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2014 World Cup Team Previews: Russia Betting Prediction

World Cup 2014 Team Spotlight – Russia

Given the political history of the USSR Russia is a relative newbie on the international soccer scene. They have only qualified twice before in the USA (1994) and in Korea/Japan (2002).

Russia

Group H: Russia, Belgium, Korea Republic, Algeria
Odds to Win Group:  +200
Odds to Win World Cup:  +8000
Group Stage Schedule
June 17 vs.  Korea
June 22 vs.  Belgium
June 26 vs. Algeria

World Cup History

In both cases they were able to win a match but did not make it out of the group stage. This year they have a very good chance to do just that.

Strengths

The Russians are going to be defense first. The majority if their players play in the Russian League so they may not have the profile of other Europeans but there is talent there – they beat and finished ahead of Portugal in their group qualifying.

Coach Fabio Capella will be looking to prove that his club success can lead to success internationally as well, especially after a noted failure as coach of England last time around.
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One of the Russians strengths will be familiarity, a lot of their players suit up for CSKA Moscow, including possibly their entire back line.

Weaknesses

Not to put it all pon Capello but the numbers don’t lie – no team has ever won the World Cup with a foreign born coach.

His style is defense first and that should serve them well in the Group Stage but should they advance they will ultimately have to score some goals, a task they are not very good at as compared to the teams they are likely to face.

They have seen their place in the FIFA rankings drop over the last 12 months and have become susceptible to those with strong wing play.

Key Player – Igor Akinfeev

There are not going to be too many teams whose key players will be the goalkeeper but Akinfeev was the 2013 Russian Premier League Player of the Year for CSKA Moscow.  If Russia is going to exceed their expectations the last line of defense is going to have to be in good form.

Goalies are not usually difference makers but Akinfeev can inspire Russia to take the chances they will need to win against top competition.

Prediction:  2nd Group F

The Russians should be able to navigate this group and come out on the other side. They probably lose to Belgium but the other teams are beatable.

If they can manage a draw with Belgium then there is a real possibility they draw the top spot in the group which would significantly increase their chances of advancing in the knockout stage.

CappersPicks.com has Soccer Odds up on a ton of futures, and you will also find World Cup odds up for early games as well.

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About The Wiesguy

The Wiesguy is a newcomer to the handicapping scene. Hailing from Toronto, Canada he is always sweet on the underdogs and you can often find his thoughts, musings and picks at moneydogs.blogspot.com.


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