On October 8, the Russian national team will meet with Slovakia in the qualifying match for the 2022 World Cup. Slovakia is Russia’s main rival in the fight for second place in the group. How the national team approached the match in Kazan and what awaits Karpin’s team – in the material of RBC
Croatia – 13 points
Russia – 13 points
Slovakia – 9 points
Slovenia – 7 points
Malta – 4 points
Cyprus – 4 points
The Russian national team played the September matches at a good level. A draw with Croatia and two victories (over Cyprus and Malta) allowed to score 7 points and keep the second place. The low implementation of scoring chances in the match with Malta did not allow Russia to bypass the Croats in the fight for the first place in terms of the difference between goals scored and conceded. Unlike Stanislav Cherchesov’s team, Karpin’s team began to go on the attack more, but problems with physical readiness do not allow the team to carry out positional pressure for all 90 minutes.
The main scheme of the national team is 4-3-3. From the first minutes, the new coach of the national team began to try different combinations of players. In the first match with Croatia, Karpin decided to play without a center forward. In place of the central forward, the attacking midfielder of the Italian Atalanta Alexei Miranchuk. But already in the second half he was replaced by the classic CSKA forward Anton Zabolotny. In the match, Fedor Smolov became the next striker to fall ill, having scored the ball into the goal.
For the October matches, not all the players from the previous application were able to come up in the right condition. Former captain of the national team Artem Dziuba refused a place in the team. According to him, the lack of physical fitness does not allow him to play for the national team now. But many experts attendthat the long conflict between Dziuba and Karpin, which has been going on for almost ten years, was to blame. During the break for the matches of the national team, Dzyuba uploads a tennis game to social networks. Karpin, for his part, declares that he is not going to persuade the striker to play for the national team.
“I don’t think you need to scare someone or force someone to play for the national team. He decided so, we talked. No, no, no. The players should want to play for the national teams, but he does not want to, then why persuade him, ”Karpin said in a conversation with reporters.
Russian national team application:
Goalkeepers: Guilherme (Lokomotiv), Yuri Dupin (Rubin), Andrey Lunev (Bayer, Germany), Matvey Safonov (Krasnodar).
Defenders: Igor Diveev (CSKA Moscow), Georgy Dzhikia (Spartak), Maxim Osipenko (Rostov), Alexey Sutormin, Dmitry Chistyakov (both Zenit), Ilya Samoshnikov (Rubin), Sergey Tere (Sochi) , Fedor Kudryashov (Antalyaspor, Turkey), Arsen Adamov (Ural, newcomer to the national team).
Midfielders: Dmitry Barinov, Rifat Zhemaletdinov (both – Lokomotiv), Ilzat Akhmetov (CSKA) (called instead of Alexander Golovin), Alexander Erokhin, Daler Kuzyaev (both – Zenit), Alexey Miranchuk (Atalanta, Italy), Arsen Zakharyan , Daniil Fomin, Denis Makarov (all – Dynamo), Alexey Ionov (Krasnodar), Danil Glebov (Rostov) (called instead of Denis Glushakov).
Forwards: Fedor Smolov (Lokomotiv), Anton Zabolotny (CSKA), Hamid Agalarov (Ufa).
Slovakia national team application:
Goalkeepers: Dusan Kuciak (Legia), Marek Rodak (Fulham), Frantisek Plach (Piast), Dominik Greif (Mallorca).
Defenders: Peter Pekarik (Herta), Lubomir Shatka (Lech), Milan Skrinjar (Inter), Tomas Gubochan (Omonia), David Gantsko (Sparta), Vernon De Marco, Lukas Paushek (both – Slovan ”, Slovakia), Martin Koscielnik (“ Slovan ”, Czech Republic), Martin Valiant (“ Mallorca ”).
Midfielders: Matush Bero (Vitesse), Marek Gamshik (Trabzonspor), Stanislav Lobotka (Napoli), Albert Rusnak (Real Salt Lake), Ondrej Duda (Cologne), Patrick Grosovsky (Genk) , Juraj Kutska (Watford), Tomas Suslov (Groningen), Erik Jirka (Gurnik), Lukas Garaslin (Sassuolo).
Forwards: Ivan Shrantz (Slavia), Robert Bozhenik (Feyenoord), David Strelets (Slovan, Slovakia), Ladislav Almasi (Banik).
The Slovak comparison with the application for the last one in March was almost not compiled. Except for the midfielder of the Czech “Sparta” Jakub Gromada, all the players are in place and, most likely, they will start. Slovaks play in a 4-2-3-1 system and emphasize set pieces. For the September matches, the national team scored 4 points and is currently in third place. The defeat in the match with Russia almost deprives Slovakia of the chances of fighting for the final part of the World Cup.
Some of the players of the Slovak national team are well known to the Russian fan. Tomas Gubachan and Robert Mack played at Zenit, Marek Hamšik scored against the Russian national team at Euro 2016. The team includes players from Premier League and Bundesliga teams.
Bookmakers give preference to the Russian national team, considering it a favorite. But it is obvious that Valery Karpin’s team will not be easy.
Will Valery Karpin be able to take three points in the face of a large number of injured players and increase the chances of getting into the finals of the World Cup – we will find out soon. The match will take place at the Kazan Arena stadium. The beginning is at 21:45 Moscow time.