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By: Emma McColl

Team: Russia

Nickname: Sbornaya (The National Team)

World Cup appearances: 10 (best result was 4th in 1966)

World Ranking: 70 (one of the lowest ranked teams in the tournament)

Coach: Stanislav Cherchesov

Captain: Igor Akinfeev

Russian Squad for the FIFA World Cup 2018

Player to watch: Igor Akinfeev
The first choice goalkeeper, captain of the team and a star player with over 100 caps to his name is one to keep your eye on. Akinfeev, who plays his club football with CSKA Moscow, has kept more clean sheets in Russian football than any other goalkeeper. With 106 for the national team, he is just 14 games shy of becoming the country’s most capped player.

NowUC predictor:
Despite being the host nation and automatically qualifying for the World Cup, Russia will struggle in the group stage due to a lack of experience following a number of key retirements in the lead-up to the tournament.

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