Croatia – Russia Predictions
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Croatia 0-1 Russia
Date: 14.11.2021 | Match at: 15:00 | League: World Cup – Qualification | Tip: Under 3.5 Goals | Odds: 1.34 | Bookie: Unibet.
Croatia – Russia Match Preview
- It all comes down to this match in Group H, as Croatia and Russia face off to determine who secures automatic qualification to Qatar 2022. Second-placed Croatia (W6, D2, L1) are fresh off a 7-1 away win over Malta, but are at a disadvantage in that only victory will be enough to secure them top spot. However, they’ll be boosted by playing at home where they’ve not lost a World Cup Qualifying (WCQ) match since November 2013 (W8, D3).
- Although one of the draws in that run came in their last WCQ home clash (2-2 vs Slovakia), that result still contributed to a record that has seen Croatia score 2+ goals in four of their last five home WCQ encounters. That’s the sort of goalscoring form the 2018 World Cup runners up need here, especially as they’ve only scored more than a single goal against Russia once in the last five H2Hs (W1, D4 – 90 mins only).
- Group-leaders Russia produced a typical top vs bottom performance against Cyprus, blowing them away 6-0 to maintain their two-point lead at the top (W7, D1, L1). That was also their fifth straight WCQ game in which they’d opened the scoring before the 30th minute, highlighting why fast starts have been an important factor to their success in this qualifying cycle.
- Russia will be desperate to avoid being pipped in this final round, yet there may be some trepidation given that they’ve won only four of their last ten away matches (D2, L4), and each of those wins came against nations sitting outside of FIFA’s top 50.
- Players to watch: Lovro Majer’s two goals for Croatia against Malta made it four direct goal contributions across his last five appearances for club and country – each after half-time too. Aleksandr Yerokhin also bagged a brace last time out, making it three goals in his last five Russia appearances, two arriving inside the opening ten minutes.
- Hot stat: Croatia’s last two WCQ matches saw both teams score, something that didn’t happen in their eight WCQ games prior.