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Posted by: Member on 02/07/2018

World Cup Sunday preview: Can Russia make home advantage count against Spain?

World Cup Sunday preview: Can Russia make home advantage count against Spain?

Sunday sees hosts Russia, who finished second in Group B take on Group A winners at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. The winners of this match will face the winners of the other round of 16 clash later in the day, which pits Croatia against Denmark.

Spain vs Russia

Spain have one of most complete squads on paper, and were considered one of the favourites for the tournament before it started. However, their preparations were hindered by manager Julen Lopetegui getting sacked a couple of days before their first group game. Fernando Hierro was called in as a last-minute replacement, and though he has kept the ship steady, Spain haven’t been anywhere near their best. They were held to a 3-3 draw by Portugal in their opening game, before a thoroughly unconvincing 1-0 victory over Iran all but guaranteed progress from the group. In their last game against Morocco, they needed an injury-time equalizer from Iago Aspas to finish top. If they hadn’t scored, they would have been facing Uruguay on Saturday.

Diego Costa is their top-scorer with 3 goals, while Andres Iniesta, aged 34, is still running things in midfield. Real Madrid midfielder Isco had a fantastic game against Morocco, and will be looking to grow stronger as the competition progresses.

Russia started the World Cup in blistering fashion, scoring a 5-0 victory over Saudi Arabia in the opening game of the tournament. They followed this up with a 3-1 victory over Egypt to guarantee qualification. In their final group game, however, they were completely blown away by Uruguay.

CSKA Moscow midfielder Aleksandr Golovin has arguably been their best player so far, dictating things in midfield. The 22 year-old will be on the radar of some major European clubs in the summer. Dennis Cheryshev is Russia’s top scorer with 3, while Artem Dzyuba has also caused opposition big problems with his hold-up play up front, scoring two goals as well.

Prediction

Spain are firm favourites here, but we can expect this game to go either way, with Russia having the backing of almost the entire stadium behind them. They are sure to be motivated and up for the big occasion, and will feel they have what it takes to beat the 2010 champions. However, in the end, the visitors’ quality should see them through narrowly. They will surely get better as we get into the business end of the tournament.

Spain 3-2 Russia

Croatia vs Denmark

Croatia were one of only three teams, along with Belgium and Uruguay, to win all their three group games. The Europeans dispatched Nigeria in their opening game in Group D before scoring a sensational 3-0 victory over Argentina. They were even able to beat Iceland in their third game with a relatively weakened side, having already made it through as group winners before the ball was kicked. The central midfield of Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric has been superb, even though Mario Mandzukic is yet to find his goalscoring touch up front.

Denmark, on the other hand, were unbeaten in Group C with a victory over Peru following by successive draws against Australia and France. They haven’t lost a football match since late 2016, and will certainly fancy their chances here. Their man, of course, will be Christian Eriksen, who has scored 13 times during this run.

Prediction

This promises to be an interesting yet cagey game, with both teams relatively solid at the back. It could be decided by the odd goal, and simply based on current form, one would have to go with Croatia.

Croatia 1-0 Denmark

Author Bio:

Johnny is a big fan of football sports and loves to write on football sports topic. If you are interested in buying football tickets online then contact Boxofficeevents.com, which is an online authorized football tickets dealer in UK.

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