Russia’s 2018 World Cup squad is thoroughly analysed below. This is your guide to everything you need to know about the players who will be representing their country at the tournament, when their games are taking place, who is in charge of the team, the key men to watch and how they’re likely to fare in Russia.
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Russia’s World Cup squad — the 23 names
23-man final squad:
Goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow), Vladimir Gabulov (Brugge), Andrei Lunyov (Zenit St. Petersburg).
Defenders: Mario Fernandes (CSKA Moscow), Vladimir Granat (Rubin Kazan), Sergei Ignashevich (CSKA Moscow), Fyodor Kudryashov (Rubin Kazan), Ilya Kutepov (Spartak Moscow), Andrei Semyonov (Akhmat Grozny), Igor Smolnikov (Zenit St. Petersburg).
Midfielders: Denis Cheryshev (Villarreal), Alan Dzagoev (CSKA Moscow), Yuri Gazinsky (FC Krasnodar), Alexander Golovin (CSKA Moscow), Daler Kuzyaev (Zenit St. Petersburg), Anton Miranchuk (Lokomotiv Moscow), Alexander Samedov (Spartak Moscow), Alexander Yerokhin (Zenit St. Petersburg), Yuri Zhirkov (Zenit St. Petersburg), Roman Zobnin (Spartak Moscow).
Forwards: Artyom Dzyuba (Arsenal Tula), Alexei Miranchuk (Lokomotiv Moscow), Fyodor Smolov (FC Krasnodar).
Russia’s World Cup 2018 fixtures
- Saudi Arabia: Thursday, June 14 at 4pm
- Egypt: Tuesday, June 19 at 7pm
- Uruguay: Monday, June 25 at 3pm
What odds are Russia to win the World Cup?
Who’s the coach?
Stanislav Cherchesov. Former Russia goalkeeper and dead ringer for a young Vicente del Bosque has excelled in rescue acts by imposing discipline and organisation.
Who’s the star?
Fyodor Smolov. The Krasnodar striker is a late developer but has matured into a tough, nimble scavenger who has been devastating on the counter-attack.
Best thing about them
Hosts always have a puncher’s chance if they can get the bandwagon rolling and deploy their technically accomplished midfielders and forwards on the break.
Worst thing about them
Dreadful recent record, goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev oscillates between Shilton and shonky and they are prone to lapsing into anxious sterility.
You may recognise…
Former boy wonder Alan Dzagoev stands out for his playmaker’s vision, incisive passing and Dumb and Dumber Lloyd Christmas hairstyle.
Cameramen will be picking out…
Vladimir Putin, naturally, for the same reason all eyes were trained on Nero at the Colosseum — relief at his pleasure, spooked by his displeasure.
Fans’ favourite chant
Vperyoood, RossIya! [C’mon, Russia!] and, if true to form, something far more revolting.
Scrape through a tight group and go out in the round of 16. Enough to save face.
Raucous, a disquieting mix of warmth from the majority and volatility from the delinquent.