The dress rehearsal for next summer’s World Cup begins in earnest next week with the return of the FIFA Confederations Cup, the last edition was held back in 2013 when the hosts Brazil ran out eventual winners. This time the hosting rights are with Russia.
Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov has named his squad and the interesting fact that comes from this is that all the players named are domestic based. All of the 23 names ply their trade in the Russian League as Cherechesov looks to the evolve an aging squad.
It is a much changed from the squad that took part in Euro 2016 with only nine of the 23 players appearing in France last year. Not only that but 14 of this squad have played no more than 10 times for the Russian national team, therefore it is a very experimental squad.
You can understand why the decision to name a young squad has been made though, with such few opportunities to blood new faces at international level then the Confederations Cup is almost a perfect breeding ground for trying out new players.
That of course will be much to the dislike of FIFA who are already perturbed by the fact that Germany have named a weakened squad. With the competition now becoming nothing more than glorified practice matches we could very well be seeing it’s last edition over the next few weeks.
Here is the Russia squad in full.
Goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow), Vladimir Gabulov (Arsenal Tula), Guilherme (Lokomotiv Moscow)
Defenders: Georgy Dzhikiya (Spartak Moscow), Ruslan Kambolov (Rubin Kazan), Fyodor Kudryashov (FC Rostov), Ilya Kutepov (Spartak Moscow), Roman Shishkin (FC Krasnodar), Igor Smolnikov (Zenit St. Petersburg), Viktor Vasin (CSKA Moscow)
Midfielders: Yuri Gazinsky (FC Krasnodar), Denis Glushakov (Spartak Moscow), Alexander Golovin (CSKA Moscow), Dmitry Kombarov (Spartak Moscow), Alexei Miranchuk (Lokomotiv Moscow), Alexander Samedov (Spartak Moscow), Dmitry Tarasov (Lokomotiv Moscow), Alexander Yerokhin (FC Rostov), Yuri Zhirkov (Zenit St. Petersburg)
Forwards: Alexander Bukharov (FC Rostov), Maxim Kannunikov (Rubin Kazan), Dmitry Poloz (FC Rostov), Fyodor Smolov (FC Krasnodar)