All you need to assess Russia’s chances at this years World Cup can be found here. The latest odds, betting tips and analysis into their best team performers can be found here.
Russia’s World Cup Team
As the host nation, Russia have automatically qualified for the 2018 World Cup tournament. Stanislav Cherchesov’s men are currently ranked 64th in the world which means that they’re big outsiders to go deep in the competition, but according to the bookmakers they’re second favourites to qualify from their group at 1/3 behind Uruguay.
They’re not a nation steeped in World Cup history, although they did manage to reach the semi-finals back in 1966, but with a home crowd behind them they’ll be desperate to give a good account of themselves. We’re expecting them to find it difficult in a pretty competitive group alongside Uruguay, Egypt & Saudi Arabia though, Russia didn’t have a qualification campaign so enter the competition with much less practice than they’re counterparts.
Coached by Stanislav Cherchesov, Russia have put faith in a man who once appeared for the national team as a reliable first-choice goalkeeper back in both the 1994 and the 2002 World Cup competitions. He became coach in 2016 having performed well when in charge of Dynamo Moscow and Legia Warsaw so is under a lot of pressure to deliver a successful tournament for the hosts this summer.
The star man in this Russia side is Krasnodar forward Fyodor Smolov who comes into the World Cup in fine form. The 27 year-old is one of the hottest properties in the Russian Premier League and gives them a real outlet in attack, along with lethal finishing. He’s scored a hugely impressive 48 goals in just 64 games for his club side, along with a solid 11 in 28 for his country, so will be eager to impress in this tournament.
Their most experienced man comes in the form of CSKA Moscow goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, who’s accumulated a huge 103 caps during an international career that spans fourteen years. The 31 year-old used to be regarded as one of Europe’s finest keepers and with him beginning to enter the twilight of his career he will want to be part of a successful Russian team before retirement.