World Cup Preview – Round of 16 | Russia v Spain – Croatia v Denmark

Sunday sees hosts Russia looking to make it through to the quarter-finals on Sunday but they will need to get past tournament favourites Spain in order to progress.

Spain make the trip to Moscow to feature in what will sure to be hostile atmosphere in the Luzhniki as they look for a place in the last eight.

Russia surprised many by making it through their group, whilst Spain were far from impressive in winning their group – but they remain favourites to lift the trophy.

The winners of the tie will then go onto face the winner of Croatia and Denmark, who also play on Sunday.

Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov insists that they will be taking the match to Spain.

“We aren’t afraid of anyone,” he said. “The challenge is to reach the semi-finals.”

Spain’s Fernando Hierro has warned his side that they need to improve, especially going forward.

“Five goals in three matches is not the way forward, I’ve told the players that. But they are professionals and understand,” Hierro said.

‘We have to be very demanding of ourselves, and be clear in our mind that if they score against us so easily it will be very difficult to reach the ultimate goal.”

Croatia are going to their clash with Denmark as firm favourites, and have been one of the most impressive sides during the group stages.

Their coach Zlatko Dalic is confident of progression but he says they need to forget their three wins before now.

‘We have to put those three matches behind us. We have to focus on Denmark, it is our moment of truth on Sunday,” he said.

“From this moment on the group stage is over, we have done a job so far. I don’t think we will end in the last 16. What awaits us is the most important thing for us.”

Danish boss Age Hareide, understandably has a lot of respect for Croatia.

“Croatia are a very solid team, they can bring surprises. We saw them play, they are strong. The match will be intense, we need to play smart,” Hareide confirmed.

See below for a preview on the games, including predictions from former England and Tottenham midfielder Andy Gray and our own Football Insider Graeme Bailey and bet365’s Steve Freeth.

Russia 15:00 Spain
Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow



KEY FACT: Russia, counting the previous tournaments in which it competed as the Soviet Union, has not reached the knockout stages of a FIFA World Cup since 1986
Match odds from bet365: SPAIN 4/7 DRAW 3/1 RUSSIA 6/1
bet365 Pick: Spain -1 @7/4
ANDY SAYS: Russia have done well to get this far but this is where it ends – Spain win…2-0
GRAEME SAYS: Spain may not have impressed too much so far, but they will win this with something to spare…3-1
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: Diego Costa – he is such a problem for any team, he still has a lot of value on the Index

Croatia 19:00 Denmark
Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod



KEY FACT: Each of the last 10 Croatia World Cup goals scored by a Croatian player has been netted in the second half
Match odds from bet365: CROATIA 17/20 DRAW 23/10 DENMARK 9/2
bet365 Pick: Croatia @17/20
ANDY SAYS: Croatia have looked good, they are going through here for me…3-1
GRAEME SAYS: Denmark are stubborn but they can’t hold a candle to Croatia…2-0
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: Luka Modric – genius of a player who is enjoying a good tournament

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