Our prediction for this World Cup 2022 match:
There will be fireworks when Croatia and Russia square off against each other at Stadion Poljud on Sunday afternoon. Automatic qualification for the World Cup finals is at stake, and we are positive that the second-place hosts are going to leave their hearts on the field. Zlatko Dalic’s men impressed in a 7-1 crushing of Malta, and it is no wonder the bookies see them as hot favourites to win the decider.
Fit-again midfielder Luka Modric will be the man to watch in the home team, while both Mateo Kovacic and Josip Brekalo have been ruled out with injuries. West Ham winger Nikola Vlasic is pushing for a start after recovering from his injury. The Russians, on the other hand, head into the match following a 6-0 win over Cyprus. Given their attacking potential, we believe that there is a big value in betting on over 2.5 goals. Zenit attacker Artem Dzyuba has been left out of the squad once again.
Highlighted Player (Luka Modric):
Luka Modric is regarded as one of the best central midfielders in world football. The Croatian ace is a product of Dinamo Zagreb’s youth school and it has to be noted that he played 94 league games for the Modri between 2003 and 2008. In 2008 he signed a six-year deal with Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of £16.5 million.
Luka made his Tottenham debut on 16 August, 2008 in a 2-1 loss to Middlesbrough at Riverside Stadium. The Croatian star scored only 13 goals in 127 league appearances for the Spurs, but he is well known for his brilliant passing. In 2012 he signed for Real Madrid for a fee of £30 million and he made his debut against Barcelona in the 2012 Spanish Super Cup, return leg.
Modric quickly established himself as a first-team regular and, no doubt, he helped the capital club win two Champions League trophies (2013/2014, 2015/2016). You should bear in mind that he was named Croatian Footballer of the Year in 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2014.
Highlighted Team (Russia):
While they won the 1960 European Championship, while losing in the final in 1964, 1972 and 1988 as Soviet Union, Russia have enjoyed little success since starting to compete as an independent country in 1992.
Their best result up to date is the third-placed finish at the Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland, while the team failed to get past the group stage at the World Cup finals in three attempts. However, with Russian Premier League getting stronger by the day, the national team have started to improve as well, and they now finally seem capable of matching the world’s top sides.
The new generation includes high-quality footballers such as Alan Dzagoev, Aleksandr Kokorin, Artyom Dzyuba and Oleg Shatov, while the likes of Igor Akinfeev, Sergei Ignashevich, Roman Shirokov and Yuri Zhirkov are nearing the closing stages of their careers. But, with plenty of exciting talent coming through the ranks, future definitely looks bright for the Russia national team.