Friday, 25 May 2012

Russian Roulette

Manager: Dick Advocaat
Captain: Andrei Arshavin
Star Player: Andrei Arshavin
Bio: Russia were the surprise team of Euro 2008 to most people. The relatively unknown Andrei Arshavin got himself a massive move because of their semi final run. As well as Roman Pavlyuchenko  and Yuri Zhirkov (i swear Group A was put together because all the names are hard to spell). They showed themselves as a strong team under Guus Hiddink. Dick Advocaat (the former Rangers manager) got the job by leading Zenit to the Europa League title. 

This is the team i expect to win Group A. They have 2 pretty good goalkeepers in Akinfeev and Malafeev, they have one of the Ignashevich twins (the other must not have made it). An ok midfield including the player im most looking forward to seeing in Alan Dzagoev who is a 21 year old CSKA Moscow Midfielder has been called the Russian Scholes (that could be the same as saying the Estonian Pele it means nothing). The Russians have an impressive set of forwards that include Roman Pavlyuchenko formally of Spurs and Pavel Pogrebnyak of Fulham who showed the Premiership what he was all about this season. Watch out for Aleksandr Kerzhakov who played for Sevilla in Spain for a short while and has an impressive Goal per game ratio. 

This is an old team now. This is last chance saloon for a lot of these players. Ashavin is 30, Pav is 30 aswell. there is only 1 player under the age of 25 with more than 1o caps and thats Dzagoev. I suspect that this team will have goals in them unlike the others in the group and thats what sets them apart for me. none of the others have that firepower in their side and while they all boast good Goalkeepers none have a good 2nd choice except Russia. They have the best manager in the group and tones of experience. expect them to win all 3 games in the group stage and but fall at the Quarter finals because they will play Portugal, Germany, Denmark or Holland. Not a bad team and most likely of Group A to win the Cup but i dont think they will.  

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