Confirmed Starting Lineups for Russia vs Croatia :
So, @England have secured their place in Wednesday's semi-final in Moscow, but who will join them? 🤔
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) July 7, 2018
Russia: Akinfeev; Mario Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich Kudryashov; Zobnin, Kuzyaev; Samedov, Golovin, Cheryshev and Dzyuba.
Croatia: Subasic; Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Strinic; Kramaric, Modric, Rakitic; Rebic, Mandzukic and Perisic.
Croatia and Modric managed to scrape through to the quarter finals with a near finish penalty win against the gritty Denmark team after seeing a penalty saved from their captain by danish hero kasper schmeichel and will seek to have a more dignified victory in todays Russia vs Croatia game.
Croatia have a chance to create history by reaching their first semi finals since 1998 and have managed to assemble their best team since then in order to do so. Modric and Rakitic aided by the presence of other established players like Kovacic and Mario Manzukic will look to end the hosts dramatic run into this years competition beating former World Champions Spain.
Few could have predicted a win for Russia over Spain yet football showed why its a beautiful and yet a cruel game by allowing the hard working and deeply motivated Russian team to progress on from a hard fought penalty shootout vs La Roja.
With a World cup Semi final position at stake, both teams will look to edge each other out to achieve a feat which they have previously managed to achieve only once in their history so its fair to say both the team pretty well know how important the Russia vs Croatia clash is and what a win would mean for their nations.
Artem Dzyuba has been involved in four of Russia's last seven goals at the FIFA #WorldCup (3 goals and 1 assist). Will he be the hero for the hosts again in tonight's semi-final against Croatia? pic.twitter.com/y4TrB570Za
— SuperSport (@SuperSportTV) July 7, 2018
Winner of the Russia vs Croatia will face off with either of Sweden or England in the Semi Finals.
These two have played each on three occasions with Croatia never on the losing side. The last time they faced off was back in 2015 with the Croats running out 3-1 winners in an international friendly.
Key Players in the Russia vs Croatia clash :
Luka Modric :
There is no doubt that Modric has a tremendous influence on his team performance, whether that is for Real Madrid over the years or in his National team colors and that is the story of Croatia’s this years performance also.
They have always looked to Luka Modric to be their talisman and rarely has he disappointed. He is the passer, the creator, the pace setter and the one to operate from set pieces and he indeed does do it all and quite brilliantly too.
With two important goals already this campaign, Modric recovered quite well from the penalty miss in the 116th min vs Denmark to score eventually from the spot in the shoot out showing what leaders are indeed made up of.
Croatia have 8 players one booking away from potentially missing the semi-finals of the 2018 #WorldCup and hosts Russia have 4.
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) July 7, 2018
Denis Cheryshev :
With three goals to his name already, the Villareal winger is having quite a tournament and has been Russia’s most impact full player and will look to replicate his tremendous form in the Russia vs Croatia game.
Having got his chance to shine only after an injury ruled Alan Dzagoev out of the opener, the 27 year old has not looked back since and will have a lot of attacking and creative responsibilities on his shoulders in bringing out the best out of this team.
Key Battle: Luka Modric (Croatia) vs Aleksandr Golovin (Russia)
Both Alexander Golovin and Luka Modric are utterly brilliant at the middle of the park and will have a fascinating encounter out there on the pitch in the Russia vs Croatia clash.
Russia 2018: Russia against Croatia. The midfield battle. Golovin and Modric compared and contrasted. Who will be the supremo? pic.twitter.com/JT1G8GGEZi
— Samuel Apam Sammer (@apamone) July 7, 2018
Against Spain, Golovin ran a record 16km, more than anybody during the 2018 World Cup. Clearly proving at every single step of the way that nothing is impossible if you want it enough and work hard enough.
Having created 5 key chances in the game, Golovin has proved to be an inspirational player for his country and has an incredible opportunity to cement this world cup as his if he manages to pull his country over the line in the Russia vs Croatia clash but will face an incredibly difficult task in getting the better out of one of the best midfielders in the game.
Predicted Line ups for Russia vs Croatia :