SOCHI (Russia): Hosts Russia play Croatia in a World Cup quarter-final match at the Fisht Stadium on Saturday.
When: Saturday, July 7, 2100, local time (1800 GMT/2 PM ET)
Where: Fisht Stadium, Sochi
Referee: Sandro Ricci (Brazil)
- Russia beat Spain 4-3 on penalties in the round of 16 thanks to two saves by goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.
- They were runners-up in Group A, beating Saudi Arabia 5-0 and Egypt 3-1 but then losing 3-0 to Uruguay.
- Russia are playing in a World Cup quarter-final for the first time as an independent nation. The Soviet Union reached the 1966 semi-finals.
- Artem Dzyuba and Denis Cheryshev have scored three goals each for Russia in the tournament while Luka Modric is the leading scorer for Croatia with two.
- Russians Aleksandr Golovin, Fyodor Smolov, Yury Gazinsky, Ilya Kutepov and Roman Zobnin are all one yellow card away from being suspended. Igor Smolnikov will return from suspension for the quarter-finals for the hosts.
- Croatians Ivan Rakitic, Marcelo Brozovic, Ante Rebic, Mario Mandzukic, Sime Vrsaljko, Vedran Corluka, Marko Pjaca and Tin Jedvaj will miss out on the semi-finals if they are booked on Saturday.
- Croatia beat Denmark in a penalty shootout in their last-16 clash, goalkeeper Danijel Subasic making three saves in their 3-2 victory.
- Croatia topped Group D with three wins out of three, including a 3-0 humbling of Lionel Messi’s Argentina.
- Croatia are seeking to emulate their best result in 1998 when they reached the semi-finals and finished third after a 2-1 win over the Netherlands in the playoff.
- Croatia have qualified for five out of six World Cup tournaments as an independent nation since they broke away from the former Yugoslavia in 1991.
- Russia and Croatia have never faced off in a World Cup. They have played three times, with Russia yet to record a win. Two matches were goalless draws, with Croatia beating Russia 3-1 in a friendly in November 2015 - their last meeting.