Spain v Russia: Hosts must stop Isco and Diego Costa

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Spain's two in-form stars loom as the danger men for the hosts

Not many people thought Russia, the lowest ranked nation at the World Cup, would progress to the knockout stage.

But now the hopes of a nation rest squarely on the shoulders of the 11 men who take on Spain in Moscow on Sunday.

They must nullify Spain's danger men - in the form of attacking duo Isco and Diego Costa.

Isco has scored an incredible 10 goals in his last 15 matches for his country - not a bad haul for a man buzzing behind Costa, while the the latter has already hit the back of the net three times at this tournament.

The Spaniards will dominate possession, having lost the statistic only once in World Cups and European Championships since 2006 and Russia can expect to play most of the match with their back to goal.

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This will be Russia's first ever knockout match at a World Cup since the break up of the Soviet Union - and what a test it will be.

After breezing past Saudi Arabia and Egypt in their first two group games, Russia was battered 3-0 by Uruguay, only having three shots for the entire match.

As Russia, the hosts have never beaten Spain, and certainly won't be favourite to do so this time around either.

But with a nation and tens of thousands of fans behind them, maybe they can lift to another gear and throw one side of the World Cup draw wide open.

Article promoted in partnership with  bet365 . For most up to date odds, go to  bet365.com.au

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