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18 Junio 2017, 03:11 | Gerardo Tarin
With President Vladimir Putin in attendance and 44,000 tickets sold, today's Confederations Cup opener will give Russian Federation the chance to show off its preparations for next year's World Cup despite concerns over stadium security and infrastructure.
Russia, who are ranked 63rd as per the latest Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings, come into the game against the All Whites following a series of impressive warm-up games against Hungary, which they won 3-0, and Chile, where they were successful in holding their vastly superior Confed Cup participants to a 1-1 draw. "He's been playing this game for several years, I'm just starting".
Russia's famous Hermitage Museum has chosen one of its resident cats to predict the results of an upcoming worldwide football tournament. If we see their past performances, they have scored only 2 goals in 9 Federation Cup games.
Russian Federation is gearing up to host the Confederations Cup, the dress rehearsal for next year's FIFA World Cup, from June 17 to July 2. The Gold Cup victor plays Portugal on Sunday in Kazan.
The 2017 edition is being held over a fortnight with two groups containing the six winners of the Federation Internationale de Football Association confederations tournaments joined by world champions Germany and hosts Russia.
Stoke City legend Alan Hudson could never have imagined he would get so excited about a game between Russian Federation and New Zealand in St Petersburg. "We have a very, very good team, we have some good players in our team and the objective for us is to do something significant", he said. We know who can do what and I will not name any players.
Before flying out, coach Ange Postecoglou talked up Australia's chances of reaching the final.
They will be led by former Barcelona defender Rafael Marquez, still going strong at 38 - while Ronaldo will win his 140th cap in the game, Marquez will be making his 139th global appearance.
"It is the first step to the English Premier League now", Cherchesov said in English as he looked across to his also-smiling forward at a news conference. The USSR beat New Zealand 3-0 at the 1982 World Cup in Spain.
Russia's victory showed it can win a big game at home, even if Putin is in the arena. Additional time is mostly one minute in the first half and three minutes in the second half.
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