Russia odds to qualify from Group H – 1/2 offers appeal

Fabio Capello will be hoping to achieve better things with Russia at 2014, then he did with England in South Africa four years ago, as their odds of 1/2 to qualify from Group H could attract attention.

Manager: Fabio Capello
World Cup best:
Group Stage (1994, 2002)
How they qualified:
Winner European Group F

A perfect home record saw Russia qualify from Group F relatively comfortably, despite Portugal’s impressive form towards the end.

Away from Russia they weren’t so good though, losing away to Northern Ireland and only managing a 1-1 draw with Azerbaijan.

Star player: Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow)

Russia’s undisputed number one goalkeeper, Igor Akinfeev has been linked with Europe’s elite for years.

Akinfeev has good reflexes and is excellent at one on ones and after just winning the Russian title with CSKA will be confident ahead of the tournament.

One to watch: Artem Dzyuba (Rostov)

A loan move to Rostov has helped Artem Dzyuba’s progress, scoring 17 goals, which was only bettered by Seydou Doumbia of CSKA.

Dzyuba’s international career has stalled after making his debut in 2011, however a great season at club level could give him the confidence ahead of the World Cup.

With Aleksandr Kerzhakov’s place in doubt, Dzyuba will be hoping to have done enough to earn a start.

All bar one of Capello’s 30 man preliminary squad are based in Russia and the squad has built up a solid core.

Under Capello defensively they have improved, conceding a mere five goals in 10 World Cup qualifiers.

Taking games against Luxembourg out of the equation, Russia scored just 12 goals in eight World Cup qualifying matches.

Russia will be taking one of the oldest squads to the tournament and may struggle against the pace of South Korea and Belgium.

How far can they go?
Russia will be disappointed if they don’t create history and get out of a World Cup group for the first time.

A tough second round draw awaits them if they do, however qualifying will be progression.


Goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeev, Yury Lodygin, Sergey Ryzhikov

Defenders: Alexander Anyukov, Alexey Berezutskiy, Vasili Berezutskiy, Vladimir Granat, Andrey Eshchenko, Sergey Ignashevich, Alexey Kozlov, Dmitry Kombarov, Andrey Semenov, Georgi Schennikov

Midfielders: Vladimir Bystrov, Yury Gazinskiy, Denis Glushakov, Igor Denisov, Alan Dzagoev, Yury Zhirkov, Alexey Ionov, Pavel Mogilevets, Alexander Samedov, Victor Faizulin, Oleg Shatov, Roman Shirokov

Forwards: Artem Dzyuba, Maxim Kanunnikov, Alexander Kerzhakov, Alexander Kokorin, Pavel Pogrebnyak

*Squad will be cut by seven to 23 before the start of the tournament

Group H

South Korea


Tuesday 17th June: Russia vs. South Korea 23:00
Sunday 22nd June: Belgium vs. Russia 17:00
Thursday 26nd June: Algeria vs. Russia 21:00

Lewis Jones has over 5 years experience in web publishing, having worked at a number of well known UK facing sports websites. He can be reached at Google+ for more information.

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