Russia vs Croatia Preview 01/09/2021
Russia and Croatia will clash for only the fifth time in history this week as the two look to grab vital points in their World Cup Qualifiers for Group H with both sitting on six points from three games with a win taking one side top of the group.
Both nations have two wins each, as Russia lost out to Slovakia back in March as they ran out 2-1 winners, while Croatia failed to beat Slovenia a few days prior, as they lost 1-0.
— HNS (@HNS_CFF) August 31, 2021
A win now would put either side top of Group H and put them in seriously good stead for qualification to Qatar 2022.
No top international side in Europe has played a game since Euro 2020, where both Russia and Croatia fell seriously short.
The Croats won just one game at the competition and qualified into the knockout rounds from second position in their group.
This only win came against bottom of the table Scotland, where Luka Modric turned back the years at Hampden Park to catapult his side to a 3-1 win.
Croatia also drew with the Czech Republic, but lost 1-0 to eventual finalists England 1-0 at Wembley.
Modric and co. would later play out arguably the game of the tournament, as they lost 5-3 to Spain in the round of 16 where Mario Pasalic scored in the 92nd minute to take the game to extra time.
All in all, it was a disappointing Euro 2020 for a nation who were finalists at a major tournament just three years prior.
Now, ahead of battling it out for status at Qatar 2022, it’s vital Croatia manage to reign supreme over Russia and prove they’re still a top side, but this may not be the case.
Russia, on the other hand, had a torrid Euro 2020, three years after doing well at their own World Cup in 2018.
The nation conceded seven goals in the three group games, losing 3-0 to Belgium and 4-1 to Denmark soon after, but they did manage to triumph over Finland in a 1-0 win.
As mentioned, Russia lost their last World Cup Qualifiers game to Slovakia, but with a 3-1 win over Malta and a 2-1 victory over Slovenia, Valeri Karpin’s men head into this one with a chance to put a marker down in Group H.
PlusBet.net predicts a game of under 2.5 goals here and a draw, as not much really separates the sides heading into the match based off of both form at Euro 2020, and previous encounters in this World Cup Qualifiers group.