Preview - Russia vs Brazil 24 March 2018

Started by Harry85, Mar 22, 2018, 10:34 AM

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Mar 22, 2018, 10:34 AM Last Edit: Mar 22, 2018, 10:38 AM by Harry85
International Friendly
Russia vs Brazil
Saturday, March 24th, 2018
00:00 am (GMT+8 Timing)
Stadium: RZD Arena

Last five matches form: W W D L D
Average goals per match: 1.0
Average goals against per match: 1.0
Top Scorer: Fyodor Smolov (11)

Last five matches form:  D D W W D
Average goals per match: 2.3
Average goals against per match: 0.6
Top Scorer: Paulinho (11)

With so much political turbulence surrounding the tournament already, Russian fans as much as any will no doubt be relieved to see the attention turn to the football this week as the squad take in a couple of high profile friendlies.

Qualifying automatically as hosts, friendlies have been the way of things for some time now for Stanaslav Cherchisov's men. In truth they have largely performed with credit, drawing with the likes of Spain and Belgium and only going down narrowly to Argentina.

Brazil in contrast are used to being in the heat of competitive action, having been embroiled in the lengthy South American qualification for the past three years. The fact that they were able to come through the worlds toughest qualification section with such ease bodes well for their chances ahead of this summer's tournament.

If Russia are looking for a confidence booster ahead of their home World Cup, they are unlikely to find it here. Despite signs of encouragement of late the Russians look overmatched against the five time World Cup kings, with or without their star man Neymar.

With the big one now looming large, we expect both sides to take this pretty seriously. One notable aspect of Russia's recent games though has been that they do struggle to contain the elite attacking sides, often seeming to be undone by a lack of pace at the back. We expect more of the same here and fancy the World Cup favourites to come out comfortably on top.

Prediction: Russia 1 - 3 Brazil


Half time: 0 - 0
Full time: 0 - 3
Shots: 9 - 14
Shots on target: 5 - 10
Corner Kicks: 5 - 3
Possession: 38% - 62%

The referee kept his cards in his pocket throughout as this friendly contest largely lived up to its name.

Brazil started on the front foot here, forcing Igor Akinfeev into a save after just three minutes. They were unable to fashion anything clear cut though as Russia slowly grew into the game and began to look a threat themselves on the counter attack. 0-0 at half-time though.

The second half began in much the same way as the first, with Brazil bossing possession and probing the Russian defence. This time however, they were able to make the breakthrough.

The opener came in the 53rd minute. When Willian's cross from the right-hand side was headed towards the corner by Thiago Silva, Akinfeev did well to make the save. However, he could only palm the ball out to the ready and waiting Miranda to fire into the roof of the net.

The lead should have been doubled soon after, with Paulinho contriving to spurn a golden opportunity with the goal at his mercy. Then in the 61st minute it was 0-2. Seeing Paulinho unceremoniously hauled down in the box, the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Philippe Coutinho stepping up to convert.

 The third arrived just five minutes later. Following excellent work by Marcelo down the right, Paulinho found himself with another chance in front of goal. This time he really couldn't miss, and didn't, heading home from around four yards.

Russia had the better of the remaining chances, but a goal line clearance from Thiago Silva was as close as they came. 0-3 final score.

The Brazil machine rolls on. Russia can draw a few positives from this but it is nevertheless a reminder of the kind of quality they will need to overcome this summer.

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