing at 17/2 to open the scoring on Saturday.

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