The Confederations Cup is well known around the world as a rehearsal to the World Cup. This year is the same situation as it always has. This year, the 10th Confederations Cup in history will take place, as 8 teams will compete to be crowned champions. I will be covering each team before the competition begins:
Goakeepers: Igov Akinfeev, Vladimir Gabulov, Guilherme Marinato
Defenders: Igor Smolnikov, Roman Shishkin, Viktor Vasin, Georgi Dzhikiya, Fyodor Kudryashov, Ilya Kutepov, Yuri Zhirkov, Dmitri Kombarov
Midfielders: Yury Gazinsky, Denis Glushakov, Ruslan Kambolov, Aleksei Miranchuk, Aleksandr Golovin, Aleksandr Samedov, Aleksandr Yerokhin, Dmitri Tarasov
Forwards: Maksim Kanunnikov, Dmitri Poloz, Fyodor Smolov, Alexsandr Bukharov
Russia has had a poor run in major tournaments lately, finishing in the group stage of both Euro 2016 and World Cup 2014. This is Russia’s 1st appearance in the Confederations Cup, and they will look to play well since they are hosting the event. Stanislav Chercheslov was appointed as manager in August, but has struggled. He only has a record of 3-3-3, including a bad 2-1 loss to Qatar. Chercheslov has brought young players into the team, as 6 players in the squad are 25 years old and younger.
Player To Watch: Igor Akinfeev
Igor Akinfeev is a well known figure in Russia. He has made 96 international appearances for Russia and is the captain of the squad. He has the most clean sheets in Russian soccer history. As one of the best goalkeepers and players Russia has ever seen, Akinfeev will look to bring in leadership and good performances to Russia, as he’s getting to the period when goalkeepers reach the peak of their careers. Keepers reach their prime in their early thirties, and Igor is 31.
I think Russia will most likely finish 4th in Group A. I don’t think they have the talent to complete with teams such as Portugal and Mexico. I believe they’ll draw with New Zealand and lose to Portugal and Mexico. Sorry Russia fans, but it looks like your team will have another early exit in my eyes.