Route to Russia:
As the host nation, Russia were automatically placed into the 2018 World Cup finals.
How far can they get:
Russia go into the World Cup as the lowest ranked side, the host nation find themselves 65th in the FIFA world rankings. At the 2014 World Cup, Russia were knocked out in the group stage after finishing third behind Belgium and Algeria respectively. In this years World Cup, they will be aiming to reach the round of 16 or quarter final.
After a dismal performance at the 2016 European Championship, Russia appointed Stanislav Cherchesov as head coach. Prior to his appointment as head coach of the Russian national team, Cherchesov was at Polish side Legia Warsaw where he did the double by winning the Ekstraklasa and the Polish Cup in the same season. Since his appointment, Cherchesov has won just five of 20 matches, drawing six and losing nine. The former Locomotiv and Spartak goalkeeper will be hoping for an upturn in form in front of the home supporters.
One to Watch:
Midfielder Aleksandr Golovin. Despite his young age, the 22-year-old had a fine season with CKSA Moscow which linked him with moves to Arsenal, Manchester United and Monaco. The Russians will be looking to this prodigy to link the defence and attack, which he does effortlessly in the Russian Premier League.