The Hosts Without a Team
Russia has had a smooth sailing so far in the World-Cup 2018 with wins over Saudi Arabia (5-0) and Egypt (3-1). However, going forward it will be extremely hard for Russia to progress any further in the World Cup, and, if they are lucky, go past the second round.
To begin with, Russia has been comfortably placed in one of the easiest groups of the tournament. Saudi Arabia, & Egypt are not known for their soccer prowess and it would have been a walkover for any European team for that matter. The fact that Russia is hosting the World cup automatically qualified them for the World Cup. However, they might not have such an easy time with Uruguay.
Uruguay has won world cup twice before (1930 & 1950) and is known to be a soccer powerhouse. They have defeated some very good teams recently and has a good history in World-Cup. Russia, on the other hand, has struggled recently in the international tournaments. They are the lowest ranked team in the list of participants (ranked 70) and has lost more games than wins than any other team. They have not won any major matches since the Euro-Cup of 2012 and are most likely going to barely make it to round two. Even if let’s say Russia qualifies for the second round on virtue of winning the first two matches against the minnows Saudi Arabia & Egypt, they will face France in all probability which will be a completely lopsided game in favor of France. France is certainly one of the best teams in the world and Russia will hold absolutely no ground against them and will go down easily.
Talking about the Russian team, even though they have won quite comfortably against Saudi Arabia and Egypt, their defense looked shaky in both the matches. The team’s defense by second half looked in shambles and if they are looking this bad with smaller teams, they will stand no chance of going forward. Russia does have some firepower with players like Igor Akinfeev (Goalkeeper), Sergei Ignashevich (Defense) and Yuri Zhirkov (Offense) but all of them are nearing the end of their soccer career and the Russian team is badly in need of the next generation stepping up to carry them forward.
It is pretty clear that at this point in World Cup, the Russian team has had all the success it could have hoped for, but from now on, it will be a sloping downhill slide for them and they will be out of the tournament in no time.