It all comes to this clash for the Croats, as only a three-pointer will do the job for them and secure a direct ticket for Qatar.
They did a great job in their last appearance on the road to Malta when they completely hammered them with a 1:7 victory, definitely pushing their offense to its limits, and tried to be as prepared as possible for the decisive match against Russians.
Defenders Uremovic (6/0, Rubin), Skoric (6/0, Osijek), midfielders Kovacic (75/3, Chelsea), and forwards Brekalo (29/4, Torino), and Budimir (8/1, Osasuna) aren’t part of the team this time.
Russia is traveling to Croatia being in a slightly better position, as a draw will do the job for them, and booked them a ticket for the World Cup 2022.
They too met the expectations in their latest appearance at home against Cyprus when they overrun them with a 6:0 victory and secure their two points lead compared to Croatia.
The Russians won’t count on goalkeeper Lunyov (7/0, Leverkusen), defender Terekhov (2/0, Sochi), midfielders Kuzyayev (42/2, Zenit), Zhemaletdinov (9/1, Lokomotiv Moscow), Cheryshev (33/12, Valencia), and Mukhin (5/0, CSKA Moscow) compared to previous call-ups.
A match of the year for both nations
It would be truly disappointing for the vice-champions of the world not to appear in Qatar next year, and judging by their fiery mentality, I am positive that they will give more than one hundred percent in their attempt in reaching their desired destination. They possess the quality, and with the home-soil advantage, I am positive that the Croats will find their way to a victory, one way or the other.