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Russia - World Cup 2018

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After automatically qualifying as the host nation, Russia will be playing in group A with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Uruguay.

According to FIFA rankings, Russia and Saudi Arabia are the two worst teams in the tournament at 63 and 69, respectively, so Russia will have something to prove in doing well in their group.

They will open the cup against Saudi Arabia on the 14th of June before going on to play Egypt on the 19th and Uruguay on the 25th.

Russia’s World Cup History

Russia will also want to use this tournament to gain a footing on the world soccer field. Since the 1994 World Cup, Russia has failed to make it out of the group stage and did not qualify for the tournament in '98, '06, and '10.

The 2018 World Cup might be their best chance to break that trend though, as historically Russia tends to play well on home soil, having compiled a 68-30-18 record overall.

The Road To The 2018 World Cup

Leading up to the World Cup, Russia also hosted the 2017 Confederations Cup where they did not fare well. Their sole win was a 2-0 victory in the opening game against New Zealand.

Russia has lost two friendly prelims to France (1-3) and Brazil (0-3) and will play two more preliminary games against Austria (5/30) and Turkey (6/4) before officially opening the 2018 World Cup on 6/14 odds against Saudi Arabia at Luzhniki Stadium.

How Does The Russia World Cup 2018 Squad Stack Up

In order to win, Russia will need big contributions from everyone from the top down. All eyes will, of course, be on captain Igor Akinfeev, who at 34 years old has over 100 caps and might be in his last run as a member of the national team.

He is supported by attackers Alan Dzagoev, Fyodor Smolov and Aleksandr Kokorin, who should provide some offensive punch.

Defensively, the team will be without Igor Denisov, who did not make the cut, but will feature some younger players such as Viktor Vasin, Feydor Kudryashov, and Georgi Dzhikiya. Manager Stanislav Cherchesov also brought in some youth up front with twins Alexei and Anton Miranchuck plus CSKA up-and-comer Alexander Golovin.

Russia Odds To Win World Cup 2018

While the hosts should have an easy go in the opener against Saudi Arabia (higher-end odds have Russia at 4/11) Russia's real tests for the group stage will be Uruguay and Egypt.

Vegas odds have Russia at 1/3 to advance to the Knockout stage. While Uruguay will most likely come out on top of Group A, Egypt is ranked 44 and if the Russians can get favorable outcomes against them and Saudi Arabia, they have a decent chance at advancing to the knockout stage.

Historically Russia tends to fair well on home soil, and odds are in favor of them beating Egypt (17/20 is the most common odds), and their odds against Uruguay are not as bad as one might imagine, as most bookies have them hovering around 2/1.

Russia World Cup 2018

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