England just confirm move to semi final after beat Sweden 2-0 , now are waiting either Russia or Croatia this match.
And so continues Russia’s march towards a home semi-final that nobody expected. Though gifted home advantage, there was a belief that the lack of qualifiers would affect Russia. That has not been the case, but with a tough Croatia side lying in wait here, the hosts face another huge test.
Both sides face off after successfully negotiating penalty shootouts, so there will be no shortage of mental resilience on display. After holding out for a draw against Spain over 120 minutes, Russia will be full of confidence, if somewhat drained, after being subject to immense pressure in extra-time.
Unlike Croatia, defeated last-16 participants Denmark did not set the group stage alight. However, Croatia still struggled against the Danes in the last round, contrary to expectation. A mere 1-1 draw gives little cause for encouragement, but Croatia at least remain one of the most defensively-sound sides in the tournament, conceding just twice thus far.
Should Croatia qualify for the next round, it will be the first time since France ’98 they have gone so far. A win for Russia would see the hosts reach the semi-finals for the first time since 1966, when the USSR finished fourth.
LIVE STREAMING RUSSIA VS CROATIA 8 JULY 2018.
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Players to watch: Deadly enemies at club level, Ivan Rakitić and Luka Modrić both scored penalties when Denmark looked bound for victory.
Sergey Ignashevich had a real rollercoaster against Spain, scoring an own-goal on 12 minutes, but netting the second of Russia’s winning penalties just two hours later.
Stat attack: The Croatians are unbeaten in three matches against Russia (in all competitions).
They also enter this match on the back of five consecutive wins (if the penalty win over Denmark is counted).
Russia, meanwhile, enter the quarter-finals without a clean sheet in their last three outings.
Will not play
Kalinic N. (Coach’s decision)
Probably will not play
Dzagoev A. (Back Injury)
Strinic I. (Muscle Injury)
Zhirkov Y. (Shin Injury)
Referee: Ricci S. (Bra)
Venue: Fisht Olympic Stadium (Sochi)