Croatia will look to cause a huge World Cup upset this Friday when they face tournament favourites Brazil in the first quarterfinals game of this year’s World Cup.
Venue: Education City Stadium (Doha)
Croatia are playing in their third World Cup quarter-finals.
They have progressed to the semi-finals in their previous two World Cup quarter-final ties.
Croatia are unbeaten in their last ten games (W6, D4).
Croatia have won all three of their World Cup penalty shootouts, including in back-to-back games en route to the 2018 final.
Brazil have lost just one of their last 19 games (W15, D3).
They have a poor record against European opposition in the knockouts, with all of their five exits from the World Cup after 1990 coming at the hands of European sides.
World Cup trivia: Brazil’s Cafu is the only player to appear in three consecutive FIFA World Cup finals, doing so in 1994, 1998 and 2002 (W2, L1).
Head to head
Brazil boasts a dominant H2H record, winning both World Cup clashes against Croatia while avoiding defeat in two other meetings (W1, D1).
Latest performances in all competitions
Croatia’s dream of lifting the World Cup for the first time in their history continued after they beat Japan on penalties to book their place in this stage of the World Cup.
After a goalless 120 minutes period, the 2018 World Cup finalists prevailed over torr Asian counterparts on penalties thanks to the heroics of goalkeeper Dominik Livaković, who became just the third goalkeeper to save three spot-kicks in a World Cup shootout.
The result means that Zlatko Dalić’s Croatia side will now appear in the quarter-finals for the third time. Having progressed to the semi-finals in their previous two World Cup quarter-final ties, they have proved their credentials at this stage of late and will be confident of another impressive showing in Qatar.
Although Croatia have often relied on their big game experience at this tournament to pull them through some lethargic performances, their form remains impressive, with just one loss since their elimination from Euro 2020 last summer (W13, D6).
Such form, and the fact that Croatia’s only loss at the World Cup since 2014 came to France in the final four years ago, should see them come into this tie full of confidence.
Possible Croatia starting line-up
Dominik Livakovic, Josip Juranovic, Dejan Lovren, Josko Gvardiol, Borna Sosa, Luka Modric, Marcelo Brozovic, Mateo Kovacic, Andrej Kramaric, Bruno Petkovic, Ivan Perisic.
Injured: Josip Stanisic
Doubtful: Borna Sosa
First-half goals from Vinicius Junior, Neymar, Richarlison and Lucas Paqueta gave Tite’s side a four-goal lead in the first half, allowing the Brazil coach to rest his star men for this crucial game against Croatia.
Tite even brought on third-choice goalkeeper Weverton in the game, making Brazil the first team to use all 26 players in the World Cup.
They will now turn their attention to this quarter-final tie and make it past this stage after losing 2-1 to Belgium at this stage of the tournament in Russia 2018.
The record five-time world champions should be confident, though, given their record against Croatia. They boast a dominant H2H record, winning both World Cup clashes against their European counterparts while avoiding defeat in two other meetings (W1, D1).
However, if there is a slight knock to Brazil’s confidence, it likely stems from their poor recent record against European opposition in the knockouts, with all of their five exits from the World Cup after 1990 coming at the hands of European sides.
Possible Brazil starting line-up
Alisson, Éder Militão, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Danilo, Casemiro, Lucas Paquetá, Raphinha, Neymar Jr, Vinícius Júnior, Richarlison.
Injured: Alex Telles, Gabriel Jesus
Doubtful: Alex Sandro
|Odds-Croatia||Odds-Brazil||% Croatia||% Brazil|
|In 90 mins||9.000||1.360||10.31||68.20|
Croatia 0-2 Brazil