RUSSIA vs BRAZIL BETTING PREVIEW
Russia are still recovering from a disappointing Confederation Cup campaign, when they lost meekly to Mexico and Portugal last year. Despite poor showings last summer, they come into this game having drawn 3-3 with Spain and only lost by a single goal to Argentina. They have also drawn with Chile and Belgium in the last 12 month. Anyway, the Russian team have been regularly conceding numbers of goals and this will be far more worrying. They will have a huge task to stop Brazil’s red-hot attacking line which has bagged 41 goals in 18 qualifying games in South America.
Stanislav Cherchesov is expected to play a 5-4-1 system against the Seleçao. Fedor Smolov is expected to lead the line, with the likes of Denis Glushakov, Daler Kuzyaev, Aleksei Miranchuk and Aleksandr Samedov in midfield. The five man defense should be formed by Dmitri Kombarov and Igor Smolnikov as full backs, Fyodor Kudryashov, Roman Neustadter and Ilya Kutepov at the heart. Aleksandr Kokorin, Giorgi Jikia and Viktor Vasin are missing for the World Cup hosts. Denis Cherychev could be in-line to make his first international appearance since 2015.
Brazil have bagged four wins and two draws in their last six outings but have seen their two-match winning streak ended with a goalless draw against England. The five-time World Cup winners have won 25 of their last 27 friendlies and have only lost 1 of their last 17 matches, a defeat to Argentina in a friendly last year. Tite's side have also kept 11 clean sheets in their last 15 matches. Russia have never managed to beat Brazil and this will be the sixth head to head encounter between the two sides.
The Seleçao will be missing Neymar, who is recovering from injury. As a result, Tite could give a debut to Real Sociedad striker Willian Jose at some stage. Gabriel Jesus is expected to lead the line in a 4-1-4-1 formation, in which the likes of Willian, Paulinho, Coutinho and Douglas Costa should start as offensive midfielder. Roberto Firmino is a further option. Fernandinho and Casemiro are in contention for the starting berth as defensive midfielder. Defenders Alex Sandro and Filipe Luis are out through injury. Hence, the backline will be probably formed by Dani Alves and Marcelo as full backs, Miranda and Marquinhos as central pair.
RUSSIA vs BRAZIL PROBABLE LINEUPS Russia (5-4-1): Akinfeev; Kombarov, Kudryashov, Neustadter, Kutepov, Smolnikov; Glushakov, Kuzyaev, Miranchuk, Samedov; Smolov
Brazil (4-1-4-1): Alisson; Marcelo, Dani Alves, Miranda, Marquinhos; Fernandinho; Willian, Paulinho, Coutinho, D.Costa; G.Jesus