Russia Vs Croatia: Hosts Keen To Continue Fairy Tale Run
Though they have surpassed expectations already, the Russian national football team are looking forward to extending their fairy tale run at the Mundial with a quarter final win over Croatia on Saturday night.
The World Cup hosts were the least ranked team when the Mundial kicked off three weeks ago but they are now in the top eight bracket having made it as far as the quarter finals.
The Russians pulled off a stunning upset of heavily favored Spain to advance to the quarter-finals for the first time since 1970.
They're aiming to become the fifth host nation in the past seven editions of the tournament to reach the semi-finals.
However, they face a Croatian side that has gone undefeated at the 2018 FIFA World Cup while allowing just two goals.
Croatia are also unbeaten in three previous meetings with Russia, including a 3-1 victory in a 2015 friendly and a pair of scoreless draws during qualifying for Euro 2008.
While Russia will banking on their loyal fans, the expectations are also high for Croatia as their present squad is indeed their best team since the 1998 side that finished third at France' 98.
This will be the teams’ first-ever meeting at a World Cup finals, while their most recent clash was a friendly in November 2015 which Croatia won 3-1 thanks to goals from Nikola Kalinic, Brozovic and Mandzukic.
RUSSIA will make a late decision Yuri Zhirkov who has a calf
Croatia are likely to be unchanged from the starting line up
RUSSIA: Akinfeev, Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Kudryashov, Zobnin, Kuzyaev; Samedov, Golovin, Cheryshev, Dzyuba.
CROATIA: Subasic, Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Strinic, Rakitic, Brozovic, Rebic, Modric, Perisic, Mandzukic
Russia 1-1 Croatia (Russia win penalty kicks)
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