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2018 World Cup Guide: Group A: Russia

2018 is a World Cup yr, so now we have put collectively a information for every workforce within the event. We begin with group A and the hosts Russia.

2018 World Cup Information: Group A: RUSSIA

With no qualifiers to play, hosts Russia have been desperately searching for sparring companions – even enjoying a pleasant towards membership facet Dynamo Moscow in September. Issues solely grew to become simpler when the highest European and South American groups had completed their qualifying campaigns, with Argentina coming to Moscow and Spain visiting Saint Petersburg in November, and friendlies towards Brazil and France deliberate for March.

Stanislav Cherchesov is making an attempt to construct a brand new squad after his predecessor Leonid Slutsky’s unimpressive Euro 2016 outing. Within the absence of top-quality gamers and the departure of numerous the previous guard, Cherchesov has needed to look more and more at younger expertise, though such gamers are scarce and lack expertise. Followers eagerly awaiting subsequent summer time’s event are extra sceptical concerning the workforce’s possibilities than ever earlier than. Qualifying from their group can be seen as end result for the hosts.

Key Moments in Qualifying

Aug 2016
Cherchesov steps in to switch Slutskiy and the workforce draw Zero-Zero away to Turkey in his first recreation.
Mar 2017
Russia rating two second-half objectives to return from behind and earn a formidable Three-Three draw with Belgium on the rebuilt Sochi Olympic Stadium.
Jun 2017
The workforce fails to get out of its group on the Confederations Cup, dropping 1-Zero to Portugal and 2-1 to Mexico after beating New Zealand 2-Zero within the opening recreation. Regardless of a lot hypothesis Cherchesov retains his job.
Nov 2017
Russia concede a late objective from Sergio Aguero and lose 1-Zero to Argentina on the reopening of Moscow’s Luzhniki Olympic Stadium, which can host the opening recreation and the World Cup Remaining subsequent summer time.

The Coach

Stanislav Cherchesov, age 54 (02.09.63)
Appointed in August 2016 on a two-year contract, the previous USSR and Russia goalkeeper with 49 caps is a four-time winner of the nationwide championship. He was a key determine for Spartak Moscow of their 1995 Champions League marketing campaign, once they gained all six group-stage video games, and later gained three league titles in Austria with Tirol Innsbruck earlier than ending his enjoying profession again at Spartak. After teaching in Austria he joined Spartak and later labored with Moscow sides Spartak and Dynamo earlier than shifting to Poland in 2015 and main Legia Warsaw to the double.

Underneath Stress; Russia coach Cherchesov must get leads to 2018 (Getty Photographs)

The Gamers
Igor Akinfeev stays the first-choice keeper and has proved his top-drawer credentials on quite a few events. Though liable to accidents, versatile box-to-box midfielder Alan Dzagoyev can be key.
Akinfeev has greater than 100 caps to his title and is closing in on Sergei Ignashevich’s nationwide file of 120 appearances.
Ignashevich, together with Vasili and Alexei Berezutskiy, give up worldwide soccer and their absence is a serious headache for the coach who has needed to completely substitute his again three.
Born in Russia, Konstantin Rausch emigrated to Germany as a boy however after caps at under-21 stage for his adopted homeland the winger opted to play for Russia. One other newcomer is centre-back Georgiy Dzhikiya.

Key Star: Akinfeev would be the key man for Russia (Getty Photographs)

The Unanswered Questions

Can the brand new defence cope?
Victor Vasin, Fedor Kudryashov and Georgiy Dzhikiya have all been criticised for technical errors and poor positioning in current video games, however it seems as if Cherchesov sees them as his solely defensive choices for the World Cup.

Will Igor Akinfeev keep away from errors in essential video games?
Though undoubtedly Russia’s finest goalkeeper, he has made some pricey errors at main tournaments such because the 2014 World Cup and 2017 Confederations Cup.

Might Andrei Arshavin be recalled?
In all probability the one Russian participant to attain widespread worldwide recognition within the final 15 years, the 36-year-old is now at Kairat in Kazakhstan. Good current efficiency prompted Cherchesov to say he doesn’t rule out a recall – regardless of his comparatively poor bodily situation.

Recall: Will Arshavin get recalled into the Russian squad for 2018? (Getty Photographs)

Will Igor Denisiov make a comeback?
As coach of Dynamo, Cherchesov had a run-in with the defensive midfielder which led to Denisov being banished to the reserves. Since turning into nationwide coach, Cherchesov has not thought-about calling up Denisov.

Can the home league’s high strikers take their possibilities in high worldwide video games?
The Premier League’s high scorer in 2016 and 2017, Fedor Smolov of Krasnodar and Zenit’s Alexander Kokorin haven’t shone at worldwide stage. If in fine condition, they’ll both compete for the lone striker place or kind an attacking duet.

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