RFN Quiz: How well do you know the Russian Confederations Cup squad?

We are two games into the Confederations Cup, and the Russian team has its back against the wall before the last game against Mexico, which is played tomorrow. Before we find out whether the players are villains or heroes, it's time to test your knowledge about the squad. … [Read more...]

Confederations Cup Preview: Russia – Mexico

After losing to Portugal earlier this week, Russia travel back to Kazan, where they also played against New Zealand, with the need to beat Mexico in order to emerge from the group stages of the Confederations Cup. A draw will be enough to take Mexico through and a point would only suffice for Russia in the unlikely event that New Zealand beat Portugal. Last time out The hosts are in danger of missing out on a semi-final spot after losing 1-0 to Portugal in Moscow. Cristiano … [Read more...]

Confederations Cup Preview: Russia – Portugal

Russia will look to build on their 2-0 opening-day win over New Zealand when they play European champions Portugal in Moscow. The match will be played at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, usually known as Otkritie Arena, and the hosts go into the game with confidence against a Portuguese side that drew 2-2 with Mexico on Sunday. Last time out In St. Petersburg, Russia’s Confederations Cup campaign got off to the perfect start thanks to a Denis Glushakov-forced own goal and a Fedor Smolov … [Read more...]

Confederations Cup Preview: Russia – New Zealand

On Saturday evening, Russia kick off the Confederations Cup, when they take on Oceanian champions New Zealand in the opening fixture at St. Petersburg Stadium. We have teamed up with Ola Bjerkevoll from FootballOceania.com for this preview. Russia By John Gorrod (@John_CRFC) Russia’s Confederations Cup campaign kicks off against New Zealand in St Petersburg – and nothing but a win will suffice. The tournament is being viewed as a chance for Sbornaya to banish the ghosts of the disastrous … [Read more...]

RFN Podcast Special – Confederations Cup Preview

Host Thomas Giles and regular guests Toke Theilade and Andrew Flint preview Russia's Confederations Cup group with the help of experts on each of the other three teams. Ola Bjerkevoll from footballoceania.com gives us the lowdown on New Zealand before Tom Kundert from portugoal.net dissects Portugal's chances. Finally, Tom Marshall from ESPN tells us about Mexico's ambitions in the … [Read more...]

What Can the World Expect from Sbornaya at the Confederations Cup?

When Russia  take on New Zealand in St. Petersburg on Saturday afternoon, it will be the culmination of a long year with Stanislav Cherchesov as head coach. Since his appointment after the failed Euros, Cherchesov has worked hard on assembling a team that could bring glory to Russia on home ground by the World Cup in 2018, and the Confederations Cup is the first real test of the level of the Russian national team, also known as Sbornaya. Cherchesov’s men have warmed up at a training camp … [Read more...]

RFN Confederations Cup Predictions League

Cristiano Ronaldo, Alexis Sánchez and Ruslan Kambolov are all set to rub shoulders this week as the cream of world football roll into town to fight for the FIFA Confederations Cup. What a cracker to kickstart the tournament as well; New Zealand, fresh from a friendly win over Irish second division club side Cabinteely, open up proceedings against the hosts in the Krestovsky Stadium (sorry, “St Petersburg Stadium”...) on a relaid surface that only arrived a matter of days ago. Denis … [Read more...]

Cherchesov’s Old Grudges Hinders Russia’s Chances at the Confederations Cup

When head coach of the Russian national team Stanislav Cherchesov announced his preliminary squad for the upcoming Confederations Cup on May 15, it surprised many that Lokomotiv Moscow's Igor Denisov had been overlooked. The 33-year-old UEFA Cup winner just finished one of his personal best seasons in a long time, and at the beginning of this month, he even scored the winning goal in the cup final against FC Ural. Nevertheless, Cherchesov overlooked him, instead opting for his teammate Dmitry … [Read more...]

RFN Podcast – Eremenko Banned, Rostov Face Bayern Munich And More Problems At Zenit Arena

Host Thomas Giles is joined by regular panelists Toke Theilade and Andrew Flint. The trio discuss the drugs ban imposed on CSKA Moscow midfielder Roman Eremenko before previewing FC Rostov's match against Bayern Munich in the Champions League as well as predicting FC Rostov's general European chances. They then talk about the latest delay and corruption allegations surround the World Cup venue in St. Petersburg and ask if the chaos will ever end on Krestovsky Island. Finally they take … [Read more...]

Vibrating pitch and corruption allegations? A normal day at the office on Krestovsky Island

The uncompleted Zenit Arena in St. Petersburg has once again hit a familiar roadblock in both construction and corruption. The old Kirov Stadium on Krestovsky Island was demolished the best part of a decade ago and the forecasts were that the new stadium, based on the old site, would be opened by 2009. However, thanks to numerous delays ranging from design flaws to monetary issues, we may now not see the stadium be ready in time for the fast-approaching 2017 Confederations Cup. Despite … [Read more...]