Russia vs Croatia World Cup Qualifying 9/1/21 Picks, Tips, Predictions
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After their success at home at the 2018 World Cup, where they exceeded expectations to reach the quarter-finals and dispelled concerns about the country's suitability as host, Euro 2020 will have been a failure for Russia.
They entered their last group match against Denmark, second-ranked in Group B, with a good chance of progress, but found a brave team determined to continue their fairy tale story as Denmark put on a fiery display to win. 4-1 and eliminate your opponents from the tournament.
This led to the dismissal of coach Stanislav Cherchesov, and the Russian Football Union chose to replace him with Rostov coach Valeri Karpin, albeit with a contract that only extends for the duration of the qualifying campaign.
Therefore, Karpin's task is clear: to get his team to pass from Group H.
They are currently second in the group, separated only by goal difference from their Croatian opponents, after two wins but a disappointing 2-1 loss to Slovakia in March.
Karpin peut is considered comme quelque peu plongé dans le grand bain, they are the first match of the most important part of the country - La Russie et la Croatie sont les deux grands noms du groupe et un seul peut automatiquement progresser, la deuxième place passant à the second. qualifying round.
If either team loses this game, they could well finish third behind the Slovaks, or even fourth if Cyprus also beat Malta.
Croatia also arguably underperformed when comparing its performance in the European Championship to that of the World Cup three years earlier.
Of course, they set the bar very high to secure second place in Russia, but they would have hoped to get past the knockout stages.
They were given the English rematch in the opener but survived the group stage, before being knocked out by Spain in a spectacular 5-3 epic, despite a spectacular comeback with two goals in the final five minutes to force. extra time.
Croatian bosses have naturally supported coach Zlatko Dalic, the man responsible for his trip to the 2018 World Cup, but they hope to be at the top of this qualifying group.
A 1-0 loss to Slovenia marked a disappointing start, before securing two long-awaited victories against Malta and Cyprus.
The big news on the Russian field is the absence of former captain Artem Dzyuba, Zenit St. Petersburg striker excluded from the call-up for the playoffs and the captain's position now vacant, with the new coach stating that a replacement will be selected during his training. to camp.
Spartak Moscow striker Aleksandr Sobolev has also been eliminated when Karpin upgrades his squad, with a first call-up for 19-year-old Konstantin Tyukavin.
Karpin doesn't have to worry about serious injuries, but which lineup and lineup he chooses will remain a mystery until Wednesday night.
Dalic also opted to drop a regular player in attack, AC Milan's Ante Rebic didn't make the cut.
This is likely due, at least in part, to the fact that the 27-year-old took to social media after Croatia's exit for Euro 2020, despite being criticized for being off the pitch by changing his shoes when Spain tied, to criticize Dalic. and how the team had played.
While Dalic omitted Rebic, he called Borna Sosa, although the left-back declared his intention to play for Germany before finding out that he would be ineligible.
This should be an exciting and interestingmatch, with the hosts likely to adopt an attack-minded approach. The absence of Modric will be a blow for Croatia, but they have plenty of class in their ranks to be able to give Russia as good as they get.