The clash has all the makings of an instant classic with both sides having experienced indifferent campaigns. But after both sides advanced to the knockout rounds, both teams will be licking their lips at the prospect of achieving even greater heights.
Going into the game though, Spain will be favourites on paper. After finishing top of their group, Spain will look to continue their dominance over their opponents having won four of their six previous meetings having never tasted defeat.
But if form is anything to go by then perhaps Russia might just favour their chances. To reach this stage of the competition Spain have only won one game, while Russia have been victorious on two occasions, although they did suffer a rather hefty defeat to Uruguay in their final group stage clash.
That result would worry Russia’s technical team as that was arguably the Eastern European’s most difficult game in this year’s competition so far.
However, Russia will need to immediately pick up the pieces and prepare to contain an even stronger attack, this time in the mould of La Furia Roja. With Spain’s top scorer Diego Costa likely to spearhead the Spanish attack, the Russians could be in for a rather physical encounter.
Nonetheless, while Spain have a star-studded attack, the Russia also have danger man of their very own. Denis Cheryshev is leading the Russian goal scoring charts at the tournament and he could prove a nuisance with his pace and physicality. Also, the 27-year-old’s experience of playing in the Spanish top flight will come in handy as he will be familiar with many of the opposition players.
Russia though, cannot afford to take their eye of the ball especially when returning from the half-time interval. Fans have become accustomed to seeing Spain hitting the ground running from just after the half time break as 50 percent of their goals have come between minutes 45 and 60.
Meanwhile, Spain too need to be wary of Russia particular in the second half. Having scored eight goals in three games previously, 75 percent of their goals have come in the second stanza making them a real threat.
Nevertheless, the game is certainly evenly poised and this could potentially mean that fans will be treated to an exciting, drama filled encounter as Russia hope to keep their dream alive, while Spain are eager to conquer the world once again.