World Cup last 16 games three and four previews

The World Cup last 16 games continue on Sunday, with two more fascinating games in Russia. Here are the two games taking place:

Spain v Russia (kick-off 3 PM)

Spain headed into this game on the back of an unconvincing group stage campaign, where La Roja drew with Morocco and Portugal and defeated Iran. A stoppage-time penalty from Iran was the only reason Fernando Hierro’s side topped Group B ahead of Portugal.

Despite their unconvincing form at the World Cup so far, the Iberian nation remains an outstanding team. In fact, they are unbeaten in 23 games, and that seems unlikely to change in this clash.

Russia cruised to qualification by recording comfortable wins over Saudi Arabia and Egypt, before suffering a heavy defeat against Uruguay in their final group game.

The hosts headed into this game on a poor run of form. In fact, the two wins in their opening group games are their only victories in their previous ten international outings. The home nation at least offers entertainment value, though, as six of their last eight games have produced over 2.5 goals.

Russia best performance at a World Cup came in the Soviet days when they finished fourth in England in 1966. It will be tough for the hosts to repeat that feat on home soil.

Prediction

Spain win and over 2.5 goals

Croatia v Denmark (Kick-off 7 PM)

Croatia have arguably been the most impressive team at World Cup 2018. Zlatko Dalic’s side won all three group games against Nigeria, Argentina and Iceland to finish top of Group D.

The Eastern European side scored seven goals and conceded just one and now look like the form team at World Cup 2018, with many of the giants of the tournament struggling. They have now won their last four consecutive games, while also scoring two or more goals in all four wins.

Denmark finished second in Group C behind France. The Scandinavian nation defeated Peru and drew their other games Australia and France. The Danes were not spectacular, but they achieved the objective of making the knockout stages.

Age Hareide’s side are now seven games unbeaten. They also have a highly impressive defensive record, as they have conceded just one goal in seven international outings.

This match could be a tight one with both teams pretty well drilled and defensively sound. There is unlikely to be much in it.

Prediction

Croatia victory and under 2.5 goals

Who will go through to the last 16 of the competition from these matches?

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