Brazil lock horns with Croatia on Friday, as the Selecao look to reach their first World Cup semi-final since the 2014 edition of the tournament.
Croatia last played in a World Cup semi-final in 2018 and they had beaten Russia on penalties. Brazil’s last quarter-final in a World Cup saw them take on Colombia in 2014 and they had beaten their South American rivals 2-1.
Croatia though, have not won a single World Cup knockout game in normal time since 1998 and all of their knockout wins since then has come in extra time or not penalties. They beat Japan on penalties in the Round of 16 and that will faze and even give confidence to Brazil, depending on how they see it. But they will be quite confident, considering that they put in a resounding performance against South Korea in their 4-1 win in the Round of 16.
Last five games
While Alex Telles and Gabriel Jesus have been ruled out of the World Cup, Alex Sandro could be back in contention for selection in the game against Croatia. Tite confirmed that he didn’t want to take risks with the left-back’s fitness in the game against South Korea.
For Croatia, Borna Sosa should be back and that will make sure that Borna Barisic will drop back to the bench. The Stuttgart man was ill in the previous game. The rest of the side should remain the same for Croatia.
Predicted Croatia XI (4-3-3): Livakovic; Juranovic, Lovren, Gvardiol, Sosa; Brozovic, Modric, Kovacic; Kramaric, Petkovic, Perisic
Predicted Brazil XI (4-2-3-1): Alisson; Militao, Marquinhos, Silva, Alex Sandro; Casemiro, Paqueta; Raphinha, Neymar, Vinicius; Richarlison