Tuesday, 26 September, 2017

Russian Federation looking to polish image as Confederations Cup set to start

Russia New Zealand primed for Confederations Cup opener in Saint Petersburg FRANCK FIFE AFP
Isaac Mcdaniel | 18 June, 2017, 02:11

A number of new players have been drafted into the squad with 21-year-old Aleksandr Golovin, Lokomotiv Moscow midfielder Aleksey Miranchuk, and Spartak Moscow defender Georgy Dzhikya all finding a place in the team. It was their highest ever Federation Internationale de Football Association ranking, with their lowest being 63, which is also their most recent ranking of June 2017.

Federation Internationale de Football Association has ordered tighter monitoring of offensive incidents at Confederations Cup matches which kick off today, and wants referees to stop play if fans persist.

Qualifying teams in this year's competition include Russia, New Zealand, Portugal, Mexico, Cameroon, Chile, Australia, and Germany. Saturday 24 June: New Zealand v Portugal, 5pm; Mexico v Russian Federation, 5pm.

According to Igor Borunov of FIFA.com, Russian Federation needs to put the pressure on New Zealand early on the game by scoring a goal.

Russian Federation have failed to sell out for the opening game against New Zealand in the near £1billion new Krestovsky Stadium, with 44,000 of the 51,000 sold, despite cheapest tickets being £13. It will help dictate the tempo of the game in their favor and even help them gain the confidence to win the 2017 Confederations Cup.

Russia, who are ranked 63rd in FIFA's global rankings, have been plagued with injuries and at least five players have been ruled out of the tournament. "Forward Fedor Smolov will try to terrorize the New Zealand defense from the opening whistle, with an early goal sure to calm any nerves for the home team".

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Shprygin was among a group of Russian fans who were expelled from France after clashes during Russia's Euro 2016 match against England.

Meant to act as a World Cup preview, the Confedrations Cup is always an interesting look at the top teams from each confederation in the world, as well as the reigning World Cup winners and the host nation of the next World Cup. We break down Australia's opponents in their group, starting with game one against the world champions.

I'd much rather be in our position than Russia's. We are looking forward to it, we are not panicking, we are not anxious. The underdogs will rely on striker Chris Wood to lead what has been a defensive squad.

A one-time West Ham trainee who's playing career never took off, Anthony would later become a success as national team coach of Bahrain before landing the New Zealand job in 2014.

The fans arrived two days in advance - and have had a chance to enjoy arguably Russia's most picturesque city at an unusually spectacular time.

Live stream: Watch live on Fubo TV.

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