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Russia vs Croatia: World Cup 2018 match preview, commentary, predicted line-ups

first_img 3 Luka Modric and co’s potential route to the final is favourable and they have shown glimpses of real quality in Russia, including a 3-0 thrashing of Argentina.But they made hard work of their last-16 match against Denmark, scraping through on penalties, while the Russians stunned 2010 world champions Spain.You can listen to the action unfold live on talkSPORT from 7pm on Saturday.What the managers are saying Modric has shone in Russia 3 Cherchesov had a message for the Russian press Zhirkov will miss the game center_img Russia feature in the last quarter-final of the 2018 World Cup against Croatia at the Fisht Olympic Stadium.The hosts finds themselves in the last eight against all the odds after entering the tournament as the lowest-ranked team, while Croatia have emerged as unlikely contenders for the famous trophy. 3 Stanislav Cherchesov (Russia): “As a coach I am trying not to watch the TV, I don’t read papers, I am concentrating on my job. I believe that is the same for the players.“I am trying not to get distracted. If I get a newspaper I will read a headline. Criticism is good but I believe we should have our eyes and ears open.Zlatko Dalic (Croatia): “They have everyone behind them, the whole country wants them to win.“But my players have played in big matches, in big stadiums.“We have done our work on them. Against Denmark, we did not expect Jonas Knudsen to keep throwing long-balls because he didn’t play in the last six matches. But he did and they scored. We will be ready for Russia. I believe in my players.”What the players are sayingMario Fernandes (Russia): “Before the tournament, no one thought we’d get here, no one believed we would get out of the group.“Only a few in the media supported us, but the whole team believed in ourselves, knew we would fight.”Ante Rebic (Croatia): “I think we have more quality in our team and I think we are going to be the ones to set the tone.”What’s the team news? Former Chelsea wing-back Yuri Zhirkov is ruled out for Russia with a calf problem.Alan Dzagoev, who has largely been forgotten since injuring his hamstring in the opening game, could return for the hosts despite a back problem.Croatia should have 23 players to choose from, with Ivan Strinic and Mateo Kovacic recovering from minor niggles.Predicted teamsRussia: Akinfeev; Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Kudryashov; Zobnin, Kuzyaev; Samedov, Golovin, Cheryshev; DzyubaCroatia: Subasic; Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Strinic; Rakitic, Brozovic, Rebic, Modric, Perisic; MandzukicJoin talkSPORT from 7pm on Saturday for live commentary of Russia v Croatialast_img read more