Team Sheet: Russia

Written by Shirom Kapur

These notes were gathered in preparation for our panel discussion of the favorites and dark horses for this year’s World Cup in Russia.

  • Manager: Stanislav Cherchesov
    • Record = Pl: 18, W: 5, D: 5, L: 8
    • Second major tournament with Russia
    • Only competitive soccer played was at the Confederations cup
  • 30-1 odds to win – 12th
  • WC 2018 Group:
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Egypt
    • Uruguay
    • Qualified as hosts
    • Home support can give them an advantage, look at South Korea 2002
    • Can build momentum as first game is relatively the easiest
    • Lots of young players, less experience
    • Most of squad from Russian league, none from top European leagues, except Cheryshev
    • 3 key players out with knee injuries
  • WC 2014 outcome:
    • Finished 3rd in group stage behind Belgium and Algeria
    • Did not win any game
  • WC performance:
    • Never won the world cup
    • Have never gone past the group stage in the post soviet-union years
    • Did not qualify in 2010, despite impressive Euro 2008 (semi final)
  • Confederations Cup 2017 outcome:
    • Finished 3rd in group stage behind portugal and mexico
  • Euro 2016 outcome:
    • Finished bottom of group behind Wales, England and Slovakia
  • Recent Friendlies
    • L 0-3 to Brazil
    • L 1-3 to France
    • L 0-1 Argentina
    • D 3-3 Spain
    • Tried to play all past world champions to show that they are not scared, but it didn’t work out
  • Predicted 23-man squad
    • GK: Igor Akinfeev, Andrey Lunev, Alexandr Selikhov
    • Def: Yuri Zhirkov, Igor Smolnikov, Roman Neustadter, Fyodor Kudryashov, Mario Fernandes, Aleksandr Samedov, Vladimir Granat, Dmitri Kombarov, Ilya Kutepov
    • Mid: Aleksandr Golovin, Alan Dzagoev, Denis Cheryshev, Roman Zobnin, Oleg Shatov, Denis Glushakov, Aleksei Miranchuk, Aleksandr Yerokhin
    • FW: Fedor Smolov, Anton Zabolotny, Anton Miranchuk
  • Key Players
    • Igor Akinfeev – captain, most experienced
    • Aleksandr Golovin – young, creative, impressive club form
    • Fyodor Smolov – main goalscorer
    • Alan Dzagoev
  • Players missing out
    • Aleksandr Kokorin – knee injury
    • Georgy Dzikhiya – knee injury
    • Viktor Vasin – knee injury
    • Igor Denisov – quality defensive mid, but fallout with manager
    • Andrey Arshavin – age

References:

2018 FIFA World Cup odds. (2017, October 11). Retrieved April 29, 2018, from http://www.espn.com/chalk/story/_/id/20991480

Injuries leave host Russia limping ahead of World Cup | ABS-CBN Sports. (n.d.). Retrieved April 29, 2018, from https://sports.abs-cbn.com/football/news/2018/03/23/injuries-leave-host-russia-limping-ahead-world-cup-39358

Russia national football team. (2018, April 29). In Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Russia_national_football_team&oldid=838803264

Russia Scores & Fixtures – ESPN FC – ESPN FC. (n.d.). Retrieved April 29, 2018, from http://www.espnfc.com/team/russia/454/fixtures

World Cup 2018 Preview – Team-by-team Analysis. (2018, January 12). Retrieved April 29, 2018, from https://www.betshoot.com/blog/world-cup-2018-preview/

World Cup news: Russia forward Aleksandr Kokorin suffers tournament-ending injury | Goal.com. (n.d.). Retrieved April 29, 2018, from http://www.goal.com/en-us/news/blow-for-russia-as-injury-puts-kokorins-world-cup-in-doubt/man9lccokdzb1dxkldv9yahl1

World Cup squads: Who is on the plane to Russia, and who is in limbo? (n.d.). Retrieved April 29, 2018, from http://www.espn.com/soccer/fifa-world-cup/4/blog/post/3409676/world-cup-squads-who-is-on-the-plane-to-russia-and-who-is-in-limbo