World Cup 2018 quarter-final preview: Russia v Croatia
July 7, 2018 - The FIFA World Cup in Russia enters the quarter-final stage, in which the remaining eight teams compete to be crowned World Champions. The fourth quarter-final, hosted in Sochi, features host nation Russia against Croatia, captained by talismanic midfielder Luka Modric.
Host nation Russia have defied all expectations to reach the World Cup quarter-finals for the first time since long before the break-up of the Soviet Union. A remarkable five-goal victory over Saudi Arabia in the opening match set the tone, while they humbled 2010 champions Spain in the Last 16 with a superb penalty shoot-out victory, inspired by the heroics of goalkeeping captain Igor Akinfeev.
Croatia, boasting the gifted talents of Luka Modric, Mario Mandzukic and Ivan Ratikic, breezed through the group stages, securing a spirited victory over Argentina. Despite faltering in the Last 16 with a intense penalty shoot-out victory over Denmark, they have achieved their best World Cup performance since 1998.
The teams have met only three times before. Croatia secured victory in 2015, while the other two matches were drawn.
Graphic News Standards