Russia vs. Croatia 9/1/21 European World Cup Qualifications Soccer Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Russia vs. Croatia 9/1/21 European World Cup Qualifications Soccer Pick, Odds, and Prediction player photo
Credit: USA Today Sports

Russia is welcoming Croatia to Luzhniki Olympic Complex in round 4 of Group H of the World Cup Qualifications. Russia has had a few good moments in the Euro Cup, but they failed to advance past the group stage. Croatia wasn’t at their best in the Euro Cup, but they have advanced past the group stage, just to lose to Spain in the wildest game of the tournament.

At the moment, Russia is in 2nd place in Group H of these qualifications, they have scored 6 goals, conceded 4 goals, and they have 6 points. As I’ve mentioned, Russia didn’t have a good tournament this summer, they have won 1 game in the Euro Cup while losing the other two. In these qualifications, Dzyuba is the leading goalscorer for Russia with 3 goals, while Fernandes added 2 goals. The biggest problem for Russia is they will be without Dzyuba for this game, but they still have a few great players playing in some of the best teams in Europe. Honestly, Russia hasn’t been improving over the last few years, but they also haven’t been declining, and that is a good thing I guess, but we will see.

Croatia has started these qualifications with a loss to Slovenia, but they have beaten Cyprus and Malta after that, which isn’t really an accomplishment. Brekalo, Pasalic, Modric, and Perisic have each scored 1 goal for Croatia in these qualifications. There are a few new names on the Croatian roster and some old names that haven’t been here in a long time, such as Livaja. Modric will not be playing in these qualifications because of an injury, but the midfield is Croatia’s strongest part, and as hard it is to replace Modric, someone will need to step up, and that will be Kovacic in my opinion. I think Croatia has a very talented team with a bunch of new and young players such as Uremovic, Juranovic, Gvardiol, Moro, Ivanusec, Sosa, Majer, Orsic, and others, and they will need to start proving themselves because Modric, Lovren, Vida, and Perisic will not be here for much longer. At the moment, Croatia is at the top of this group, but they still haven’t played against the strongest teams in this group.

Croatia and Russia have played 4 times against each other, and Croatia have 2 wins, while 2 games ended in a draw. As far as the talent goes, Croatia is the better team, I also think they have more depth, and they are catching Russia in a sloppy form. I think Russia can definitely score a goal here, but Croatia has more players in good form, and for that reason, I will side with Croatia on the road.

Goran Kucar's Free Pick:Croatia and over 2.5 +350