World Cup 2018 Predictions for Group A – Russia

Whilst the 2017/18 Premier League campaign remains far from concluded at this particular stage in the proceedings, with much last minute excitement and drama likely still to come, the 2018 World Cup is already fast approaching on the horizon.

Arriving as the tournament’s proud host nation, much hope and expectation will seemingly be thrust upon Russia as Stanislav Cherchesov’s side look to improve upon their previous World Cup fortunes. It’s going to take a lot more than just good old fashioned heart and determination for Russia to really make something happen however…

 

Will Russia qualify from Group A?

Whilst many will likely begin to envisage World Cup 2018 Group A as something of an easy opener for Russia at this summer’s competition, perhaps a closer inspection could very well place clouds of immovable doubt over Russia’s upcoming World Cup ambitions.

World Cup 2018 may go down as Russia’s best chance of reaching those all-important knock-out stages towards the tail-end of the tournament, but in reality, the team are going to have to be at the very top of their game if they are to effectively destabilize either Uruguay or Egypt.

Despite enjoying the advantage of being able to operate entirely on home turf this summer, both Uruguay and Egypt arguably have far more to offer the competition as a whole, compared with the often disappointing Russians.

 

Who will be Russia’s star man at the World Cup?

Russia play host to several well-established combatants who could serve to do the business at this summer’s tournament. Former Chelsea man, Yuri Zhirkov, has been playing on the top-flight scene for a number of consecutive years now, as has the vastly experienced Russian shot-stopper that is Igor Akinfeev, alongside Russia’s former shining light upon the international stage, Alan Dzagoev.

One man who could nonetheless stand out considerably arrives in the form of Fyodor Smolov however. The Krasnodar striker has been in fine form among his most recent domestic outings, reportedly attracting all manner of serious interest from the English Premier League and beyond.

Smolov is not your typical Russian centre-forward. Operating as a quick-footed frontman with bundles of energy and pace, the striker is likely to hit the ground running at World Cup 2018 as a result of his distinctly direct style and growing proficiency in the long-shots department.

A big money move away from the Russian top-flight could therefore await the up and coming 27-year-old in the not too distant future, with further World Cup betting tips placing Smolov as a surprise contender to land the golden boot award at the upcoming international competition.

 

What are Russia’s World Cup Group A fixtures?

Saudi Arabia – Russia simply have to beat Saudi Arabia in their opening fixture if Stanislav Cherchesov’s side really want to be taken seriously this summer. Failure to do so could result in a rather unceremonious end to Russia’s World Cup hopes and dreams, particularly with all those expectant home fans watching on at the team’s every breaking move.

See our Russia vs Saudi Arabia match predictions here.

Egypt – Like Russia, Egypt represent a somewhat dogged outfit that remain largely difficult to break down. They nonetheless have Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah to count upon, currently one of the most highly sought after and in-form players in the whole of world football. Whilst Russia are capable of winning this particular fixture, Egypt are a side in truly high spirits with a vast amount of newfound confidence firmly on their side.

Uruguay – Unless the determined South Americans somehow get off to an incredibly slow start this summer, Russia seemingly stand very little chance of beating Uruguay. The likes of Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez will most likely prove too strong for them in the end, even though anything remains possible on the often unpredictable international scene.

 

Russia World Cup Predictions:

Whilst it may be somewhat unproductive to rain so readily upon Russia’s parade going into this summer’s tournament, Stanislav Cherchesov’s side arguably lack the tools to effectively reign triumphant among their upcoming group-stage opposition. They play host to some exciting talents for sure, but it remains to be seen whether or not this team really have what it takes to deliver.

The approaching fixture against Egypt will likely prove rather telling one way or another, but even if Russia do in-fact manage to see off Mohamed Salah and co. in rather impressive circumstances, don’t expect this team to make it any further than the first knock-out round on pure footballing factors alone.

 

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