After defeating Japan 3-1 on penalties in the last 16 on Monday, Croatia will play on the biggest international stage in the quarterfinals for the second time in a row and for the third time in their history.
Daizen Maeda’s first-half goal was cancelled out by Ivan Perisic, forcing extra time and then penalties. The Checkered Ones won the shootout thanks to Dominik Livakovic, who saved three of Japan’s four attempts, and helped Zlatko Dalic’s team advance to the round of eight.
Croatia are no strangers to drama at the highest level of international football, as they have been taken to extra time in seven of their last eight knockout matches at major tournaments since finishing third at their first World Cup finals back in 1998.
Croatia’s last five World Cup knockout games have gone to extra time in four of those games, and three of those victories have come on penalties. Only Croatia’s 4-2 loss to France in the 2018 final was decided after 90 minutes during this stretch.
Dalic and company have lost just one of their last 20 games in all competitions since Euro 2020, and they are unbeaten in their last ten international matches.
However, this impressive run is about to be put to the test by a hot Brazilian team that is coming off of their best performance at this year’s tournament in Qatar against South Korea.
Tite’s team sambaed their way into the quarterfinals on Monday thanks to a 4-1 victory over South Korea in the last 16.
Vinicius Junior, Neymar, Richarlison, and Lucas Paqueta all scored for the Selecao in the opening 36 minutes as they quickly built a four-goal advantage. In the final 15 minutes, a stunning consolation goal from Paik Seung-ho gave the South Korean fans something to cheer about.
Brazil is currently brimming with confidence and gearing up for their seventh consecutive World Cup quarterfinal, but they will be cautious given their recent history in this stage of the competition.
In three of the previous four World Cups, the Selecao was eliminated in the quarterfinals after losing to the European trio of France, Netherlands, and Belgium in 2006, 2010, and 2018, respectively.
1×2 Betting Odds
Brazil are the heavy favourites to win this, but when are they not?
Their odds of advancing to the Semi-finals of yet another World Cup stand @ 1.40.
Croatia for all their resilient efforts, are the underdog in this, with odds of winning @ 9.60.
The odds that the result ends in a draw after the 90 mins are played, stands @ 5.47.
Brazil is bursting with confidence after easily defeating South Korea in the round of 16, but Friday’s game might not be a walk in the park against a country of Croatia’s calibre given their history in the knockout stages.
Although Brazil could be a step too far for Croatia, who have defeated many opponents on the biggest international stage!
Total goals over/under
The odds that the total number of goals score will be over 2.5, stands @ 1.83
While the odds that the total number of goals will be under 2.5, stands @ 2.14.
So, the market believes this game has a few goals in it, but Brazil should be its victors.